Like seasons, challenges in life come and go. Sometimes it feels like the spirit, mind and body are in bloom. Other times it can feel like things are impossibly hard and the cold of winter has set in. But as sure as the sun sets and rises again, in each of us is a resilience to overcome hardship.
If you’ve found this blog because you may be facing the possibility of a Sexually Transmitted Infection/Disease (STI/STD) or an unplanned pregnancy, you can feel confident knowing the difficulties you’re experiencing today are only temporary. And we are here to walk alongside you and help you overcome the challenges of this season in your life.
If you’ve recently been sexually active, you should get tested for an STI.
STIs don’t always come with symptoms. If your partner has ever been with someone else and had an STI, they may have transferred that infection to you. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), STIs are so common that one in five people in the United States have one. Additionally, the CDC estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in the United States, half of those are among young people aged 15–24. Some of the most common STIs are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Syphilis, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Trichomoniasis.
Sometimes you will experience symptoms such as discoloration or odor to your vaginal discharge, painful urination, itching, or a burning sensation in your genitals when you have an STI. However, STI symptoms vary, which is why we encourage our clients to get tested.
Should you be concerned with an STI if you’re pregnant and considering abortion?
Unfortunately, exposure to an STI can negatively impact your body, even if you’re considering an abortion. Since an STI is an infection, there is the potential for that infection to grow or spread, especially during an abortion procedure. According to the Center for Disease Control, women develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) when certain bacteria, such as Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix into her reproductive organs. PID can lead to infertility and permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive organs. In addition, a surgical abortion requires surgical equipment in the same area where an STI (commonly chlamydia and gonorrhea) is located. The equipment used during an abortion can increase the likelihood of that infection spreading. Therefore, it’s essential to treat an STI infection if you’re pregnant and considering abortion.
Additional risks associated with untreated STIs during pregnancy include:
• Future miscarriage
• Ectopic pregnancy – a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus
• Infertility – if the STI spreads and is left undiagnosed or untreated
Get screened and treated at no cost at EPS.
Essential Pregnancy Services (EPS) provides cost-free screening and treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are the most common and frequently experienced STIs. You do not need to be pregnant to receive these services. There are no hidden fees, and you do not need insurance. If you test positive for a STI, your partner may also receive STI screening and treatment at no cost.
STDs During Pregnancy [Internet] Center for Disease Control [March 16, 2020] Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/default.htm
STDs Prevalence, Incidence, and Cost Estimates [Internet] Center for Disease Control [February 18, 2021] Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/std/statistics/prevalence-incidence-cost-2020.htm
Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infection [Internet] Very Well Health [Updated October 20, 2021] Available from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-most-common-stds-sexually-transmitted-diseases-3133040
What is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease [Internet] Medical News Today [October 23, 2017] Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/177923#prevention
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease [Internet] Center for Disease Control [Reviewed July 22, 2021] Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/stdfact-pid-detailed.htm