Bay Area Pregnancy Services

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STD's

The real worry of having sex outside of marriage is the threat of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD):  HIV/AIDS, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), Chlamydia, Trichomonas, Herpes, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, to mention only a few.  Many people who are infected report no symptoms, so being tested is extremely important.

 

If you get infected with HPV, you have it for life. In males it causes genital warts; but in females it causes cervical dysplasia, which if not detected could lead to cancer. If cervical dysplasia is detected early on a Pap smear, surgery is the only option. If done in time, surgery (removal of a portion of the uterine cervix) can prevent cervical cancer.  However, this surgery can also cause cervical insufficiency, seriously harming a woman's ability to carry a pregnancy to term in the future.

An important fact regarding HPV infection is that condoms do not protect you! The virus lives in the skin of the scrotal area, and any genital skin contact can lead to HPV infection.
Please, if you have had sex, get tested for HPV!

 

Contracting HIV/AIDS is ultimately fatal.  People used to live only a couple of years after being infected with HIV. Now with the new therapies, the virus can be suppressed temporarily, with life expectancies of 15 to 20 years, but there is still no cure for HIV.

 

Chlamydia does not affect males to the same degree that it does females. Men are only asymptomatic carriers of the agent. The females are the ones that pay the price of infection with Chlamydia. This microorganism causes severe scarring of the tissues in the pelvis and leads, after only two infectious episodes, to almost 80% sterility. After only three episodes, the chances of becoming sterile jump to more than 90%.

 

Herpes virus infection is life long--there is no cure.  Once a woman becomes infected, the virus lives in the ganglion cells of nerve tissue and periodically causes outbreaks of painful blisters of the vaginal area.  

 

Hepatitis viruses may lead to liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver tissue with liver function insufficiency), which shortens life; and in 15% to 20% of the patients, leads to liver cancer and death. Hepatitis virus A is most of the time self-limited, but for Hepatitis viruses B, C, D and E there is no cure. Once you get it, it is for life. 

 

Again, if you have had sex with a partner whose status is unknown, please go to the local Health Department or to your physician, and request to be tested for the above Sexually Transmitted Diseases!