Stacey Solomon has a sexually transmitted infection
Stacey Solomon has a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The 'Loose Women' panellist was mortified to find she'd caught the Human papillomavirus infection (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer, from a mystery partner "a period of time ago" and, although there's no treatment for it, her body should naturally clear the virus from its system on its own after a while.
Speaking on the lunchtime show on Friday (14.10.16), she explained: "I just think the whole issue of finding out about your partner before you start engaging in sex is really important anyway because there's so many things that you don't know.
"For example, a period of time ago I was with somebody who I really liked, we ended up obviously doing the deed, I'm very prude [...] and I was actually really upset to find out that after that [sex] had happened that person told me they had HPV and it was a serious strain of HPV, which causes cervical cancer.
"So I then went and had a smear test [a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix] and found out that I contracted it [...] And I always practiced safe sex so I used condoms and I did all the things that I thought were the right things [...]
"So I have the infection and hopefully my body will get rid of it eventually but I have to go six-monthly for smears."
Although the blonde beauty felt "violated" at the time, she believes finding out she has the virus, of which there are over 100 strains, has made her even more vigilant.
She explained: "At the time I felt very violated and maybe it is a good thing, maybe it made me more cautious for the future and helped me raise awareness for other people."
The 27-year-old presenter - who has two children Zachary, eight, and Leighton, four, from two previous partners - is now in a happy relationship with Joe Swash, whom she's been dating for just under a year, but admitted to him at the beginning of their romance that she had the sexually transmitted infection.
She said: "I have to have regular Chlamydia checks and smear tests because even if you don't have these things but the person you're seeing or in a relationship with, you might not think they have them because are lot of these are symptomless. Just find out for yourself, make sure what's going on and if you meet somebody you can be responsible and say you know what, 'I had this previous' because it could ruin someone's life."
HPV is the name given for a group of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes lining the body.
Genital HPV infections, which are common, are highly contagious and are spread during sexual intercourse and skin-to-skin contact of the intimate area.
Some HPV strains show no symptoms and can go away on their own, but others can cause genital warts or cervical cancer.