For Sexual Health Awareness Week, let’s take a look at why sexual health is so important, and what we can do to be sexually healthy.
What are some common STI’s?
Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea
Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most common infections in the UK and if left untreated, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women and, in due course, infertility. One in ten people under 25 is infected with Chlamydia, despite it being easily treated.
Pubic Lice are little creatures that are often too small to see but make the pubic area itchy. Lice spread through sexual contact and even through sharing beds.
General Herpes can be characterised by weeping blisters around the genital area. There is no cure to the condition, but it can be managed with anti-viral medication.
Hepatitis has many different strains and so is often characterised as either acute of chronic. Depending on the stain, most people respond well to treatment and will not experience long-term damage. However, some strains can be very serious and can shorter your lifespan.
HIV and AIDS
HIV is the virus that eventually leads to AIDS, the point when someone’s immune system is so damaged by the virus that it can no longer cope, making the patient vulnerable to infections. It is uncommon for HIV to progress to AIDS today because of the excellent treatment available. However, early diagnosis is key to prolonging life with effective treatments.
Syphilis was once thought to be nearly eradicated but is now on the rise. During the early stages, Syphilis can be easily cured. However, if left undiagnosed, it can eventually cause serious health problems, including organ damage and even death.
Why should I have a sexual health check?
Regardless of your age, sexual orientation or relationship status, having just one singular unprotected sexual encounter could put you at risk of catching an STI.
Even if you feel normal and healthy, this does not mean that you are not carrying something. This is why having route tests are extremely important, as it is often the only way that people can detect an infection.
The earlier a detected STI, the earlier an individual can be treated, meaning that there is less chance of long-term damage being caused.
What is a sexual health check like?
People are often embarrassed of having a sexual health check. However, getting a sexual health check is quick, simple and easy process that shouldn’t be embarrassing or shameful. Sex is a normal part of adult life, so sexual health checks should be too! It not only puts your mind at rest, but it could also protect your fertility or even save your life or that of your partner.
Visit TheSprout’s Sexual Health Information page to see more useful resources.