Health & Fitness

The Truth About STDs and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

We are fortunate to live in a society that is more open and accepting of sex. However, we should also know that we are exposing ourselves to a dangerous health threat - STD. It is a silent and subtle disease that can afflict sexually active individuals of any race or age. STDs are known to cause heart disease, brain damage, or even cancer. Most of the time, STD doesn’t show any symptoms, which makes it scary and concerning.

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Here, we’ll discuss the truth about STDs and what you can do to protect yourself and your sexual partner.

STDs Can Cause Infertility if Left Untreated

One of the scary consequences of disregarding or not testing for a sexually transmitted disease is the possibility of infertility. In the US, more than 20,000 women become infertile each year due to undiagnosed STDs. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are commonly reported sexually transmitted infections but oftentimes, the symptoms surface during the late stages of the infection. 

As open as our society may be about sex, the stigma associated with sexually transmitted disease has not been fully eradicated yet. Thus, there are still people who are uncomfortable with face-to-face consultations and actual STD testing due to fear of negative sexual labels and stereotypes. Fortunately, there are online options for almost anything nowadays, and you can online test STD or suspected STD symptoms at any time. It gives you not just privacy, but more importantly, timely intervention through early detection of the disease. By presenting to your doctor the results of your online STD test, you will be provided effective treatment and medication to stop the infection from aggravating and affecting your fertility.

Many STDs Do Not Have Physical Symptoms

What makes STDs alarming is that they usually have no noticeable symptoms. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility in women, and some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to possible life-threatening cancers in both men and women. Sexually active women ages 24 and younger are more susceptible to chlamydia, and many of those who are infected do not know that they have the disease. Thus, annual screening for STDs is recommended for women and men as this is covered by the Affordable Care Act. Early detection is crucial for the successful treatment of chlamydia as antibiotics are more effective when applied during the early stages of the infection. Men and women should keep in mind that in STD, complacency and a false sense of safety can hinder the detection of STDs, and it pays to be cautious by having yourself regularly tested if you are sexually active.

Women are Impacted More Significantly by STD Than Men

Statistically, there is no significant disparity in the number of reported STD cases in men and women. However, when it comes to the impact of STD, women are more severely affected than men. Physically, women suffer more dangerous consequences from the disease, such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and cancer. Socially, the effects of gender-based double standards when it comes to sexual morality are adversely affecting women due to the stigma of being labeled as promiscuous, damaged, or vile if they are known to have STD. Women with multiple sexual partners are often treated with contempt, while for men, it isn’t even much of an issue. This is one truth that society should not unsee or disregard if it wants to promote true gender equality and improve its public health status.
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Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to STDs. Being sexually active is part of our social and sexual development, but we need to take precautions like practicing safe sex and getting screened and tested for STD. Being proactive about protecting yourself from STD also means you are being responsible and concerned for your sexual partner or partners as well.

Susan Harris

By Susan Harris

Susan Harris is the owner of Rooted Mama Health. She is the mother to two amazing children and wife of a loving husband. She strives to provide the world with all the information they need to live a happy and health lifestyle.