Skip to content

For women with diabetes

Sexually transmitted infections

Unprotected sexual contact puts you at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The more partners you have, the greater the risk.

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of an STI may be:

  • unusual vaginal discharge
  • ulcers, blisters or itching in the genital area
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • pain or irritation during sex

Not all STIs have obvious symptoms. You may have no symptoms or just general signs of being unwell such as headache, muscle ache and fever.


STIs need to be treated immediately to reduce the risk of complications, which can include infertility. Most STIs can be easily treated.


Using a condom is the best protection against an STI. Condoms are best used in combination with another form of contraception to reduce your risk of an unplanned pregnancy.   

For women with diabetes

Like any infection, an STI may increase blood glucose levels in women with diabetes. If you have unexplained high blood glucose levels and think that you might have an STI, see your doctor as soon as possible.

Related resource

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

Learn about the artwork