What are sexually transmitted infections? 159
How to check for signs of STIs
If you are blind: When you wash your genitals, use your fingers to feel for any
unusual discharge, lumps or soreness. Do this once a week. If you do it every day, it
will be difficult for you to notice any changes.
If you have little or no hand control: If you are
unable to use your fingers to feel your genitals
for any changes, try to use a mirror to look for
them instead. If you cannot hold the mirror,
put it on the floor and crouch over it.
If you have a spinal cord injury: If you
can feel and look at your genitals, do this once
a week while you bathe. If you are unable to do this
yourself, ask someone you trust to help you. You will probably not be
able to feel if there is any pain in your belly or itching in your genitals.
But if you have an STI and it does not get treated early, you may get
dysreflexia. This is dangerous. See pages 117 to 119 for treatment.
If you have limited or no movement in your legs: If possible,
find a position in which you can either feel your genitals with
your fingers while you wash, or use a mirror to look at them.
If necessary, ask someone you trust to hold your legs steady.
Trichomonas is a very uncomfortable and itchy STI. Men usually do not have
any signs, but they can carry it in the penis and pass it to a woman during sex.
• gray or yellow, bubbly discharge
• bad-smelling discharge
• red and itchy genital area and vagina
• pain or burning when you pass urine
If you are able to get tested and know for certain you have trichomonas, take one
of the following medicines. If you cannot get tested, it is best to take the medicines
listed on page 162 because the infection may be caused by other STIs.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007