This may sound obvious but you only have one body to last you the rest of your life. The decisions you make now may affect the quality of your life and health long into the future. We want to take this space to discuss some of the risks of being sexually active that are often ignored or swept under the rug.
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, which can be contracted through any type of sexual activity. While many people look the other way at STDs (and some don't even know they have one), the statistics are staggering. Consider that in the 1960's the most common STDs were Syphilis and Gonorrhea, which were both treatable. Now, there are more than 25 major STDs, including many that have no cure.
Over 65 million Americans are now infected with an incurable STD. Each year, 29 million more become infected with STDs, and almost 4 million of these are teenagers.
STDs can be identified by the following common symptoms:
- unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- a burning feeling when urinating
- growths, sores or itching in the genital area
- lower abdominal pain
- dark urine
- skin rashes or sores
- yellow eyes
- joint inflammation and enlarged lymph nodes
It is important to understand that many STDs have no obvious symptoms, or only very mild symptoms, but they can still hurt you. It is critical to treat them as early as possible to avoid permanent damage. A Woman's Place is not a medical facility, and we cannot treat an STD, but we do offer FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL counseling and advice if you have been sexually active and think you might have an STD. We can also refer you to a medical professional if necessary.