Women with type 1 diabetes

Sexually transmitted infections

Unprotected sexual contact (including anal, oral and genital skin-to-skin) puts you at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The more partners, the greater the risk.

As with all infections, STIs can potentially increase blood glucose levels and need to be treated immediately. Not all STIs have obvious symptoms but they can still cause an increase in blood glucose and lead to complications if not treated. If you have unexplained high blood glucose levels and think that you might have an STI speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Most STIs are quickly and easily treated without too much fuss.

Here are some of the more common symptoms to be aware of:

  • increase in vaginal discharge 
  • unusual bleeding
  • blisters or painful ulcers in the genital area
  • pain during sex
  • difficulty or pain passing urine
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • feeling generally unwell (muscular aches, headache and fever)

Unprotected sex puts you at risk of infection. Only a condom can protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

This information was adapted from - Sexual health and contraceptive choices for young women with type 1 diabetes produced by Diabetes Victoria in conjunction with Western Health and Monash Health.