Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are something most of us don’t like to think about. But did you know that you could have an STI without feeling any symptoms? Knowledge is empowering. At Willow Womens Center, our licensed medical professionals provide unbiased information to help you make informed decisions about your health.
Reported cases of STIs have increased each year since 2001. There are approximately 20 million new STI cases reported each year in the United States alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though 15-24-year-olds only make up 25% of the population that are sexually active, they account for approximately 66% of new infections each year. Many of these infections have symptoms that are hardly noticeable or even symptomless. Because of this, it is important to be tested even if you are not aware of any symptoms.
Why STI Screening?
Here are some reasons why the CDC recommends yearly STI screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea for any woman under 25 who is sexually active.
1. If you are sexually active, nothing is 100% effective against STIs.
- You might be thinking, “But I am in a monogamous relationship.” You might be, but is your partner? The tough reality is that many people contract STIs thinking they were in mutually monogamous relationships.
- Or, maybe you are thinking, “We use condoms every time.” It’s true that the correct use of condoms reduces the chances of getting an STI, but this is not failsafe.
2. The majority of STIs don’t have any noticeable symptoms.
It is hard to imagine that you can have an infection without symptoms, but that is exactly how hidden most STIs can be!
- Chlamydia: Chlamydia is nicknamed the “silent” infection since most people don’t notice any symptoms. Untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, scar tissue in fallopian tubes, infertility, and future ectopic pregnancies (a pregnancy in a blocked fallopian tube). The good news is that chlamydia is completely curable when it is diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.
- Gonorrhea: Like chlamydia, most people infected with gonorrhea will not experience any symptoms. Untreated, it can put a person at higher risk of getting HIV and other life-threatening infections in addition to the same risks as untreated chlamydia. Gonorrhea is also curable with antibiotics.
3. There can be serious health risks if STIs are left untreated.
If an STI is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to more people becoming infected, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic pain, and cancer.
It is very important for a woman’s health to be tested for STIs before an abortion. If a woman has an abortion with an untreated STI, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and pain. For this reason, we screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea when a woman is considering abortion.
No-Cost Services Available
You can make an appointment at Willow Womens Center for our no-cost services by giving us a call at 608-312-2025. We understand the important decisions you are facing. We walk with you every step of the way, so you feel empowered to make a confident decision for your health and your future.