How STD's Affect Women Differently Than Men
4/2/2013 12:14:00 PM
Having sex? If so chances are you may have something along with it. Believe it or not, according to the CDC ,over 110 million Americans are currently infected with some kind of an STD, as of 2008. And more than 70% of that number is due to HPV. If you’re like, “I use protection!” Well, even with that , there are still some STD’s that can happen regardless of barriers. But safer sex is better than none at all! That’s why testing is a mandate before you decide to give it up. And women, it’s imperative we protect our bodies. The survey also showed that 9 million more women have STDs than men. Seems unfair, right? Why? It has to do with our anatomy sistas. The CDC points out some ways STD’s affect women differently from men:
1) Our anatomy. A woman’s anatomy can place her at a unique risk for STD infection, compared to a man. The lining our woman part is thinner and more delicate than the skin on a man’s parts, so it’s easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate. Plus, the “v jay” is a good environment (moist) for bacteria to grow.
2) Symptoms. Women are less likely to have symptoms of common STD's — such as chlamydia and gonorrhea — compared to men. If symptoms do occur, they can go away even though the infection may remain.
3)Women are more likely to confuse symptoms of an STD for something else. Women may mistake an STD for a yeast infection Men usually notice symptoms like discharge because it is unusual.
4) Visible symptoms. Women may not see symptoms as easily as men. Genital ulcers (like from herpes or syphilis) can occur inside women and may not be easily visible, while men may be more likely to notice sores on their manhood.
5) STDs can lead to serious health complications and affect a woman’s future reproductive plans. Untreated STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia (one of the most common STDs) results in few complications for men
6) Pregnancy. Women who are pregnant can pass STDs to their babies. Genital herpes, syphilis and HIV can be passed to babies during pregnancy and at delivery. The harmful effects of STDs in babies may include stillbirth (a baby that is born dead), low birth weight (less than five pounds), brain damage, blindness and deafness.
7) Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in women, and is the main cause of cervical cancer. While HPV is also very common in men, most don’t develop serious problems.
Sounds all bad for us, right? It’s not the best news but don’t be discouraged. There are some good things about us women. For instance, the CDC points out women typically see their doctor more often than men. Use your appointments to get screened and ask questions. Be honest about your sex life, too. Even if you don’t feel the best about it, honesty can help you be healthy. And don’t assume you get tested for everything. For example, you must request an HIV test if it’s not offered by your doc. Some think whenever you get blood drawn it’s tested but that’s not so. Plus, statistics reveal that women are eight times more likely to contract HIV from their male partners than the other way around.
Look, even if you are in a committed relationship, get tested for STD’s and HIV – especially if you are taking your relationship to an even greater level. So before you get the ring, get the test and it’s results. More people are choosing to abstain until marriage -which is a safe bet – but even then, when you meet “the One”, make sure they also get swabbed and screened so you can have peace of mind before your vows. What if you are not waiting until “I do”? Make sure you protect yourself in every act every time. All is takes is once to catch an STD – and some do not go away. Remember, the best sex is safer sex.