Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections


Many people worry about the prospect of an unplanned pregnancy but may neglect to consider the real possibility of getting an infection. It’s hugely important to protect against STI’s and this can only be done with the use of a condom (either male or female) for all intimate sexual contact. Any sexual contact (anal, oral, digital) can transmit an STI so being a virgin does not mean you don’t have or can’t get an STI.

There are 25 different types of Sexually Transmitted Infections, which include chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea and pubic lice (which can be passed even when a condom is used).In the space of ten years, there has been a 700% increase in cases of Chlamydia in Ireland (Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), 2006). STIs are more commonly reported and particularly growing among 20-29 year olds (Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), 2006).

Many people with STI’s do not display symptoms. It is likely that you won’t even know you have one and yet it can have long term complications such as infertility and cancer. You can also pass it on despite having no symptoms. The symptoms which may or may not accompany STIs include:

  • abnormal discharge

  • irregular periods/staining

  • pain on passing urine

  • lower abdominal pain

  • an ulcer or wart on your genital skin

  • pain during intercourse

If you are sexually active you should have regular sexual health checks. You can make an appointment through your GP or at a GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) clinic (see details below).
Condoms are available for free from the Students’ Union Vice-President/ Welfare Office all year round.

What kind of STIs are there?

Sexually Transmitted Infections are split into three categories

Parasites: These are passed on through skin to skin contact and sometimes through contact with infected bedclothes. Examples include pubic lice (crabs)

Viral: These can only be treated, not cured. Hepatitis,HIV, Herpes all fall under the viral category. HPV (Genital warts) can lead to illnesses like cervical cancer. HIV can develop into AIDS – an illness that is fatal.

Bacterial: These are caused by bacteria. They are problematic but curable illnesses. In many instances these STIs display no symptoms. These bacterial STIs include Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.

For a more detailed description of these Sexually Transmitted Illnesses, click here

STI Testing

Facilities for STI testing are available in the following hospitals.


Genitourinary Medicine (STI) Clinic -Galway University Hospital
(091) 525200

We specialise in the diagnosis, treatment, partner notification and prevention of sexually transmitted infections/diseases (also called STIs or STDs).

Our service is discrete and free of charge.

Anyone can attend the clinic. We see people of all different age ranges, nationality, sexual orientation and backgrounds.

Who should attend the STI clinic?

It is important that you attend if you have any symptoms or signs of infection or if a partner of yours has been diagnosed with an infection. Symptoms in men include discomfort when passing urine, discharge and skin rashes in the genital skin. Similar symptoms can occur in women. In addition women can experience painful periods, bleeding between periods, painful intercourse and lower abdominal pain.

If you are otherwise concerned that you may have come into contact with a sexually transmitted infection but don’t have any symptoms it is a good idea to attend the clinic for a checkup.

What happens when I attend the clinic?

Initially, you will meet with a receptionist and then a health advisor.

You will be given a reference number which is unique to you. Please keep this number in a safe place for future attendances and to get results. There is often a delay to be seen by the doctor so please allow extra time for your visit and bring something to read if you like.

Next, you will be seen by a doctor. She/he will ask about any symptoms you may have and the reason for your visit. Personal questions related to your sexual health will be asked to assess your risk for infection and determine what tests need to be done. Your privacy and the sensitivity of these questions will be respected.

A genital examination is done and swabs are taken to test for common sexually acquired infections. A blood test is then usually done.

Health advisors and other staff are available to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Please ask to speak with a health advisor if you would like any further information in relation to STIs or safer sex. Health advisors will also help if you need to inform a partner about a STI. Literature on STIs and safer sex is also available in the clinic.

Results will usually be available within 2 weeks.


We offer appointments and also a walk-in service. It is important to note that there is a maximum quota that can be seen at a walk in service.

Please see schedule as follows:-




Monday Afternoon

STI  treatment screening and

review clinic

By appointment  only

Tuesday Morning

Vaccination clinic

By appointment only

Tuesday Afternoon

Results clinic


14:00 – 16:00


Attendance for results

14:00- 16:00 by appointment only

Wednesday Morning

‘Walk-In’* STI clinic

Doors open at 08:50*  (Arrive earlier as maximum quota that can be seen)

Wednesday Afternoon

STI review and

treatment clinic

By appointment only

Friday Morning

‘Walk-In’* STI clinic

Doors open at 08:50*  (Arrive earlier as maximum quota that can be seen)

Friday Afternoon

Results clinic


14:00 – 16:00


Attendance for results

14:00- 16:00 by appointment only

• Please note that the walk-in clinic operates on a “first come first served basis” with a maximum quota that can be seen at any one clinic. Please contact us prior to your visit should you need any further information.


We are located in a self-contained building to the left of the main Hospital. As you enter the hospital grounds (from the university side) take the first left. Follow signs for Genitourinary Medicine Clinic, Infectious Diseases and Hepatology. We are located to the front of the hospital grounds, in front of maternity services and directly across from the shops in Newcastle Road.

Please contact us should you need further directions or assistance.

TELEPHONE NO.: 091-525200

Ennis General Hospital
(061) 482382 (appointment only)
Monday: 10:00am – 1:00pm


Limerick Regional Hospital
(061) 482382 (appointment only)
Tuesday & Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:00pm – 5:00pm


Mayo General Hospital
Castlebar, Co. Mayo
(094) 9021733
Tuesday: 10:00am – 1:00pm

Sligo Regional Hospital
(071) 9170473
Tuesday: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Nenagh General Hospital
(061) 482382 (appointment only)
Wednesday: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Artice by
Chris Newell