Sexually transmitted disease (STD) remains a primary public health concern in the United States, especially in women who unfortunately bear the long-term effects of these conditions. In fact, for every untreated case of STD in the US, there is also an increase in infant deaths (up to 40%) and infertility cases in women. And any undiagnosed case of STD will only increase the risk of unintentionally infecting their sexual partners.
So why are women more affected with STDs than men? Read more as we are going to tackle this topic on how sexually transmitted diseases affect women differently compared to men in today’s article.
A Woman’s Anatomy Is More Susceptible To Contacting STD Than Men
- The vaginal lining is more delicate and much thinner compared to the skin of the penis. And that makes it easy for viruses and bacteria to penetrate.
- The moist nature of the vagina is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
Women Often Mistaken Symptoms Of STDs For Something Else
- Women regularly have vaginal discharges. That’s why it’s easy for them to assume STD symptoms as such. Likewise, any itching or burning sensation can be easily concluded as signs of yeast infection.
- Men are more likely to notice these symptoms immediately as genital discharges are uncommon to them.
Women Will Less Likely Experience Symptoms Of STD
- Even if symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases may occur, they will immediately go away but the infection still remains.
- Moreover, symptoms like genital ulcers in the vagina can’t be seen immediately while any sores on the penis can be easily noticed by men.
STD Can Result In Health Complications And Can Have Adverse Effects On A Woman’s Reproductive System
- Undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted disease can result in inflammation of the pelvis and may even lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
- Chlamydia, being a common type of STD, has fewer complications in men as compared to women.
Women Infected With STD Can Pass Their Condition To Their Unborn Babies
- Syphilis, genital herpes, and HIV can be passed on to the baby during gestation and delivery.
- Babies infected with STD can experience stillbirth, low birth weight, blindness, deafness, and even brain damage.
Human Papillomavirus Is The Most Common STD And The Main Reason Of Cervical Cancer In Women
- While HPV can also infect men, it does not usually lead to serious health problems in the future.
The good thing however is, there are ways to counter the negative effects of STD in women and here are some of them:
1. Women should make use of their medical checkups to ask for STD screening for early detection of sexually transmitted diseases and Pap Smear (Pap Test) so the doctor can diagnose if they are prone to cervical cancer.
2. Women can take vaccines to prevent HPV and they can also avail of medical treatments for STD and prevent severe health consequences in the future.
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