Practicing “safe sex” by using birth control only protects you from becoming pregnant. Birth control methods, such as IUDs or the implant, do not protect you from the risk of getting STDs. Therefore, it is important to add precautions beyond the realm of birth control to protect your body from contracting an STD. We have listed out 5 facts about STDs that are very important and not talked about enough.
STD Can Be More Common and Harmful for Women
It is the simple anatomical structure that makes women more susceptible to getting STDs and men more likely to transfer them. Also, STDs can have more detrimental effects on women versus men. Some STDs, if gone untreated, can cause severe inflammation and sometimes even infertility for women. Also, if a woman contracted syphilis or herpes while pregnant, these diseases could be deadly to the infant.
You Can Contract an STD Without Having Intercourse
STDs can easily, and are actually often, transmitted through oral sex since sexually transmitted infections are carried in semen and vaginal fluids. It is very important to take precautions before engaging in oral sex.
There is Not a Cure For All STDs
Unfortunately, not all STDs can be cured. They can, however, be treated. It is important to get tested regularly for STDs because an early diagnosis and early treatment can significantly lessen the severity of the STD’s effects on your health.
Not All STDs are Painful or Visible
Many times, STDs are present without any warning signs. Since all STDs don’t show evident symptoms, you should go to a gynecologist for a pap smear annually.
Condoms Don’t Prevent STDs 100% of the Time
It is a wise idea to use condoms to lower the chances of contracting an STD, but condoms are not a guarantee preventative of STDs. Essentially, you can never be fully protected from contracting an STD from a person who has one, but you should take all preventative measures to protect your health.
At A Step Ahead East Tennessee, we are dedicated to educating and helping women who need birth control resources but cannot afford them due to circumstance, lack of insurance, or financial need. Visit our website to learn more information about our services. If you would like to support A Step Ahead East Tennessee by volunteering or donating, visit the “Get Involved” tab on our website.