Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy »

… tenderness/enlargement

Needing to go to the toilet more frequently to pee (urinate)

Increased vaginal discharge without any soreness or irritation

Feeling unusually tired

A strange taste in your mouth which some describe as metallic

When should I test?

You can carry out a pregnancy test from the first day after a missed period.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a pregnancy hormone called: Hormone Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) in your urine.  You can do a test any time …

NHS Lanarkshire responds to rise in cases of syphilis »

… order to be assessed and tested.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by vaginal, anal and oral sex.

People with syphilis may develop a sore in the genital area or in their mouth. They may also develop a rash over their body, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These symptoms may disappear without the person being aware of them.

If syphilis is not treated, it will progress and can cause serious damage to the heart, arteries and the nervous …

Safer Sex »

… young peoples clinics you just drop in.

First of all, if you have had unprotected Penetrative Vaginal sex or your method of contraception has failed you can get emergency contraception (the sooner you access it, the better). There are two methods you can use to prevent getting pregnant. The sooner you take action the more effective these methods will be.

You may be too late to access emergency contraception. This means there is a possibility that you may become pregnant. This can be a …

Gonorrhoea »

… common. It is caused by a bacteria (neisseria gonorrhoea) and can create problems in the penis, vagina and anus. It can also be caught and passed on by the throat from unprotected oral sex with an infected partner.

How do I know if I have gonorrhoea?

The majority of women and some men will not show any signs of being infected, so it is possible that they might have gonorrhoea but have no symptoms. The simple answer is to have a test.

What are the symptoms?

Men :

Most men …

Arousal »

… in both males and females in various ways in preparation for sexual activity – in women the Vagina lubricates, the Clitoris swells, the breasts enlarge. In both, heart rate and breathing speed up and there is a feeling of being “turned on”. Without this arousal, sexual activity is possible but tends to be mechanical and without passion – like someone simply going through the motions. It is more likely that lack of arousal leads to other apparent sexual Dysfunction eg …

Menopause »

… activity.

With the reduction in the oestrogen being produced, thinning of the tissues of the Vaginal wall may result, as well as decreased lubrication. Vaginal dryness may be accompanied by irritation and itching. Pain may be experienced during Intercourse as a result of these changes – known as dyspareunia.

Vaginal changes and changes to Urethral tissue can result in increased frequency of Urinary tract Infections , painful or frequent Urination (dysuria) and …

Stroke »

… again become familiar and more confident in other sexual practices.

It is possible to have Vaginal Intercourse even when catheterised. It requires some manipulation of the Catheter and the use of lubrication and a condom to lessen tugging on the tube.

You may have to adjust from previous, familiar, sexual positions to take into account any degree of physical impairment. Consider using pillows for support or even handles attached to wall/bed frame for additional support or …

C Card Scheme »

… a C Card centre.

Here are the choices:

EXT = Extra

Can be used for anal or vaginal sex . Supplied with lubricant.

FLA = Flavoured

Can be used for oral sex. To use on a female, carefully cut a new condom into a square.

SEN = Sensitive

A thin, extra-fine condom.

NAT = Natural

For vaginal, anal or oral sex.

LAT = Latex-free

For people with an allergy to latex or rubber.

FEM = Femidom

These go inside a woman’s …

Chlamydia »

Where does Chlamydia come from?

It can be easily passed on through Vaginal , Anal and, perhaps, Oral sex . There is no evidence to show that it can be passed on from toilet seats, sharing towels or cups. An infected mother can pass it on to her baby’s eyes and lungs at birth. It can also be spread from Genitals to eyes with your fingers. Using a condom will greatly reduce your chances of becoming infected with chlamydia.

What is …


… the same as those for chlamydia.

Women may get any of the following symptoms:

An unusual vaginal discharge

Pain or discomfort when passing urine

Lower tummy pain

Pain during sex.

Men may get any of the following symptoms

Pain when passing urine

A discharge or fluid from the end of the penis. This is often clear or whitish but can also be grey or yellow

Pain or swelling in the testicles.


