One of the most common STD symptoms is no symptom at all. So protecting yourself against STDs is a way you can protect your body and the plans you have for yourself. Rates of STD/STIs have been rising for the last decade, so it’s more important than ever to get tested even if you don’t think you have one, especially if you could be pregnant.
STDs vs STIs
STDs are sexually transmitted diseases and STI’s are sexually transmitted infections. While some may use the terms interchangeably, they are different. An STD is a disease (often with invisible or subtle symptoms) and STI is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted pathogen. STIs can result in disease if not treated.
How Do You Get Them?
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of getting an STD. The only way to avoid STDs is to not have sex, or be in a monogamous relationship where both you and your partner have had no previous partners. Some STDs, such as herpes and HPV, are even transmittable with use of a condom!
STD/STIs and Abortion
It’s important to get tested any time you have had unprotected sex or have a new partner, however, it’s especially important if you are considering abortion or while pregnant. Ensuring you are STI/STD free before any type of abortion procedure protects you from serious complications. Plus, an STI/STD can cause changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle like bleeding between periods or delayed/missed periods.
During an abortion (surgical and by the abortion pill), the cervix is opened. If you have an infection, this can increase the risk of the STI spreading into other organs. Having an abortion procedure while infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea, two of the most common STIs, can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause lifelong damage and lead to future ectopic pregnancies or infertility.
Clarity is not an abortion provider, but we can give you the medical information you need, including ultrasound verification, to make an informed decision. We can also refer you to little to no cost STI/STD testing locally. Your health matters to us. Your body is safe here at Clarity. ♥︎