Sex is a normal and healthy part of life. It’s the way we express how we feel toward one another, have fun and release pent up energy. However, with sex comes the responsibility of safe sex. When we let our emotions or hormones get the best of us and throw safe sex out the door, we risk the dangers of unprotected sex. Unprotected sex includes vaginal, anal and oral sex without the use of a condom. Anytime bodily fluid like semen or blood passes between partners you are at risks. The most obvious danger of unprotected sex is an unwanted pregnancy. With unwanted pregnancy comes the emotional turmoil and decisions that now have to be made as to whether to keep the child, put it up for adoption or abort it. Not to mention the medical expenses that come with it.
In addition to pregnancy, there is also the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The increase in STD rates is alarming. According to the Center for Disease Control, for the fourth year in a row, the United States has seen a noticeable increase in sexually transmitted diseases. An estimated 2.3 million new cases were reported in 2017. Of these cases Syphilis more than doubled, Gonorrhea went up by 67% and Chlamydia continued to rise. Men who have sex with other men and those with multiple sex partners are the highest at risk for catching an STD. Over 70% of Syphilis cases were men to men sexual relationships.
STDs have become known as the “Hidden Epidemic”. Why a hidden epidemic? It is not uncommon for one to have an asymptomatic STD. One can be infected and have no symptoms for months or years after catching the disease. This means you or your partner could unknowingly pass along an infection. These infections can lead to long term health issues such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants or increase in HIV risk, if not treated. Most STDs are curable or have a treatment that can keep the disease at bay if treated in time. With asymptomatic STDs, the only surefire way to know that you are your partner are not infected is to be tested. If you are sexually active, it is recommended that you get tested every three to twelve months. Additionally, sexually active adults should test for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis once a year. You can find locations near you here.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa- I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same-day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.