Symptoms may develop within a few weeks of getting the infection …

Black & Minority Ethnic sites »

… the following links.

Chlamydia – http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/5768.aspx

Vaginal health – http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3419.aspx

Genital herpes – http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3421.aspx

Gonorrhoea – http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3423.aspx

Genital warts – http://www.healthscotland.com/documents/3422.aspx

The Sandyford

Glasgow’s sexual and reproductive health service which has a number of sexual …

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) »

… inflammatory disease (PID) may occur either from bacteria which are already present in the vagina or those which can be passed on during sex, for example chlamydia and gonorrhoea. When bacteria gets through the cervix (the neck of the womb), Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can sometimes occur. A thick layer of mucous usually protects against infection entering the cervix.

Some procedures involve opening the cervix, for example having an intrauterine contraceptive (the …

Syphilis »

… not be apparent for years.

How is Syphilis passed on?

Syphilis can be easily spread through vaginal, anal and oral sex.  Even if you have had the infection before, you can catch it again. Syphilis may also be passed on through deep kissing if the infected partner has an ulcer (chancre) in their mouth.

Syphilis can be passed on from a pregnant mother to her baby at any stage of the pregnancy . If syphilis is found during pregnancy it can be treated to prevent the …

Genital Warts »

… are caused by a virus called Human Papilloma virus. The virus affects the skin of the penis, vagina and anus. It can cause warts, which are like those that grow on other parts of the body. Don’t panic if you have genital warts – they are very common.

What are the symptoms ?

Often the warts are small and very difficult to see – you may not even know you have them. The warts are small, fleshy lumps. You might see or feel them, or your partner might notice them. They can be …

What’s that smell? »

… body.

These chemicals are contained in the natural substances the body releases, like sweat, Vaginal fluid or Semen . Thus most smells are not associated with any Infections .

If someone’s personal hygiene is not taken care of, then these substances build up, and the smells get stronger. Washing daily, and giving particular care to areas where substances could build up (for example under the foreskin of an uncircumcised man or boy, or the Vaginal area of a woman or girl) …

Painful Sex »

… level can occur in relation to sexual activity:

Lack of arousal – resulting in lack of vaginal lubrication i.e. dryness and engorgement of the genitalia.

Skin conditions - including thinning of the skin after the menopause.

Endometriosis – this usually causes pain deep inside the vagina.

  Infections – sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) or non-sexually transmitted genital infections e.g. thrush.

 Vaginismus -this is when the muscles …

Unable to Orgasm (Anorgasmia) »

… of the nervous system for various reasons.

Lack of lubrication and changes to the lining of the vagina can result from the menopause. Psychological factors which prevent the development of arousal or the experience of orgasm can be numerous too, and these are outlined in more detail under the Arousal section of this web site.

The physical causes may be responsive to treatment. Use of a simple, water-based lubricant might be sufficient to remedy the situation. There have even been …

Difficulty with Penetration (Vaginismus) »

… an involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor muscles, especially affecting the entrance to the vagina. It usually occurs when some form of penetration of the vagina is attempted, and can be so strong as to almost close off the entrance, making penetration painful or even impossible.

It is a surprisingly common condition and the causes are usually psychological. It is also very responsive to treatment. One of the main causes is fear or anticipation of pain. When painful penetration …

Bacterial Vaginosis »

What is it?

The normal, healthy vagina contains some “friendly” bacteria. In bacterial vaginosis, these “friendly” bacteria are replaced by different bacteria called ‘anaerobic bacteria’.


Are there any other names for it?

Bacterial vaginosis is also called anaerobic vaginosis, or just BV.

Is it common?

Yes, many women have bacterial vaginosis at some time in their life.

What causes it?

