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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Here at Life Options Clinic we care about you … we care about your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Starting in March of 2020 we will be offering FREE STI testing and treatment for the three infections listed above. It is important to be tested if you are having sex right now … remember, very seldom will you have any symptoms, so the sooner you find out and get treatment, the better is will be for you.
Call us at 983-2730 if you would like to come in and talk. We’ll listen with compassion and grace.