Sexually transmitted diseases – it’s a topic we tend to avoid, not just in polite conversation but with close friends and families, too. However, as part of STD Awareness Month, intimate lifestyle brand LELO want this to change.
To coincide with the launch of their new re-engineered HEXO condom, the Swedish company have compiled a 101 lowdown on sexual health.
Over one million people across the world are infected with an STD every day.
WHO statistics reveal that more than 490 million people aged 15-49 are infected with chlamydia, gonorrhoea or syphilis each year.
While the majority of those affected are young adults, don’t think that being older makes you safer; there has been a 17 per cent increase in the number of 40-85 years old infected over the past three years.
Bacteria, viruses and parasites are constantly changing to survive being eradicated – and this creates ‘super-bugs’, such as a new antibiotic-resistant ‘super-gonorrhoea’ that has emerged in the UK. This means that it is becoming harder to find solutions to get rid of or find preventative measures for contracting these infections. Left untreated, they can have devastating effects.
Gonorrhoea can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and blindness in infants born to infected mothers. Similarly, with the recent discovery of the Zika virus being able to spread via sexual transmission, it has been known to cause severe brain defects to newborns.
READ MORE: 5 things you need to know about getting pregnant
How to take action
LELO have provided a three-step guide on how to take action against sexual transmitted diseases:
Talk: New partner? Discussing sexual histories matters. What are their thoughts on condom usage? When did they last get screened? Finally, if the prospect of honest exchange leaves you blushing, should you really be getting intimate with this person?
Test: Because the majority of STIs present no tell-tale symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have an infection is to get tested. Talk to your local health provider, and relax: depending on what you’re being tested for, you’ll either have a quick blood test, swab of genital areas, or be asked to provide a urine sample. Easy!
Treat: Bacterial STIs – chlamydia and syphilis, for example – can be quickly treated with a course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. The symptoms of viral STDs, such as HIV, can be managed with medications. Book an appointment and ask.