Sexual Health

holdHandsThe choices you make today will impact your future!

If you are single and are sexually active, you are putting your body, and your future, at risk.

Are you using birth control? You can still get pregnant and may be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

– Statistics indicate that half of Americans will contract a STI at
some point in their life.

– Every year in the U.S. there are an estimated 19 million new infections.

– Nearly half of all new STI cases occur in people aged 15 to 24.

Many people who are infected with STIs do not experience any symptoms, so they may not know they’re infected, yet they can still pass them on to their partners.

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs)

Many people who are infected with STIs do not experience any symptoms, so they may not know they’re infected, yet they can still pass them on to their partners.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. Any sexually active person can be infected with Chlamydia, but the greater number of sex partners you have, the greater your risk of infection. Annual screening is recommended for sexually active women who are age 25 and under, as well as older women with risk factors.

In women, symptoms of Gonorrhea are often mild, but most women who are infected have no symptoms. Even when you have symptoms, they can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Untreated Gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems. Annual gonorrhea screening is recommended for at-risk sexually active women.

Since the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured, they are at particularly high risk for infection.

You may test negative for a suspected STI, but you wouldn’t know if you are infected with others. Untreated STIs can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, pregnancy complications, even death.

Anyone with the following symptoms should seek immediate testing and treatment.   

  • Vaginal pain or itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Painful urination
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Small red bumps or blisters in genital or mouth areas
  • Warts in genital areas including thighs
  • Bleeding between periods

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

Use the STD wizard to determine your risk for being infected with an STI

Get Tested Before Abortion

If you are considering abortion, it is important to know if you have an STI. Women who undergo an abortion with an untreated STI are more likely to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) following the abortion procedure. PID can lead to serious health issues including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, abscess formation and chronic pelvic pain. Make an appointment to talk to someone about your sexual health and to get a referral for testing if you need one. 

SAFE SEX

Safe sex is a myth and safer sex isn’t safe. You have another choice – abstinence. Abstinence is not outdated or old fashioned, but very wise. Sex can make things very complicated and messy, both physically and emotionally.
However, waiting for sex means:

  • Every month if you or your partner’s period is late, you are free of worry that you are pregnant or that you are responsible for someone else being pregnant.  Realizing that you could become a parent before you are ready can be very frightening. If you or your partner has irregular periods (which is not uncommon), you could be dealing with the stress of a ‘pregnancy scare’ quite frequently!
  • You have an extremely minimal chance of catching one of over 25 different sexually transmitted infections, many of which are incurable and can cause cancer. Being in great health is a reason to feel joyful and happy!
  • You know that your partner loves you FOR YOU, not your body. If he or she really loves you, they will be willing to wait for sex.

waiting

Abstinence

Don’t think of abstinence as not having sex. Instead, you’re waiting for the best possible sex, free of all of the problems that arise from sex outside of a lifelong relationship. If you are already sexually active, it’s never too late for a fresh start. Make an appointment to talk to someone about healthy relationships without sex.