Last updated: September, 22nd 2020
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 million new STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease) are recorded every year. Infections associated with poor sexual health are often the result of limited sexual health awareness on safe sex and proper hygiene.
Although most infections are considerably treatable, there is no doubt that symptoms that come therein cause severe discomfort and can potentially escalate into a more complicated medical condition. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Hence, it is vital to improve our sexual health awareness that could warrant robust sexual health.
Here are 10 things that you may not know about your sexual health that could save you from developing STDs.
1 – A condom can’t protect you 100%.
Condoms are highly recommended as an effective means of protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infections and of course to prevent pregnancy. Latex condoms in particular are known to reduce the risks of developing infections that channel through genital fluids. However, using condoms especially in an inconsistent and incorrect manner does not guarantee absolute protection.
Pathogens that cause STDs and other infections can still come in contact in areas that are not covered by the condom. Proper hygiene, abstinence, and regular testing for STDs can make it up to the condom’s shortcomings.
2 – It’s not only intercourse that puts you at risk.
It is important to understand that any genital contact can spread an infection. Vaginal intercourse is not the only source of developing STDs. Exposure to genital fluids and skin to skin contact are common modes of transmission for STD pathogens.
Many sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, can also be transmitted through oral sex or anal sex. Additionally, withdrawing before ejaculation does not prevent STDs as causative microorganisms can be transferred through skin to skin contact.
3 – Most STDs have no symptoms.
The majority of people who are diagnosed with STD do not observe any related symptoms at all. In the event that symptoms do appear, they easily confuse their condition with flu or non-sexual diseases. STDs that can be asymptomatic include gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, herpes, and trichomoniasis.
This is critically why STDs are transferred to others unconsciously, consequently, endangering the health of others. In this sense, the only way to be absolutely sure that you are healthy, especially if you are sexually active, is to get tested, symptoms, or no symptoms.
4 – You don’t need to see a doctor to get tested for STDs.
One of the drawbacks of suspecting STD is the fear of divulging your condition in public the moment you set an appointment with your gynecologist or healthcare provider. This is why some individuals would rather suffer in silence than seek immediate treatment.
Fortunately, the first step to treatment is accessible by a click of a button. Getting tested for STDs can be completed through PersonaLabs’ readily-available tests and panels. Likewise, you will also be referred to a doctor and be given the right prescription for your condition. All these steps happen with full confidentiality as your information is guaranteed safe.
5 – If you’re pregnant, you should be tested.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Protection (CDC) recommends that every woman get tested for STDs as part of her prenatal examinations. Because STDs can cause serious harm to infants, even if a woman has been tested in the past, she should be tested again when she becomes pregnant.
STDs such as chlamydia, genital herpes, and gonorrhea can be passed to an infant during delivery through an infected cervix. Other serious infections that include HIV and syphilis can be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
6 – Chlamydia can lead to sterility.
STDs in general should not be taken too lightly. Chlamydia for example can cause serious damage in your fertility and jeopardize your chances to conceive a child.
With a single Chlamydia infection, there is a 25% chance of sterility for women due to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The second time, it goes up to 50%. A third Chlamydia infection almost guarantees sterility.
7 – Hepatitis can be sexually transmitted.
Hepatitis is characterized by the inflammation of the liver. Hence, there was a misconception that it had nothing to do with sexual health. This infection can be caused by different types of hepatitis viruses and one of which is the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Hepatitis B is 50-100 times more infectious than HIV. It is easily acquired through sexual activity especially in the absence of any protection.
8 – HIV + AIDS are not “old news.”
While medical advancements over the past 30 years mean that AIDS is no longer a death sentence – and HIV doesn’t always lead to AIDS – about 50,000 people in the U.S. are newly infected with HIV each year. In some areas, it’s actually on the rise.
The plethora of information about HIV and AIDS have somehow provided an era of complacence to a lot of people. However, it is important to acknowledge that HIV has not been extinguished yet, hence, the chances of getting the virus and developing AIDS is still relatively high. You can order HIV/AIDS testing online with Personalabs.
9 – If you’ve got an STD, you’re far more susceptible to HIV.
Studies have shown that STDs causing inflammation in the genital area will most likely provoke HIV infection as opposed to a simple skin to skin contact during intercourse. STDs also appear to increase the risk of an HIV-infected person transmitting the virus to partners.
In addition to this, it is also noteworthy to understand that the common grounds between acquiring STDs and developing HIV infection are the behaviors and practices applied during sexual activities such as engaging in multiple partners and not using any protection.
Women with STDs are at even greater risk. This has something to do with the general anatomy of the female genitals and that many STDs affecting women are asymptomatic.
10 – You can secure a private STD test.
If you have had sexual activity with someone who has STD or perhaps you have observed associated symptoms, getting tested should not be something that you have to worry about anymore.
With PersonaLabs, you can simply order a test, take it at the comfort and privacy of your own home, send your samples for analysis, and wait for your results.
If the infection is confirmed, you can acquire the appropriate prescription as ordered by a referred doctor without experiencing the fear or discomfort of exposing your condition in public.
In a Nutshell
The fact that STD cases seem to grow exponentially every year suggests that sexual health awareness should not be taken for granted. Knowing more about safe sex and basic information of known sexually transmitted diseases is essential to guard you against developing an infection.
Likewise, getting tested regularly translates to diagnosis at an early and easily treatable stage. If you are sexually active, STD tests should be a part of your routine checkup.
There may have been a time when getting tested for STD was a challenging endeavor that comes with judgment, discomfort, and sheer anxiety. The good news is, we are not living in those times anymore. STD tests are not as complicated as they used to be. You can simply order an STD test online at PersonaLabs.
At Personalabs we have strive to make lab tests and health information affordable and accessible. You don’t need insurance or a huge income to get the medical answers you need. The process is completely confidential. Positive results can be taken to a healthcare provider.