What should I do to prevent STIs?

• You may not want to think that the person you like has a disease, but to prevent being infected or infecting a sexual partner, always use a condom when having sex.

• In addition to condoms, other ways that provide even better protection against STIs include not having sex with people other than one person you are committed to and not having direct oral sex.

• You may have been infected with an STI without your knowing.It is recommended that. Before having sex with a new partner for the first time, if you and your partner both get tested for STIs, you won’t infect the person you love without knowing it, and you can also have your own STI treated.

• Please note that the pill is for contraception, so even if you are on the pill, it will not prevent STIs.

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Column: Cervical Cancer and Cervical Cancer Screening in Japan

• Cervical cancer is a cancer affecting women that occurs around the entry to the uterus (the cervix).
• It is caused by infection with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
• Cervical cancer is a disease that can affect any woman.This virus is mainly transmitted by sexual intercourse.It is a very common virus, and it is said that any woman who has had sex, even just once, has the potential to be infected.
• If the cervix has been infected with the virus, it will take many years for cancer to develop.The virus stays there the whole time, slowly changing into cancer, but you will not know before or immediately after the cancer is formed.
• Cervical cancer is a disease that can be prevented.There is a vaccine that ensures that the virus does not take up residence in the cervix. This vaccine is given before having sexual intercourse for the first time, in other words, before the virus enters the body. However, the vaccine cannot 100% prevent it.Even after being vaccinated, it is important to have regular checks.
• Even if you have had sex before having the vaccine, with regular tests and checks of the cervix, cancer or the early signs of cancer can be detected early and treated with an almost 100% success rate.
• Regular checks of the cervix by a doctor is called “cervical cancer screening.” In Japan, cervical cancer screening is conducted by your local municipal office.It is provided for free or for a very low cost (about ¥500)It is available for women aged 20 years and over (once every two years).

When cervical cancer screening is conducted and how to request it is decided by your local municipal office.Ask at the municipal office, public health office, or public health center in the city, town, or village where you live.

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Column: What kinds of places are the OB-GYN and urology departments?
The urology department is a place where you can seek advice about anything to do with the male body.
When should I consult the urology department?
For when ...
•Your genitals are stinging. •Your genitals are swollen. • Your genitals develop a rash. • A pus-like mucus comes out of your genitals. • Your underwear has unusual stains. • You feel strange sensations (stinging, hot) when you pee. • There is itchiness around your genitals.
The urology department will test your urine.They will also ask you if you have been to an establishment where you pay money for sex or if you have had sex with someone other than your partner and if so, when that was. The doctor will not tell anyone else whatever you reveal to them.This is important information that the doctor uses to think about what your condition may be, so speak honestly, without keeping anything secret.The doctor may also examine your genitals.Agree to be examined without feeling embarrassed.
The OB-GYN department is a place where you can seek advice about anything to do with the female body.
When should I go see a doctor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology?
For when ...

Menstruation:  Your periods have stopped, your menstrual cycle is irregular,
or you experience severe period pain
Vaginal discharge: There is more vaginal discharge than usual or when the discharge has a concerning odor or color
Abnormal bleeding: You bleed at times other than your period, or you bleed when you have sex
Pain: You experience pain in the lower abdomen at times other than your period, it hurts when you go to the toilet or when you have sex, your lower back hurts with the smallest movement, or you have a dull, persistent ache in your lower abdomen.
• Swelling: Your abdomen feels tight, you have trouble peeing or pooing, you need to pee frequently, or you feel as if you have gained weight
External genitalia: You have some kind of growth, itchiness, or pain in the area where pee and menstrual blood comes out.
At your first history taking, you may be asked about your sexual experience. There is no need to be embarrassed. Answer honestly. If you have never had sex, the doctor will take special care when examining your genitals. The fee for your first consultation will be about ¥5,000. Instead of saying, ‘I don’t have any money, so I won’t go to the OB-GYN department,’ say, ‘Please examine me for the money that I have today.’This has the kinds of things you will be asked by the OB-GYN department, so it would be a good idea to check it before going.

Questions Asked by OB-GYN in Japan (English)

If you have a sexually transmitted disease, you must get tested with your partner to treat the disease together if necessary.
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