Sexually Transmitted Diseases and You

The Center for Disease Control’s recent findings on sexually transmitted disease infection rates showed that sexually

active people of all ages continue to be at risk for infection. However, people ages 15-24 are especially susceptible as this age group acquires nearly half of all new STDs. Women are particularly vulnerable to infection, and nearly one in four sexually active women has an STD.

 

Young women are particularly vulnerable to STD infection because of the make-up of their cervixes. Women under the age of 25 have a specific type of cervical cell located on the outer surface of the cervix that is more susceptible to infection.

Additionally, young people may have a higher rate of infection for a variety of factors that include: lack of transportation to testing facilities, lack of funds to pay for testing, conflict between clinic times and school/work schedules, embarrassment or fear related to seeking STD testing, and concerns about confidentiality.

However, the CDC report shows alarming increases in the rates of infection among these age groups. In 2016, people ages 15-24 represented 63% of all reported Chlamydia cases in the U.S. Rates of gonorrhea infection increased 11.3% for people ages 15-19, and 10.9% for people ages 20-24. Women ages 20-24 had the highest rate of reported gonorrhea cases. In 15-19 year old females, the rate of syphilis infection increased 22.2%, while it increased 28.8% in females ages 20-24. Florida currently ranks 6th in the nation in rates of syphilis infection.

Options for Women is much more than just a pregnancy help clinic – we also provide limited STD testing, FREE of charge. STD testing is important for preserving a woman’s reproductive health. Untreated STD infections can spread throughout a woman’s reproductive system, leading to serious issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

If you believe you may be pregnant, STD testing is very important no matter what your decision may be for the future of the pregnancy. If you are pregnant and considering abortion, it is important to know if you have an STD and have it treated before undergoing any abortion procedure. If you are pregnant and at risk for an STD, and planning to continue the pregnancy, treatment is important to prevent serious health risks to the infant and damage to your reproductive system.

Even if you are in a committed relationship, you could still be susceptible to a sexually transmitted disease if you or your partner have had previous sexual relationships. Many STDs present with no initial symptoms, and can be passed on without even realizing you were infected. Any person in a sexual relationship, who has had more than one partner, or whose partner has had more than one partner, should have regular STD tests.

 

To schedule your FREE STD test, call Options for Women today at 863-393-6988 or email us at ofw@optionsforwomenphc.com.

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