It’s something that affects almost all adults, yet it’s an issue many people are too embarrassed to even speak to their partners about. Looking after your sexual health is one of the most important aspects of personal care, and if it’s not done properly, then it can lead to complications of all varieties further down the line, including harming your ability to have kids and spreading poor sexual health among those with whom you have intercourse. There are all kinds of consequences if this important aspect of your health is not looked after. And with one in two sexually active Americans believed to contract a sexual health condition by the age of 25, it’s clear that this is a problem that’s not going away.
One of the main risks to your health if you contract STDs is that they can cause you to become unable to bear children – a serious risk, and one that can have long-lasting effects for the rest of your life. For women, a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea can cause the fallopian tubes to become scarred, which can later cause ectopic pregnancies, a phenomenon where the egg can’t reach the uterus and develop properly.
And for men, some STDs can lead to lower quality sperm. This, in turn, can make it difficult for a man to help his partner get pregnant. Given that only 12% of young people are believed to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases each year despite the serious consequences, it’s clearly more important than ever to spread the messages of good sexual health.
The risk of complications
Some sexually transmitted diseases can be easily fixed. Chlamydia, for example, is often treated with antibiotics, and it can take just one round to get fully cured. However, other conditions require a lot more treatment, and in some cases, you may have to go on medication for life. While the prognosis for those who contract human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is excellent these days thanks to modern medical technology, it’s still the case that treatment packages are comprehensive and may even include one daily pill for the rest of your life.
And no matter how much treatment you might or might not need to take, the risk of complications persists for every sexually transmitted disease. Some STIs, for example, can put women at risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, and this in turn can cause pain, vaginal discharges and more. Heading to see a medical professional should be done promptly. And whether you’re in Raleigh NC or Richmond VA, all it takes to find a clinic is typing “STD testing near me” near into a search engine and you’ll be on your way.
Responsibility to others
As well as looking out for yourself, taking care of your sexual health is also important because of the impact it can have on others. If you are sleeping with other people, using protection is essential – especially if you haven’t been to the sexual health clinic recently. Even if you think you’re clean, it’s worth taking the small steps needed to be fully protected – otherwise you could be responsible for a transmission.
There are lots of ways you can act to prevent transmission to others, and these depend on a range of factors such as what exact condition you experience. For people who have HIV, for example, the marvels of modern technology mean that they can take a drug that makes their viral loads undetectable. This makes the patient in effect unable to pass on his or her condition to others. So if you are HIV positive, it’s well worth considering asking your physician about this drug. More generally, it’s wise to use items such as condoms and dental dams to prevent transmission.
Whether it’s practicing safe sex techniques such as condom use or going to the doctor if anything looks or feels unusual, there are lots of ways you can look after your sexual health without compromising on a good sex life. As a general rule, prevention is the best cure – so it’s wise to make sure you’re fully informed on how to stay ahead of STDs. But if you find that you do need to get examined, you should never be embarrassed to visit to your physician. By giving up any unnecessary guilty feelings and focusing on getting better, you’ll be looking out not just for yourself but also for others and helping to create a healthier world.