Monday, September 5, 2011
Consequences of STDs
It is quite true that most sexually transmitted infections can be completely cured if they are caught at an early stage. However, if left untreated, STIs can pose a long-term risk to your health and fertility. And the sad fact is that certain STDs are eventually fatal.
Women who are pregnant can become infected with the same sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as women who are not pregnant. Pregnancy does not provide women or their babies any protection against STDs. The consequences of an STD can be significantly more serious, even life threatening, for a woman and her baby if the woman becomes infected with an STD while pregnant. It is important that women be aware of the harmful effects of STDs and know how to protect themselves and their children against infection.
While each STD causes different health problems, overall, they can cause:
Ectopic or tubal pregnancies which can be fatal to the mother and are always fatal to the unborn baby.
Babies born to women with sexually transmitted diseases may suffer death or severe damage as a result of the mother's STD.
Sometimes sexually transmitted diseases cause damage to other organs including the heart, kidneys, and brain.
10 to 20% of women with gonorrhea and chlamydia develop one of the most serious complications, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Women who have current or prior history of certain sexually transmitted diseases such as PID have a significant chance of experiencing infertility. Up to 40% of women with untreated chlamydia infections develop PID, and 20% of those may become infertile.
In men, untreated STD can cause epididymitis, a painful infection in the tissue surrounding the testicles that can result in infertility.
STDs can also have severe social and economic consequences. Women, especially in developing countries, may be blamed for an STD or resulting infertility. This may lead to violence, abandonment or divorce. STDs can also result in lost work time due to illness.