When it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there may not be any warning signs. If you can’t answer “yes” to the question: are you having safe sex? – then you need to know that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day worldwide. Much of this is preventable, and you can greatly reduce your chances of contracting an STI if you choose to practice safe sex all the time.
Maybe you haven’t been infected all this time, and you start to think it can’t happen to you, here are 4 STI facts you need to know.
Women Are More Susceptible Than Men
Women face higher vulnerability to infection than men because of their anatomy – it has nothing to do with promiscuity. It’s easier for men to transmit infections to women than the opposite.
The consequences of untreated STIs are worse for women than for men, as untreated chlamydia, for example, can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is where it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which may lead to chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
In addition, women can pass on STIs to their child if they become pregnant. In most instances, the bacteria that causes syphilis can pass from mother to child through the placenta, leading to congenital syphilis, a life-threatening condition.
STDs Are Treatable, but Not All Are Curable
Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial STIs such as like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. Insecticides can be used for pubic lice and scabies.
Though they can be managed, viral STIs, like herpes, hepatitis B, HIV, HPV, and genital warts, which are caused by HPV, are incurable.
Some STIs Are Asymptomatic
A number of sexually transmitted infections have no noticeable symptoms, the chances of you noticing that you or your partner are greatly diminished in this instance. Chlamydia often shown no symptoms, especially in women. Likewise, it can take 10 years or more for a person to develop HIV symptoms.
Condoms Play A Huge Role Against STIs
Aside from abstinence, condoms are the best protection against STIs. It goes without saying that you must use a new condom each time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a new partner, or in any situation outside of a monogamous relationship in which both partners have been tested for STIs.
Even partners who are in a monogamous relationship should exercise caution and may choose to use condoms to reduce the risk of transmitting asymptomatic STDs.
If you or your partner has any STD warning signs, or has had sex without a condom, visit your nearest clinic before you have sex. If you have had sex already, schedule an appointment at your nearest Marie Stopes Centre for more information about our services.