Fast Facts About Sex

Having unprotected sex, even once, can lead to serious consequences now and in the future. Any sexual activity (intercourse, anal sex, skin-to-skin contact) can put you at risk for developing a sexually transmitted disease (STD). STD's include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes simplex virus (HSV), syphilis, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis, trichomoniasis, and HIV/AIDS. Besides being a nuisance, these diseases may lead to chronic illness, loss of future fertility, and even death. The most important thing to remember is that many STDs do not have symptoms but can still be transmitted to others. The only way to be completely protected against an STD (or an unintended pregnancy) is not to have sex. If you have had unsafe sex, the only way to know if you have contracted an STD is to be tested. You should definitely be tested if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis. 
  • Pain with urination. 
  • Burning or itching in the genital area. 
  • Blisters, bumps, or sores in the genital area. 
  • Pain in the pelvic area, fever, chills. 
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not a menstrual period. 
  • Pain with intercourse. 
  • If you have had unprotected sex, get tested and change your ways! Contact your family physician or the City Health Department at 330-743-3333 ext 255 to arrange an appointment for an STD test.
     

If you test positive for an STD, your partner will also need treatment. Remember, he or she can also have the disease even without symptoms. Without treatment, it will continue to be passed back and forth. Talking to your partner is the first step to safer sex. It is important to know if he or she, or any of their past partners, has ever had an STD.

CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Hotline: 1-800-227-8922

Source:
Brown, K.M. (2000). Management Guidelines for Women's Health Nurse Practitioners.
Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

Did you know?

  • There is no time in a woman's menstrual cycle when she is 100 percent safe from getting pregnant. While there are days when it less likely, there is never a time when it is impossible. Stress, exercise, diet, alcohol and drug use, and certain medical conditions can cause cycles to become irregular making it even more difficult to differentiate fertile from less fertile days.
     
  • It is possible to get pregnant even when using birth control. Pregnancy is possible with all methods of contraception. However, using birth control correctly and consistently every time will decrease the possibility of an unintended pregnancy. Many birth control pills contain low doses of the hormones that help prevent pregnancy. Missing taking just one pill or taking it just a few hours late can decrease the amount of medication in your body enough to make pregnancy possible. Similarly, not knowing the correct way to use a condom can make you just as vulnerable. Using two methods at once (i.e. birth control pill + condom or condom + spermicide) dramatically lowers the risk of unintended pregnancy.
     
  • The most unsafe sex often occurs when you have used alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs can decrease your inhibitions and your ability to make good decisions. Don't put yourself in situations you might regret later. If you're going to drink, attend parties with a friend who knows your feelings and who will be sober through the evening. This person can help you make decisions should your ability become clouded.