Are You Protecting Yourself From STDs?

It’s easy to pretend that STDs will never impact your life, but the truth is that STDs are fairly common. In fact, the rates of the three most common STDS – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – reached a record high level in 2015. Are you doing everything you can to protect yourself from STDs?

What Should You Know About STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases don’t discriminate. As long as you are sexually active, you are at risk of contracting an STD. Even people with only one or two sexual partners can contract an STD without knowing it.

The good news is that most STDs are simple to treat if diagnosed early and treated immediately. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, for instance, are merely infections that can be killed with a round of antibiotic medication.

Use Condoms

Consistent use of male latex condoms is a highly effective way to reduce STD transmission, but it must be used during any form of sex. It is important to know that condoms cannot provide absolute protection, especially if you do not know the history or risk of your sexual partner. However, studies do show that latex condoms provide an effective barrier against STD pathogens.

Mutual Monogamy

If you are in a long-term committed relationship, you and your partner should both be tested for STDs. Once it is confirmed that you and your partner are both unaffected by STDs, your mutually monogamous relationship will help both of you avoid STDs.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are proven to safely and effectively prevent certain STDs. Vaccines are currently available for hepatitis B and HPV:

  • The HPV vaccine Gardasil prevents infection of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) that plays a leading role in causing cervical cancer and genital warts. Children aged 11 or 12 should get two HPV shots about 6 to 12 months apart. If this vaccine is not received early, it is recommended for women up to age 26 and young men up to age 21.
  • The hepatitis B vaccine is a routine childhood vaccine, but you should receive it as an adult if it was skipped when you were younger.

To have yourself tested for STDs or learn more about the best prevention options for your lifestyle, call (813) 571-2777 to make an appointment at Women’s Health and Wellness in Brandon or Riverview, Florida.