HSNT will be closed on Monday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day.

Women's Health Month: STDs On the Rise

Featured Image

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are on the rise at incredible rates, more so than ever since the 1950s. Each year in April, the American Sexual Health Association raises awareness of sexually transmitted diseases. These infections, if not known about or treated, can have a big impact on a woman’s sexual, reproductive, physical, and emotional health. Only through education and awareness, can we make strides in decreasing the number of women who are affected each year.

As women’s health practitioners, we treat the most common STDs on a weekly basis. Through safe sex practices such as condom use or remaining abstinent, the risk of having one of these infections is reduced or eliminated. If left untreated, these infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, systemic, or neurological damage. 

The most common sexually transmitted infections are: 

  • HPV-human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer  
  • Chlamydia 
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Trichomonas 
  • Syphilis 
  • Herpes

Within the past 8 years, the numbers of STDs have skyrocketed due to the number of people having unprotected sex. In addition, the increase in drug and alcohol use play a significant role because they impair a person’s judgment, leading to unprotected sex: 

  • Cases of chlamydia increased 4.7% between 2015 and 2016 to almost 1.6 million per year 
  • Gonorrhea numbers have climbed 18.5% since 2015 to 468,514 in 2016 per year 
  • Cases of syphilis have risen 80% since 2016. The case of congenital (transmission from mother to baby) has risen 937% in the past 10 years. Almost half of babies born to women with untreated syphilis can be born blind, deaf, stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn. A majority of these cases could have been prevented with safe sex practices

One of the greatest tools you have in preventing sexually transmitted infections is knowledge! The only way to be 100% certain you are preventing an STD is through abstinence. But if you choose to be sexually active, talking openly with your partner is the first step in protecting yourself because most people with an STD have no symptoms. The only way to know is to get yourself (and your partner) tested before you commit to having sex, and of course, while using condoms! Think of a condom like your “sexual seatbelt.” You wouldn’t drive in your car without a seatbelt to prevent an injury in case of an accident, right? Condoms are exactly the same. Please be good to your body and protect it. 

Make a Difference in a Woman's Life

Donate now and help us provide critical healthcare services to uninsured or underinsured women in Texas. Every contribution counts. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women in our community.

Make a Donation for Women's Health >>