Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Could I have an STD

We learned about sexually transmitted diseases in school today. They said that we could have an STD and not even know it because some of them don't have any symptoms. Is this true or are they trying to trick us into admitting that we have had sex?

I'm going to answer your question and hope that you continue reading because there is more here to discuss than simply what you asked. Yes, like many other diseases, you could have an STD and not be showing symptoms.

I'll use the common cold for my example because it is similar to and more common than other infections. The symptoms that we notice are typically the bodies defense to an infection. The three most common symptoms are fever, swelling or congestion and fluid discharge. The fever is the bodies attempt to kill the germs with heat. The swelling or congestion is caused by the white blood cells rushing in to attack the germs. The fluid discharge is an attempt to flush the germs out with runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, stuff like that.

So, you can have an infection and not show symptoms if your immune system doesn't notice the infection or the infection is just too small to worry about. In that case, you would be a carrier. The school is not trying to trick you into admitting that you had sex, they want you to be aware of something that can affect your health.

What is more important here is that you are turning to the Internet for this information rather than talking to your parents. This is something that you should be talking to your parents about and a great way to start the conversation is, “Here's what we learned in school today”.

If you are sexually active and are worried that you may have an STD, you should get  STD Tests. Some STDs, like chlamydia can cause permanent damage without treatment. Girls should begin seeing an OB/GYN once a year when they become sexually active. Girls are also at higher risk for contracting an STD because exposure to the bacteria is actually injected into her body. That may sound vulgar but it's the truth.

The best and most effective way to stay safe from STDs is to not have sex. If you learned about sex in school today, I'm guessing you are about 13 years old. At 13, I have to say that you are simply not ready for sex. You asked a question about sex which is a good thing but until you know all the risks, you aren't ready. Now, go talk to your parents.

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