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Why Women are More at Risk of Lasting STD effects

While the effects of STDs can have major impacts on both men and women, ranging from scarring to infertility to even death, females are a little more at risk of these harmful effects if their STDs aren’t treated.

In fact, in the US alone, untreated STDs cause infertility in 24,000 women each year. Infant death occurs in 40% of all pregnant women with untreated syphilis. And untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, escalating to more long-term reproductive system damage in some cases — while in men, the symptoms and effects are mild if they even occur.

Here’s why women are more likely to let their STDs go untreated — and thus why they’re more likely to experience longer-term impacts of STDs.

Why Women’s STDs Go Untreated

A Different, Delicate Reproductive System

The vagina is a much different environment in which bacteria is more likely to thrive. It’s not only more moist than the penis, but its skin is also more delicate and thin, so viruses are more able to penetrate the area. That’s why certain STDs like human papillomavirus (HPV), which both men and women may contract, leads to only minor health issues (if any) in men, yet is the main cause of cervical cancer in women.

Men Show More SymptomsSad Redhead

Some of the most common STDs cause mean to develop visible symptoms, while women do not. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two big culprits. Men are more likely to become symptomatic — and if symptoms to arise in women, they may soon diminish despite a persistent infection, so women are less likely to go to the doctor.

Men’s symptoms are often more noticeable, too, like unusual discharge from the penis. Women experience natural discharges more often, so it can be difficult to distinguish normal from abnormal. Also, since it is harder to view symptoms that are occurring in the vagina (like ulcers or warts) than it is to view symptoms on the surface of male genitals, women can miss even those symptoms that are visible, meaning they may not pursue treatment when needed.

Because of all this, it’s essential for sexually active women to get STD testing on a regular basis.

There’s a Social Stigma Attached to STD Treatment

Women may also be less inclined to pursue STD testing and treatment because of the social stigma surrounding STDs. While men aren’t exactly celebrated for having STDs, there is arguably still more stigma attached to being a female with an STD. Women’s character and dignity are attacked for showing any perceived sexual deviance. A woman may be too ashamed or potentially even too afraid to pursue STD testing or treatment, depending on her personal situation.

Get Confidential STD Testing at TEST SMARTLY LABS

TEST SMARTLY LABS enables women to get the accurate, confidential STD testing they need. Since women display less visible symptoms, it’s key to pursue regular STD testing. Simply walk in to any of our wellness-certified locations today for quick, professional, discreet service!

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