This week is National Women’s Health Week. This time is set aside to focus on improving the health of women across the nation. Building awareness for women’s health issues and preventative screening, programs to help women get active and eating healthy and focusing on mental health issues are all just some of the ways that organizations and healthcare providers will be participating in this event. One aspect of your health you should be considering is a woman’s sexual health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are more likely than men to contract certain STIs. For example, trichomoniasis, a parasite, is far more common among women than in men. An estimated 3.7 million Americans have the infection but many do not realize it.
Recent reports by various health departments throughout the nation have shown an alarming rise in the number of reported STI cases. Case rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea are skyrocketing. These reports also indicate that women are being more adversely affected by the increase in these STIs.
STIs do not always show signs or symptoms. This often leads to them going undiagnosed and untreated. If STIs are left untreated they can have more dangerous consequences. Damage can be done to the tissues in a person’s reproductive system. If left untreated, STIs can lead to infertility. Some STIs, such as syphilis or HIV, can even lead to death if untreated.
This year, use National Women’s Health Week to think about your sexual health. The CDC recommends that all sexually active people be tested at least once in their lifetime for STIs and HIV. They recommend that sexually active women be tested more frequently. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to an STI or you simply wish to learn the current status of your sexual, you should get tested right away. This can often be the only way to know for sure if you’ve been infected.