Safe sex: what you know and what you don’t know about STIs – Blog Dexeus Mujer

Syphilis may sound like a 19th century novel, but it is one of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that is on the rise, along with gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and lymphogranuloma venereum, especially in those under 30 years of age.

This fact shows that unprotected relationships continue to be maintained and that the risks are underestimated. For example: did you know that a very high percentage of STIs do not give symptoms and that, therefore, the fact that you feel well does not mean that you cannot be infected? Or that the condom does not cover all risk areas?

If you want to find out what you know and what you don’t know about STIs, check it out through this simple test, which we have prepared with the support of two experts: the head of the Sexuality Unit and Dr. Álvaro Vives, andrologist and head of the Men’s Health Unit of our center. Ready?

It is true that…?

STIs can cause fertility problems

REAL. In some cases, and if infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhea are not treated in time, they can cause inflammatory processes in the tubes, ovaries or uterus that cause fertility problems in women. In the case of men, although there is much less evidence, they can also cause fertility problems.

Men have more STIs than women

REAL. STIs can affect women and men, but in general there are some that affect men more, in number, sometimes with a ratio of 8 to 2, for example: gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis and lymphogranuloma venereum.

A woman is four times more likely to contract an STI than to become pregnant.

REAL. The chances that a healthy woman has of getting pregnant by having sex naturally are 25%, while the chance of contracting an STI, if she has unprotected sex with an infected person, can be as high as 40%. to 60%, depending on the STI.

Oral sex is safer

FALSE. Currently, oral sex is one of the most frequent ways of contagion of STIs, precisely because many people practice it without using a condom. In addition, at the oral level, STIs do not give symptoms.

80% of sexually active men and women will be infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) at least once in their life

REAL. HPV has a high transmission capacity, in most cases it does not cause symptoms, it does not create immunity (therefore, you can be infected as many times as you come into contact). In addition, HPV is transmitted by contact from an infected surface to a healthy surface, without the need for penetration.

Homosexual relations between men increase the risk of contagion

REAL. The risk is not related to sexual orientation but to sexual practice: anal sex is the sexual practice with the highest risk.

HIV can be transmitted through saliva

REAL. HIV is spread through direct contact with the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of an infected person. It can also be transmitted through saliva, although the probability is very low and depends on whether the infected person has a high viral load.

Relationships between women are less exposed to the spread of STIs

REAL. Although some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be transmitted by direct contact or by the use of sex toys. Therefore, women who have relationships only with women are also exposed to STIs.

Most STIs can be easily detected through physical examination and/or blood tests.

FALSE. Some of the STIs are detected with very specific molecular tests and a negative culture does not mean that you do not have an STI. On the other hand, depending on sexual practices, we can become infected in the oropharynx, genital area or anal area and therefore a complete STI check-up must include all these locations with specific tests, as we have here at Dexeus Mujer.

Most STIs can be cured if detected early

FALSE. Bacterial STIs, if detected early, can be treated and cured relatively easily. But, viral STIs usually have no treatment. In some, like HPV, it is the immune system itself that cures the infection, but in others, like herpes, once you are infected, you are infected for life.

Even if I use a condom, I can get an STI

REAL. The first thing to keep in mind is that condoms must be used correctly and for all sexual practices (oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex). The second thing is that the condom does not cover all areas and therefore there may be transmission by direct contact.

Hair removal can favor infection by an STI

REAL. When waxing, even if there is no bleeding, micro-injuries occur on our skin, which usually acts as a protective wall, which can favor infection by an STI, such as genital warts.

If you have doubts, consult your gynecologist or leave us a comment!

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Safe sex: what you know and what you don’t know about STIs – Blog Dexeus Mujer

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