Common STDs: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HPV

Most teens do not think they are at risk for an STD. However, the data on STDs is shocking. There are 19,000,000 new STD infections every year in the U.S. About half of that number is among teens and young adults ages 15-24.

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two common bacterial STDs. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the highest reported rates of Chlamydia and gonorrhea are among 15-19 year old females.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea symptoms are often mild, whereby they are often unnoticed. The symptoms could include an abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis, or pain and burning when urinating.

Antibiotics can cure Chlamydia and gonorrhea, but if they are not treated soon enough they create infections that can cause scarring in the reproductive tract. This could ultimately result in difficult or impossible for a woman to get pregnant. They could also cause an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy where pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies can be very dangerous.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause scarring making it impossible for men to get a woman pregnant naturally.

Note: Chlamydia and gonorrhea are also known to cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in women. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries. Sexually active women in their childbearing years are most at risk, and those under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than those older than 25. This is because the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured increasing their susceptibility to the STDS that are linked to PID

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD in the U.S. Over 50% of people who have sex will get HPV at some point in their lives. Many will get HPV while they are a teen because of choices they make with sexual activity.

There are approximately 100 strains of HPV. Many strains do not have symptoms and the body can fight them on without treatment. However, some kinds don’t go away and have persistent infections. HPV is the main risk factor for cervical cancer.

Some strains of HPV produce genital warts. The warts can be treated, but there is no medical cure, and often the warts once treated will return. It is unclear how well condoms protect against HPV, but skin that is not covered by a condom can be exposed and infected with HPV.

Females who are sexually active are strongly encouraged to have regular pap testing because of the risk of cervical cancer, or pre-cancerous cells on the cervix.

Vaccines are available for both males and females ages 9 to 26 (before becoming sexually active) that can help prevent the risk of acquiring some of the most threatening strains of HPV. It is important to note that the vaccine against HPV will not completely protect a person from getting cervical cancer or genital warts because there are some strains of the virus that are not included in the vaccine.

Comments

  1. when people have an STI, or an STD, it is because they were not willing to wait, this is why people are willing to wait, people who make fun of people who are still vergins, they are wrong, because people who still have their verginities, are at no risk of having an STD that is from him/her having sex, they could have it from their parent. People who don’t wait are very likely to geting STD, or STI’s. im not saying that i dont like them people, but i am just saying that before you make any big decison like that you really need to think about it before you say yes to it, it is a very big decision.

    • You are absolutely right! I lost my virginity to my boyfriend who then became my husband 6 months later. We are now going on 9 years of marriage with 2 children. I don’t regret waiting at all. First of all its the right thing to do in God’s eyes, and second, why would you want to share yourself with a person who may not even value what you have for him/her? I pity these kids today because abstinance is not taught at all and there are no adult role models out there for the youths today!….smh!

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