'When my GP said I had pubic lice, I was revolted' 

Elise Houghton had pubic lice when she was 17.

"I had gone on holiday with some girlfriends for the summer and had been away for about a week when I started getting symptoms. I was really itchy around the pubic area and had a bit of a rash. At first, I didn't think anything of it, but after a few days the itching got worse. I couldn't work out what was wrong, but a friend suggested I go to the doctor. 

"It was really embarrassing going to the doctor, and when she said it was pubic lice I felt revolted. The thought of them turned my stomach and it made me feel really dirty.

"The doctor told me how they were passed on through sexual contact and I realised I must have got them from someone I'd had a short fling with just before I left to go on holiday. It made me feel a bit sick.

"I was given special cream to kill the lice and their eggs, and I had to do two treatments. It was quite difficult keeping it quiet from my friends, but I didn't really want them to know. I felt so embarrassed about it. I was still itching after treatment and I was really worried that it hadn't worked, but when I went back to the doctor, she said that was normal and it would calm down, which it did. 

"Catching pubic lice made me much more careful about my sexual health. When I got home from holiday, I went to a sexual health clinic and had a full check-up. I was worried that if I had caught pubic lice, I could have caught something else.

"Thankfully, I got the all-clear, but since then I have become much more careful."

Page last reviewed: 15/04/2014

Next review due: 15/04/2016