Lets talk about Shigella

Published: 31 July 2018 Tags: By Lauren Duffy

There has been a recent rise in cases of Shigella among men who have sex with men. If you’re not sure what Shigella is or how to protect yourself, read on!

  • Shigella is caused by bacteria found in poo (faeces) getting in your mouth – which means you can get shigella from rimming, oral sex, or putting your fingers in your mouth after handling used condoms, douches or sex toys
  • If you have Shigella, you may have an upset stomach including fever, stomach ache, and diarrhoea which might have blood in it. These symptoms can last for around a week.
  • To lower your risk, you can wash your hands, bum and genitals after sex. You could use a dental dams, condoms, and fisting gloves to protect you when having oral sex, fisting, and fingering
  • You should change condoms between partners, and between anal and oral sex, whether they’re on a penis, hands, or sex toys
  • Shigella is easily treated with a course of antibiotics so if you think you have Shigella, go to a sexual health (GUM) clinic or your GP and explain your symptoms, saying that you think you may have picked up an infection from sex