Infertility and STDs – Two Important Factors Affecting a Woman

The growing concern about infertility and STDs are fast becoming major issues among women. Although infertility can be associated with various factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, weight problems, smoking, unsafe sex and sexual practices and alcohol, there is one ground deemed to generate the most risk of all – sexually transmitted diseases.

Gonorrhea also known as the pus discharge is one of the most common STD that affects women to become sterile. As the bacterium present in this infection multiplies and develops in moist areas of sensitive parts of a woman’s body, the chances of the cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus and the urine canal to get affected is high. The bacterium can spread in the uterus area that might result to a disease known as the pelvic inflammatory disease. When this happens, infertility can be a typical outcome.

Be aware of the symptoms of this sexually transmitted disease through the following signs that can greatly affect you being unproductive and childless.

o If you experience intense bleeding even during your menstrual period then you have significant probability of having STD that lowers your chances of bearing a child.

o Thick discharge can also be a major symptom.

o Soreness, inflammation and genital itching are other factors to be alarmed about.

Infertility and STDs are two aspects that affect a woman’s likelihood of being heavy with a child. It is important therefore, that you lead a healthy lifestyle away from vices, always practice safe sex and most importantly have yourself protected through vaccinations.

However, if you already infected with std, does it mean that you will never have children? Find out the truth from other people with STDs.

STDs in the City

During the shows six year history all of the female stars of Sex and the City, bar Carrie, received an STD scare at some point in the show’s six seasons. So what can we learn from these scares and how will they can help us to prepare for an upcoming STD panel test.

Charlotte’s Scares

#1 – Crabs

Amazingly it’s Charlotte who’s the first female character in Sex and the City to receive an STD scare. As the most prudish of the foursome she seems the least likely to catch anything, however you don’t need to be reckless like Samantha to catch an STD and taking part in unprotected sex just once is enough to put you at risk. When Charlotte lies about her age to seduce a much younger man she comes down with a case of the crabs. This episode teaches us that you don’t need to undertake an STD panel to treat crabs and they can be treated with a lotion purchased directly from the chemist. Samantha washes Charlotte’s sheets on an extra hot wash as crabs can be caught and spread through infested bedclothes and towels.

#2 – A Rash Down There

When Charlotte spots a rash on her genitals she is reluctant to take an STD panel or visit her usual gynaecologist. Many people feel the same way and choose to take an STD panel at a surgery that is different to their usual, especially if they have been with their same gynaecologist for a while. When Charlotte finally plucks up the courage to go she discovers that her rash is the symptom of a depressed vagina. The moral of this tale is that what you think is an STD may not actually be a STD and until you get yourself tested there’s no way of telling for sure.

Miranda’s Scare

#1 – Chlamydia

In the episode entitled ‘Are We Sluts?’ Miranda receives a positive STD panel result for Chlamydia. The clinic advises her to contact all her recent sexual partners and encourage them to get tested. One of the people she asks to get tested is her current partner, Steve. At first Steve is reluctant as he doesn’t have any symptoms, but Miranda explains to him that Chlamydia often has no symptoms in men. Miranda is right and for this reason many people refer to Chlamydia as ‘The Silent Disease’. After an STD panel test, Steve is lucky enough to test negative for the STD.

Although Miranda was diagnosed with Chlamydia the fact that she tested for and treated it early meant she had a lower chance of catching any of the problems associated with Chlamydia. If Chlamydia is left untreated it can result in problems such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy. However, the birth of Brady in season four shows that Miranda was lucky enough to avoid these complications.

Samantha

#1 – The AIDS Test

Samantha may be known for her sexual exploits but she leaves her friends shocked when she reveals that she’s never had an AIDS test. In fact, she’s only thinking about having a test as Tom Reymi refuses to sleep with her until she’s had one. She reveals that the main reason she hasn’t taken the STD panel is because she’s afraid of what the results may be. This is actually a fairly common reason and, as portrayed in the episode, counselling is in most states an integral part of the AIDS Test procedure. Samantha was luckily enough to receive a negative result and at the end of the episode she celebrated this fact by taking a swing with Mr Reymi.

STDs in Popular Culture

With the spread of sexually transmitted diseases becoming more and more of a problem, it’s no surprise to see popular culture mediums picking up on the risk. The only surprise is that they’re not more prevalent in entertainment, as art mimics life, but there’s still a certain taboo apparent which makes each instance remarkable. Here’s some of the more memorable instances of STD is music, film and even video games!

