Could You Have An STI?

It’s embarrassing to think you could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). No one wants to talk about it, but millions of new cases occur every year. The truth is anyone who has sex can get an STI. Young people aged 15 to 24 and pregnant women are most affected.

What Is An STI?

You can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from any sexual activity involving your mouth, anus, vagina, or penis. These conditions can be viral, bacterial, or even parasitic.

There are several types of STIs, and all are highly contagious. The most common are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Currently, there is an 80% increase in the number of syphilis cases, and the number of babies born with syphilis has increased by 183%.

How Do I Know If I Have An STI?

Common symptoms of an STI include itching, burning, or a discharge in your genital area. But the truth is, many STIs don’t have symptoms. They are called asymptomatic. You could have an STI and not know it, and a person can pass an STI to you without knowing they have one.

A lack of symptoms is one of the reasons people don’t get regularly tested. If you don’t feel or see it, people think, why bother? But STIs are a serious illness that need treatment. An untreated STI can lead to an increased risk of getting or giving HIV, long-term abdominal pain, and an inability to get pregnant or pregnancy complications.

Can I Get An STI If I’m Pregnant?

It is entirely possible to get an STI while pregnant. If you have syphilis, it can pass to your unborn baby, making them sick and causing ongoing health issues. The CDC recommends getting tested 3 times during pregnancy.

What Should I Do?

Getting regular STI testing is essential. A member of the Sycamore House team can refer you for local testing. Take care of your sexual health, and don’t leave it to chance.