The modern hook-up culture is deceptive. Sadly, young people are led to believe that the decision whether or not to have casual sexual intercourse is simply a “lifestyle” choice or is only a question of whether one “feels ready.” The reality is that sexual intercourse can seriously and dramatically impact a person’s physical and emotional health in both the short- and long-term.
When it comes to physical health consequences, pregnancy is not the only potential result of sexual intercourse. All too often, casual intercourse can lead to physical problems, including contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). In the United States, over 20 million new cases of STIs develop every year, and some of these diseases have no cure. Living with an incurable STI can be unpleasant and burdensome. Depending upon the condition and the treatment received, some STIs can affect an individual’s fertility or unborn children, and the diseases can be passed on to others, leading to problems in relationships.
Taking Care of You: STI Testing
If you are sexually active, it is crucial that you take steps to protect your health. One way to do this is to learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat STIs. You should also take the opportunity to get tested for them, even if you exhibit no symptoms. The reality is that you may not always experience symptoms or not experience them right away. That means that you may be carrying an STI and passing it on to others without knowing it.
At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic in Hayden, Idaho, you can access no-cost testing for some of the most prevalent STIs: bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis:
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a relatively common infection caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. It does not always exhibit symptoms, but if left untreated, it can cause complications for pregnant women, such as preterm birth or low birth weight. Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should be vigilant for BV.
- Chlamydia is the most reported STI in the United States, affecting both men and women. Like BV, a chlamydia infection often lacks noticeable symptoms. However, if left untreated, it can result in severe consequences, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, potentially causing infertility.
- Gonorrhea, another prevalent STI, is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. It can affect the genitals, rectum, and throat. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to infertility, as well as an increased risk of contracting HIV.
- Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. It is a common STI with symptoms ranging from itching and burning to discomfort during urination. Pregnant individuals with trichomoniasis may have a higher risk of delivering a preterm or low birth-weight baby.
The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment
The key to mitigating the impact of these STIs lies in early detection and prompt treatment. At Real Choices Clinic, we believe that knowledge is power, and by knowing your STI status, you can take control of your health. Our no-cost testing services ensure that financial constraints do not hinder your access to crucial information about your sexual health.
Understanding the sensitive nature of STI testing, Real Choices Clinic guarantees confidentiality throughout the testing process. Your privacy is paramount to us, and our professional staff is dedicated to ensuring a discreet and supportive environment for every individual seeking our services.
Take the Next Step: Contact or Visit Real Choices Clinic
If you are sexually active, protecting yourself from STIs is a responsibility you owe to yourself and your future. Real Choices Clinic welcomes you to visit our clinic for confidential testing for BV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. The tests are now available at no cost to you. Whether you suspect an infection or want to check your status proactively, our doors are open to provide the care you need. We are here to support you on your journey to optimal health. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost STI testing.