What Is It?
Salmonella and Shigella are bacteria that thrive in the gut (stomach and colon).
Salmonella and Shigella can cause stomach cramps, wind/flatulence and diarrhoea.
Any sexual activity that could involve contact with faeces, has the potential to transmit these bacteria.
Any form of penetrative sex could lead to transmission if faeces, gets from someone’s penis or hand to someone else’s mouth.
The most common route of transmission is direct mouth to anus contact (rimming).
There are of course other non-sexual sources of salmonella such as contaminated food items.
Barriers such as glyde dams, gloves, condoms and female condoms can be used during all forms of sexual activity to reduce the risk of transmission.
Wash thoroughly after any sexual activity involving anal play and take care not to bite your fingernails if they are dirty.
If you don’t want to use barriers when rimming you should take care to avoid rimming or anal play if you, or your sexual partner, has any kind of gut problem until it has cleared up.
If you have a regular sexual partner(s), they may also require treatment, as they are likely to be infected even if they do not have symptoms.
Remember – Regular screening at your local STI clinic is recommended to maintain your sexual health.
Treatment for both salmonellosis and shigellosis is usually a course of antibiotics which, as usual, it is important to complete.