What's the big Deal About Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases

 

So, what is the big deal about sexually transmitted infections and diseases?  And, what's the difference between the two?  These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same.  An STI is a sexually transmitted infection, and an STD is a sexually transmitted disease.  A sexually transmitted infection has not yet developed into a disease, but it is often the first step of a disease.  STI's often have NO symptoms.  See the information below, found on the Center for Disease Control's website:

  1. Chlamydia – Chlamydia can infect both men and women. You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia.  If your sex partner is male, you can still get chlamydia even if he does not ejaculate.  If you’ve had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can still get infected again. This can happen if you have unprotected sex with someone who has chlamydia.  If you are pregnant, you can give chlamydia to your baby during childbirth. Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have had sex with an infected partner. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system.  Some symptoms which can be noticed are  burning and pain when urinating, a discharge from the penis or vagina, rectal pain, discharge and bleeding.  
  2. Gonorrhea – Gonorrhea can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.  Many men and women have no symptoms at all; if they do, some of the symptoms are burning with urination, discharge from the vagina or penis, burning, bleeding, and pain in the rectum.  Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.  In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).  In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may cause a man to be sterile, preventing him from being able to father a child.  Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can also spread to your blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening.  Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.
  3. Trichomoniasis – Although symptoms vary, most people cannot tell they are infected. Trichomoniasis or "trich" is an STI caused by a parasite. The parasite is spread most often through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It is one of the most common STIs in the United States and affects more women than men. It is treated easily with antibiotics, but many women do not have symptoms. If left untreated, trichomoniasis can raise your risk of getting HIV.

The ONLY WAY to definitely avoid contracting an STI or an STD is abstinence.  As a matter of fact, read this statement from the CDC:  "The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex."  So, our last blog about true love waiting is vital to your sexual health.  

Many in this world will tell you there are "safer sex" methods.  However, the use of latex condoms does not constitute safe sex.  When you check the CDC, Planned Parenthood, and other "pro safer sex" websites, you'll see that they will even admit that because people are not perfect and will not use condoms correctly every single time, the effective rate is 85%.  That means 15 out of 100 people WILL either get pregnant or contract an STI or STD.  Those odds are NOT great.  

The lies being told are disturbing.  Just recently, a young girl came to our Clinic who had contracted chlamydia....not only once, but several times.  Her partner's view of the disease was alarming ... he simply said, "We'll take the antibiotics ... it's like having the common cold."  NO, it is NOT.  These infections and diseases can cause serious long-term physical problems.  Go back up and read what the CDC says about chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis  Also, condoms DO NOT protect from herpes, HPV, or the canker sores caused by syphilis. 

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Does True Love Really Wait?

We have always had a movement for abstinence.  It's gone by several names ... one most commonly known is "true love waits."  We live in a world that shouts "DON'T WAIT."  "YOU CAN'T WAIT."  "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO WAIT."  But, is that true?  Is it impossible to wait?  I recently heard a wonderful phrase by Roland Warren, President of CareNet, International.  As Roland was speaking on another subject, he used the term "bigotry of low expectations."  I believe we have fallen into the trap of the bigotry of low expectations.  Many years ago I was speaking with a school teacher in our area.  She explained to me she never wants to hear how her new students acted in the previous years.  She treated them as people who could meet "high expectations."  And do you know what?  Most of the time those students did meet those high expectations.  Because they were treated as people who were important and valued ... as an indiviudals who COULD achieve high goals.  

Is saving sex for marriage a high goal?  I'll shout it loud and clear:  YES!  IT IS!  Sex is a beautiful and natural act that was designed by a perfect Creator to bring us pleasure.  But, He designed it with guidelines.  There are guard rails we must put up.  Why?  Because we want for sex to remain beautiful and natural.  We don't want it to become common and impersonal.  We want to treasure it as precious, special and very personal.  Think about it ... have you ever had a garden you needed to guard from animals?  What did you do?  Many times we put a fence around that garden to protect it.  But, do you put  a fence around the weeds in your yard?  No!  Why?  Because they are common and destructive.  You only protect that which is priceless ... that which is treasured.  It is the same thing with sex.

But, why should I have it as a goal?  Why should I wait?  If everyone else is doing it, why should I be different?  What is so special about sex anyway?  Isn't is just a physical act?  Isn't is just an act to bring us pleasure?  I've heard the argument over and over that "it's the culture we live in."  However, I may live in the culture, but the culture is NOT to live in me.  I do grow weary of how we make our decisions based on the culture when God says:  "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."  (Romans 12:2) -- literally translated, that says "Don't let the world squeeze you into its mold...be squeezed into God's Word ...His Word shows you His will.  And His will for sexual purity is clear ... He gave us guard rails.

What are God's guard rails? 

  • Hebrews 13:4 -- "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled."
  • Matthew 19:4-6 -- " And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: --"18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the [a]immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 -- "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

So, spiritually speaking, God's Word says this ... the act of sexual intimacy is between one man and one woman ... who have been united together in marriage.  Everything outside of one man and one woman united in marriage is not sexual purity.  I know that is not a popular statement in the culture we live in .... but again ... I live in the culture ... the culture does not live in me.  

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Why Should I Schedule an Ultrasound Before Making a Decision About Abortion?

