For many, getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause anxiety and be embarrassing. For others, it is a necessary relief to finally be able to come up “negative” or put a name to symptoms and get the proper treatment. If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is important. That’s because many STDs lay dormant for years, or present symptoms as other conditions. And the longer an STD goes untreated, the more problems it will cause. Here are some long-term effects of untreated STDs.
Flare-ups and Sores
STDs like herpes and syphilis can result in sores and flare-ups. For example, syphilis and herpes can cause sores around the penis, vagina, anus, or in the rectum, on the lips, or in the mouth. These can be painful, unsightly, and naturally, contagious.
Damage to the Reproductive System
Many STD can damage the reproductive system. For example, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. And, while preventable, left untreated about 10-15 percent of women with chlamydia will develop PID. Chlamydia can also permanently damage fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues; this is can cause infertility. Gonorrhea can cause lead to PID and infertility.
Health of a Newborn
Some STDs can actually be passed from the mother to the newborn. For instance, left untreated, syphilis can be passed to the baby in the uterus. This can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, or the baby being born with syphilis. Having chlamydia may also make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.
Higher Risk of HIV
If you are sexually active with multiple partners and do not use proper protection, your risk of HIV and other STDs increases, not just for you, but for your partner(s). And, while HIV is not only transmitted via sexual activity – consider the case of sharing needles – having an STD such as herpes and genital ulcer diseases makes it easier to contract HIV through exposure through open sores.
Whether it’s concern for your partner’s health, or maintaining multiple partners, having an STD can affect your relationship(s). Oftentimes, partners who have contracted STDs find it difficult to admit that they might have strayed, or, to admit to a great relationship they are infected. Either way, honesty is imperative as soon as you suspect there could be a health concern. It may be difficult to discuss with your partner, but it is more important to ensure your partner stays healthy and safe. It’s just as important for your partner to get tested as it is for you.
While most medical conditions do not impact employment status, STDs may be different. For example, certain STDs may preclude you from enlisting in the military or working in healthcare or public safety fields.
Remember, many STDs are curable but only with early detection and proper management. If you feel you may be at risk of having or contracting an STD, be sure to ask your doctor to get tested before the problem becomes harder to manage.
A supportive and experienced team of medical professionals can make discussing and treating women’s health care issues a lot easier. The professionals at Unique Wellness Center offer expert care in gynecology, obstetrics, aesthetics, and wellness services and would love to be a part of your healthcare team. Call 954-368-9656 to make an appointment today. You can also request an appointment online.