Real Alternatives is an organization dedicated to supporting women and families with a variety of issues related to pregnancy, parenting, and sexual activity. The Real Alternatives website, www.realalternatives.org, provides a wealth of information on sexually transmitted diseases.
The national epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect more than 19 million individuals throughout the United States, equating to over $16 billion in annual health costs. There are roughly two dozen distinct STDs a man or woman can contract, each with its own physiological or health effects.
There are a number of important facts individuals need to know when it comes to STD prevention and treatment. To start, STDs can be contracted by any sexually active person. While teenagers and young adults are most commonly diagnosed with STDs, individuals of any age or economic background can contract a disease following unprotected sexual intercourse.
Though symptoms of different STDs are often unnoticeable or infrequent, untreated STDs can escalate into serious, and sometimes fatal, health concerns. Women, for example, can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) as a result of untreated STDs, a condition that greatly increases the odds of infertility and can eventually become life threatening. Other STDs can increase a person’s chances of developing cancer.
The United Stated Center for Disease Control states that abstaining from oral, vaginal, and anal sex or to be in an a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, is the the only completely effective method of preventing STD contraction. For individuals who are already sexually active, they should immediately seek to be tested for STDs.
Those who are sexually active can immediately lower their chances of contracting a STD if they 1) start limiting the frequency of their sexual activity; 2) limit the number of sexual partners they have; and 3) postpone sexual involvement until they are in long-term relationship with someone with out a sexual transmitted disease.
To learn more about STD prevention and treatment, as well as take a quiz on STD risk, visit www.realalternatives.org.