 

Are you pregnant and unsure about what to do?  Are you confused about all the options you have?  Here at Life Options Clinic, we encourage all expectant mothers to book an ultrasound appointment even if they are planning to have an abortion. Some organizations will tell you that an ultrasound is not necessary, but we want to share with you why we believe it is important for you to do so.

1. HOW FAR ALONG IN THE PREGNANCY ARE YOU?

It is important to know how far along you are in your pregnancy, and an ultrasound will help determine an accurate gestational age of your baby.  This is important to know no matter what option you are leaning towards.  If you are thinking of having an abortion, there are different procedures depending on the gestational age of your baby.  If you are leaning towards parenting or making an adoption plan, it is important that you begin getting medical care as soon as possible for a healthy pregnancy.

2. IS THIS A VIABLE PREGNANCY? 

An ultrasound will also help determine if your pregnancy is viable or, in other words, if the heartbeat is present. Additionally, an ultrasound also helps determine the chances of a miscarriage occurring. Studies show that approximately 20 percent of pregnancies under 10 weeks end in miscarriage.

Therefore, why schedule an abortion if you don’t necessarily need one?Whether you are planning to have an abortion or not, it is always important to know if your pregnancy is viable and if you are prone to miscarriage.

*(Note: Even if you are prone to miscarriage, you still need to seek medical attention).

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The Daddy Impact

You've just been told your partner is pregnant.  What emotions and thoughts are running through your mind right now?   "I'm too young to be a dad!"  "I can't financially or emotionally support my partner or a new baby."  "How do we tell our parents and friends about this?"  All of these thoughts, these questions, are normal.  Your world has just been changed.  Excitement, worry, doubts and fears are all a part of the process of discovering you're about to be a parent.  But, you are not alone!  We understand here at Life Options Clinic!

For the obvious reasons, a pregnancy is different for a man than a woman.  However, you are both responsible for this new life.  Your involvement as a father is so important.  And, although we do understand that your partner has the legal right to choose whether she will carry the baby, or seek an abortion, even without your consent, this doesn't mean that you do not have any choices.  

Your involvement in throughout the pregnancy and into your child's life is vital.  Just look at the information below to understand the significance of fatherhood.

 

You may have had a wonderful relationship with your dad.  Think about the positive impact that had in your life.  Don't you want to have that same impact on the life of your child?  Or, maybe you didn't have a loving, supportive father.  Then, think about the negative impact that has had in your life.  You can change the outcome for your child.  

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What is an "LMP" and why Does it Matter?

 

What is an LMP and why does it matter?

"LMP" means "last menstrual period."  When you are making an appointment with any medical office to see if you can get confirmation of a pregnancy, you will generally be asked about your LMP.  If you know the starting date of your LMP, it can help the office to have a general idea of when you conceived. The menstrual cycle is the monthly series of changes a woman's body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. Each month, one of the ovaries releases an egg — a process called ovulation. At the same time, hormonal changes prepare the uterus for pregnancy. ... This is a menstrual period.

According to womenshealth.gov, "the typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but each woman is different.  Also, a woman’s menstrual cycle length might be different from month-to-month. Your periods are still “regular” if they usually come every 24 to 38 days.  This means that the time from the first day of your last period up to the start of your next period is at least 24 days but not more than 38 days."  

Since the typical menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days, and ovulation occurs around day 14, if you know the date of your LMP, then the health care provider can estimate the date of conception, and can then estimate your due date.  

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Why Make an Appointment at Life Options Clinic? What Are My Options?

 
 Why Make an Appointment at Life Options Clinic?  What Are My Options?

Facing a new pregnancy ... whether unplanned or even a planned pregnancy, can be a time of uncertainty, and even fear.  You may be feeling overwhelmed and even alone.  We want you to know, you are not alone.  We know it can be hard to process the news, and it may be hard to even try to make a decision on how you should move forward.  We want to encourage you not to feel panic not to rush into making a decision.  It is important to give yourself plenty of time to first process, and then to think through and learn all you can before you make any decision.

Making an appointment at Life Options Clinic is a good first step.  When you come in, we will talk with you about your circumstances, your goals and dreams, your current feelings about your pregnancy ... and then we will walk you through each option so that you will have accurate information to move forward in the decision you need to make.  Everything we do at Life Options Clinic is free and confidential. 

You basically have three options:

Parenting

The first option is parenting.  We do understand that this can be scary ... you may be facing a situation that makes parenting seem impossible for you, but thankfully, there are so many programs and resources available that can help.  You may have more questions than answers about parenting.  We've talked to hundreds of clients who are concerned about things like this:

  1. My partner doesn't want the baby, but I do ... I'm all alone
  2. How will I finish school?
  3. How will I continue working?
  4. Where will I live?
  5. I don't have medical insurance
  6. I can't afford a child
  7. I'm too young
  8. I don't have any parenting skills
    • How do I change a diaper?
    • How do I feed my baby?
    • What happens if my baby gets sick? 

At Life Options Clinic, we can talk with you about your specific situation and see what would be most helpful to you. We offer an education program, called Life University, to help you feel as prepared as possible to parent.   When you participate in our education classes, you earn "Baby Bucks" for each class you take.  You can then spend those baby bucks in our Baby Boutique to help you with the material resources you are going to need.

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