In just a few hours, millions of roses and boxes of chocolate will be exchanged on the day where romance takes the front seat. Unfortunately, however, where there is passion and love, or just a bit of fun on the side, there can be some very undesirable consequences in the form of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) if the correct preventative measures aren’t taken.
How fitting then, that Valentine’s Day has also been proclaimed National Condom Day, with public health officials hoping to use the designation to highlight the role condoms can play in potentially limiting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Still living in a cloud, thinking it’s not something that can affect you? Then read this for a reality check: Each year in the U.S. there are approximately 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted Diseases, about half of which occur among youth ages 15-24. And according to a CDC federal study, one in four teenage girls has an STD.
Left untreated, STDs can cause a host of problems, including infertility, so safe sex is really your safest bet. And getting yourself tested would be a wise move too, especially when we take into consideration that the majority of us are not even aware that we have an STD. Take Chlamydia, for example, also referred to as the “silent infection” or the “quiet love bug”. It is one of the most common STDs affecting women and men, yet around 75% of women and 50% of men are not even aware they have it. This can have dire consequences, as left untreated woman can be left unable to conceive a child and men could find themselves with painfully inflamed testicles and a reduction in fertility.
So remember to protect yourselves and have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day!