We do …

Cystitis »

… if they do. What causes it? It is often caused by germs from the anus getting round to the vagina and up the urethra. This can happen during sex, using tampons or wiping from back to front after going to the toilet. Vigorous sexual activity or wearing very tight jeans might cause slight damage to your body and this can cause cystitis. Also some women have a reaction to things like scented soaps or vaginal deodorants. ‘Holding on too long’ before passing urine keeps germs in …

Thrush »

What is it?

Thrush is a yeast infection that normally affects women and appears in the vagina. There are other kinds of thrush that can affect the throat, but these are less common.

Are there any other names for it?

Thrush is also called candidiasis.

Is it common?

Yes, lots of women have thrush at some time in their life.

What causes it?

It is caused by a yeast called candida, which usually lives harmlessly in the body, but can multiply to cause an infection. It …

Prevention »

… activities that can transmit hepatitis

Oral sex, which is licking/sucking the penis or vagina, can result in the transmission of hepatitis B. If you want to protect yourself from this then you could use a condom without any lubricant on it, or a vaginal barrier such as a dental dam. Hepatitis B can be contracted if you swallow faeces (poo) from someone with the virus. Therefore, if you rim someone (lick around their anus) or lick a finger that has been inside their rectum, …

Condoms! »

… or femidoms. They are like a small sock made out of polyurethane that fits inside a woman’s vagina during penetrative sex. Like condoms they offer protection against pregnancy, STI’s and HIV.   Unlike condoms, you can use oil based lubricants with them because they are much stronger. Some people don’t like to use them because they are a bit awkward to fit and can be a bit noisy. However, like fitting a tampon, it’s a matter of practice and once you get the hang of it, it’s …

Sex and Ageing »

… – is likely to be longer.

In women, dryness may make penetration or stimulation of the vagina more difficult, more irritating or even painful. This can be easily resolved by the use of a lubricant. Following the menopause, with vaginal shrinkage, women may even find sex more intense or pleasurable. The lack of anxiety about becoming pregnant may even contribute towards sexual enjoyment.

A few other things can be taken into consideration to improve your sex life in later …

Female Genital Mutilation »

… other female family members or a traditional “circumciser” in the community. Afterwards, the vagina is stitched up, leaving a very small opening to allow passage of urine and menstrual discharge. It scars over and is left closed until marriage, at which time it is cut open to allow penetrative sex. This can take months to achieve and can be painful to the woman and man due to scar tissue which has formed.

Mutilation is a culturally acceptable and very common practise in some …

Anus and Rectum »

… for the pleasure to be derived from the stimulation, as part of sexual experimentation, or where vaginal penetrative sex is unsatisfactory to either partner. It has even been used as an alternative to vaginal sex to prevent conception.

The anus may be stimulated or penetrated by fingers, penis, tongue, sex toy or other means. However, since the anus was not constructed for penetration, but for excretion, this has to be helped by lubrication or damage to the wall or lining may …

Uterine / Endometrial Cancer »

… uterus, the endometrium, where the growth occurs.

Signs/ Symptoms

Abnormal bleeding or vaginal discharge, frequent urination or lower abdomen pain may indicate this cancer, but again these symptoms might be due to other, less serious causes.

Contributory factors

Uterine cancer is most frequent among postmenopausal women, and is rare under the age of 35. The use of oestrogen -only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk, as does an early start with …

Vaginal / Vulval Cancer »

Both vaginal and vulval cancer are rare conditions. Any of the symptoms below are far more likely to be caused by something else. Never be afraid to discuss these with your doctor.

Vulval Cancer

Vulval cancer tends to occur in older women but is increasing in younger women. It most commonly causes a chronic itch, but various growths or ulcers of various colours that persist might also be …

Rape and Sexual Assault »

… broadens the definition of rape to include anal and oral rape of women and men, as well as vaginal rape.  Rape is defined as penetration of someone’s vagina, anus or mouth (to however small an extent) by a penis without consent or reasonable belief in consent.  The Act defines consent as free agreement and makes it clear than consent can be withdrawn at any time.  The Act also sets out an offence of sexual assault by penetration, which covers for example, penetration by …