STDs

Get informed about STDs

There are lots of side effects to sexual activity. Get informed to keep your body and mind healthy.

EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY
Brain Chemicals

Did you know that sex releases certain chemicals in your brain? These chemicals are called hormones and they work to bond the two people together. When you have sex with someone, it’s like gluing two pieces of paper together.

When you try to tear those two pieces of paper apart, the break is not a clean one. The same is true for relationships where the people have been sexually active one or both people end up getting hurt. If this happens over and over, you can have trouble bonding to someone else later.

Hormones released during sex can also make sex addictive. Once you start having sex with someone, it’s hard to stop. It is also harder to say “no” to sex in future relationships. Waiting for sex lets you build healthy relationships that are not complicated by sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), unwanted pregnancy or emotional difficulties.

Chlamydia

A bacterial infection transmitted by vaginal, oral or anal sex.

Approximately 80% of women and 40% of men have no symptoms to warn them that they have the infection. Untreated, the infection may lead to PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) in women, which is the leading cause of infertility. Condoms reduce your risk of getting Chlamydia by only 50%.

To learn more: www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm 

Emotional Impact

The physical risks of sexual activity outside of marriage are not the whole story. Sex is a powerful and intimate act that affects the emotional and spiritual parts of men and women.

Young people having sex outside of a marriage relationship often have emotional difficulties such as:

  • Regret – 2 out of 3 sexually active teens say they wished they had waited to have sex.
  • Anger – 1 out of 5 young people ages 15-24 get an STI each year. Often they experience anger with their partner after contracting the STI.
  • Guilt – After sex young people often feel guilt for letting down people who are close to them. They may also experience guilt directed toward themselves if they had wanted to wait until marriage before having sex.
  • Depression – Sexually active teen girls are more likely to feel depressed than girls who have remained abstinent. They are also far more likely to think about or attempt suicide.

Source: “It’s just sex, right?” The emotional impact of early sexual activity. 2007 The Medical Institute brochure.

Gonorrhea

A bacterial infection that is spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex.

Women and men often have no symptoms. If condoms are used correctly every time, they may reduce your risk of getting gonorrhea by 50%.

To learn more: www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

Source: “Sexually Transmitted Infections” 2008 Life Choices Medical Clinic and Resource Center.

Herpes

A viral infection transmitted through vaginal, anal, oral or skin to skin contact. There is no cure for herpes—once you have it, you have it for life.

Herpes causes painful skin lesions, blisters, ulcers and fissures. Condoms may reduce the risk of contracting herpes by approximately 50%.

There are two types of viral herpes: HSV-Type 1 and HSV-Type 2. Often Type 1 causes fever blisters on the mouth and face and Type 2 affects the genital area. Both may cause infections in either place.

To learn more: www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm

Source: “Sexually Transmitted Infections” 2008 Life Choices Medical Clinic and Resource Center.

HIV / AIDS

A viral infection with no cure.

Condoms have been proven to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by only 85%. It may take up to 6 months for someone with HIV to test positive.

To learn more: www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/index.html

Source: “Sexually Transmitted Infections” 2008 Life Choices Medical Clinic and Resource Center.

HPV - Human Papilloma Virus

A viral infection with over 100 different strains that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

50-75% of sexually active women will acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. The virus is spread by skin to skin contact. The HPV vaccine protects against up to four strains of the virus that cause 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. However, the vaccine must be given prior to exposure for it to be effective.

To learn more: www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/whatishpv.html

Source: “Sexually Transmitted Infections” 2008 Life Choices Medical Clinic and Resource Center.

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