Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of having an STD (sexually transmitted disease.) Every year, there are around 20 million cases of them across the US. But did you know that STDs can impact men and women differently?
Each year, untreated STDs cause infertility in an estimated 24,000 women in the US. Untreated syphilis, for instance, can result in infant death in around 40% of cases. What’s worse, many women may not even show signs of an STD, or mistake their symptoms for something else.
If you suspect you have an STD, here’s what you need to do.
As previously mentioned, in some cases you may not show symptoms of an STD. If you are sexually active, the best thing you can do is to get regularly tested to make sure you are healthy, even if you don’t see or feel anything, and especially if you don’t practice safe sex regularly.
At the first sign that something’s wrong, you should call your doctor and book an appointment to get tested. It’s imperative to get checked out to see exactly what you are dealing with and receive proper treatment at the first signs. This will help the healing process tremendously.
Don’t be ashamed of your sexual history. The doctor is there to make sure you are healthy and safe, and not pass judgment on your private life. Don’t keep anything secret when you’re asked to fill in your sexual history, as the more information you provide, the more likely you’ll get a proper diagnosis.
Yes, this is an extremely uncomfortable situation, but you need to do it. If the result shows that you have an STD, then you should inform anyone you’ve had a recent sexual relationship with. If it’s an infection or something that cannot be transmitted through intercourse, your doctor will let you know, in which case you won’t have to go through this step.
But if it’s an STD, you will have to make this effort and talk openly to your partner about it, as they may require treatment as well.
STDs happen, and you should not feel shame about it. If you see any signs that something’s wrong, get in touch with your OBGYN at once to get tested.