The impact of an untreated STI
Chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhoea, hepatitis, scabies, HIV – these are some of the many different types of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) that we’ve have talked about chomas. STIs are mainly spread through sexual contact. Without a condom, they can be transmitted via oral, anal and/or vaginal sex. Some STIs such as scabies can be spread sexually or through skin-to-skin contact. The most common symptoms of STIs include abdominal pain, genital sores or vaginal discharge.
Someone can have an STI without having any obvious symptoms of the infection. There are also some STIs that infect people and don’t show any symptoms for a few days, weeks or months before the person realises that they are infected. If left untreated these STIs can affect different parts of your body in different ways.
What happens if these STIs are not treated at all?
Herpes: Your chances of getting HIV increase if you don’t get it treated. This is because having a sore or a tear in your skin may allow for HIV to easily enter your body during sex.
Chlamydia: This STI is easily treatable with medication, provided it is caught early. It hardly has any symptoms, so there is a chance that you might not be aware that you are carrying it. Women who have chlamydia may develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID may make it difficult for you to one day fall pregnant (infertility) or causes a continuous pelvic pain, which is a pain in your pelvic area – this is the area between your belly button and between your hips.
Gonorrhoea: It is treatable if you find out early. Symptoms are vaginal discharge or difficulty in urinating. Not treating this STI can also result in PID.
Syphilis: Just like herpes, if left untreated, this STI can increase your risk of getting HIV. Syphilis may stay in your body for a while before any symptoms are shown. It can cause blindness, mental illness and even death.
HPV: this STI can cause cervical cancer (which may cause pain in your lower belly or abnormal bleeding) and genital warts or Mycoplasma Genitalium.
HIV: the Human Immune Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). If left untreated, the virus will leave your immune system too damaged to defend itself against life –threatening infections and cancers and may lead to death.
The bottom line chomas, the longer you leave an STI untreated, the more dangerous it can be. Also, if you have an STI, you are at a higher risk of getting HIV. If you think you might have an STI, please get it checked out as soon as possible at your nearest clinic.
When you consistently and correctly use a condom, your chances of getting STIs decreases a lot. Condoms protect against STIs (including HIV) transmission. Female condoms are just as effective and safe as male condoms.
You can visit your doctor or make an appointment at Marie Stopes by calling them on 0800 11 77 85, you can even visit your local clinic. All consultation should be private and confidential as this is your right. Avoid having sex until you have been treated.
We’ve come a long way when it comes to treatment, especially with HIV, so take advantage of these treatments and always use a condom. ‘Treat’ yourself well because you owe it to yourself.
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