itchy burny bits advice and support

IF YOU HAVE ITCHY BURNY BITS, YOU SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR OR NURSE as soon as possible.

You might have a sexually transmitted infection. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are VERY common. Most STIs won't go away without treatment. Treatment is usually easy and having a check up as soon as possible is very important. Other things can cause itchy or burny bits too. You should see a doctor or nurse to sort out what's going on. 

You can see your own GP or visit another clinic. Here are some options:

A Pinnacle medical centre near you

A sexual health clinic

Family Planning clinic

If you're at high school, find out if there's a school nurse or doctor - they can help you.

If it's after hours, call your medical centre and follow their instructions. Or you can also call Healthline toll-free on 0800 611 116.


    FREE CHECKS

    Some GPs offer free visits for STI checks, pregnancy tests and contraception to enrolled patients under 25 years old. Check if your doctor does this. Sexual health/STI clinics in New Zealand offer free tests and treatment for STIs, no matter what age you are.

    Family planning clinic visits are free for people aged less than 22. Student health services at university or polytech may have a small fee; check with your local uni/polytech if you're a student. If your high school has a nurse or a doctor, you can see them for free.


    Go to a doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms:

    Women

    • Any discharge from your vagina that smells or is yellow or green

    • Bleeding between periods

    • Bleeding during or after sex that is not your period

    • Pain during sex

    • Pain in your lower tummy/abdomen

    • Pain when passing urine

    • Itching or burning or pain around your genitals

    • Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around your genitals

    Men

    • Any discharge from your penis

    • Pain in your testicles

    • Pain when passing urine

    • Itching or burning or pain around your genitals

    • Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around your genitals

    Not everyone with an STI has symptoms. Get checked if you've had sex with a new partner without using a condom, you or your sexual partner have had sex with someone else without using a condom, and/or if the person you have sex with has any symptoms.


    Having an STI check:

    Getting tested and treated for STIs is really easy and painless these days. You can often test yourself - ask your doctor or nurse about how easy it is. You still need to visit your own doctor or another clinic.

    Your visit will always be private and confidential, no matter which doctor or nurse you go to. There's no need to feel embarrassed about having an STI check. Remember, doctors and nurses are used to testing for all kinds of infections: to them, it's their job. Don't forget, you can ask to see a female doctor or nurse if you prefer.

    Tests might involve a urine (pee) sample, blood sample, swab or examination.


    Sexual health clinics:

    A sexual health or STI clinic specialises in sexual health and gives free tests and treatment for STIs. People may have to make an appointment or sometimes there's a drop-in clinic (which means you can just turn up).

    People can go to a sexual health clinic at whatever age and whether or not they have symptoms. If someone is under 16, the service is still confidential.


    Inform your sexual partner:

    It is important to tell your sexual partner so that they can get tested and treated too. STIs do not always cause symptoms and your partner/ex-partners may not know they have an infection. This means that they might give the infection back to you or spread it to others. Most people find it hard to talk to partners about this but it is very important. Clinic staff can help you plan how you might do this. If you prefer, the clinic can help and do it for you. This is called partner notification: the clinic won't give your name, but will say they believe the person should go for testing and treatment.

    Read more about partner notification.


    Always use condoms!

    The best way to protect yourself from getting an STI, or passing on an infection, is to use a condom every time you have sex. Condoms are also 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly every time.

    You can get lots of condoms on a prescription from your GP or from another clinic, or you can buy them at a pharmacy or supermarket. Most sexual health/STI clinics will give you some condoms for free - ask your local clinic. Family Planning clinics have female condoms as well.

    Click here to find out more about condom use.