Film

The subject of sexually transmitted disease in film has been explored on an academic level, and indeed an article in a 2005 Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine made an interesting discovery with regards to STD in cinema. Taking the top 200 films as voted for on the Internet Movie Database (removing films pre the HIV epidemic and those unlikely to contain adult themes) it was reported that there were 53 sex scenes in 28 of the remaining 87 films reviewed, and only one of those implied the use of a condom. There were no depictions of consequences of this recklessness – no pregnancies, HIV or any other STD. It went on to report a few references to STDs in the dialogue (“disease spreading whore”, “I get checked every month”), but generally the scripts encouraged promiscuity and ridiculed celibacy.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this, and especially if you veer beyond the mainstream of IMDB’s top rated films. The first example of this is 1938’s “Sex Madness” (currently rated 2.0/10 on said film database) – a horribly heavy handed warning on the evils of loose living and the risk of resultant syphilis ruining your life. 1983’s TV movie “Intimate Agony” (5.3/10) fares a little better as a morality play, but had its thunder stolen weeks after its release when the AIDs epidemic started to make headlines. Films tackling HIV and AIDs are far more common, but two of the best examples are 1993’s TV movie “And the Band Played On” (7.6/10) – a dramatisation of the history of AIDS – and 1994’s “Philadelphia” (7.6/10) which depicts an AIDS’ sufferer’s court case against wrongful dismissal. The latter won 2 Oscars for Tom Hanks’ accurate and affecting portrayal of the physical deterioration brought on by the end stages of the sexually transmitted disease.

Music

Music is naturally that bit harder to track down definitive overt examples of sexually transmitted diseases in lyrics – they’re often just too ambiguous. Then again, Ice Cube’s “Look Who’s Burnin'” is pretty blatant in its subject matter: a trip to take an STD test…

“Yeah I see ya

First Miss Thang, now Miss Gonorrhea

Man it’s a trip how the world keeps turnin’

It’s 1991 and look who’s burnin'”

…and…

“Man this is gonna kill ’em

Guess who got a big fat dose of penicillin?”

Elsewhere, we’re left to read between the lines that little bit more. It’s rumoured that ACDC’s “The Jack” is not about a round of cards at all, but about Gonorrhea (depending on who you believe, it was either once called The Clap or ‘The Jack’ was Australian slang at the time). With this knowledge the song takes on a whole new meaning:

“That all the cards were comin’

From the bottom of the pack

And if I’d know what she was dealin’ out

I’d have dealt it back”

Finally, we have The Darkness with “Growing on Me” – a charming ditty supposedly about the difficult subject of Genital Warts:

“I want to shake you off but you just won’t go,

And you’re all over me, but I don’t want anyone to know

That you’re attached to me that’s how you’ve grown

Won’t you leave me, leave me alone?”

If Mr Hawkins was talking about Genital Warts, then a visit to his local clinic could present several options to make them “leave him alone” including chemicals, freezing or laser removal! He might also want to take other STD tests while there as co-infection is common…

Games

Unsurprisingly, games have thus far steered well clear of the area of sexually transmitted disease, but the upcoming Fable 2 is said to buck this trend. The role playing game allows your avatar to have sex with various characters throughout the game world – with or without a condom. If you risk the latter, pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease may occur (though the head developer has promised that virtual STDs will not affect the game too much.) As it’s still in development, it’s unclear as to how the STDs will be portrayed and whether the game can prove a lesson in safe sex, but it’s an intriguing concept.

As STD tests become more prevalent and the science of them is better understood, will we see more occurrences in popular culture, or will they be swept further under the carpet? Only time will tell.

Ten Questions and Answers About BDSM and STDs

1. What is a sexually transmitted disease or STD?

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is the politically correct term for what used to be called “veneral disease (VD)”. These are diseases that are transmitted through or as the result of sexual activity (not just sexual intercourse).

There are no BDSM specific sexually transmitted diseases but like any other sexual activity BDSM activity CAN spread STDs.

Heterosexuals are a lot less STD aware than the homosexual world is, but they should be just as educated on the subject. As a result, the current risk groups for any STD are heterosexual women.

There are many different sexually transmitted diseases and certainly not all are directly related to the genital organs.

General information is freely and widely available from doctors, hospitals, first aid centers, pharmacies and of course on the Internet.

2. How does one get STD infected?

Some sexually transmitted diseases are viruses, others are caused by bacteria, some by plain and simple dirt. As a result, there are different ways, in which people can get STD infected. An important form of STD infection is the contact between bodily fluids (most importantly blood, sperm, vaginal fluids and mother milk). This is especially true the most lethal ones in the Western world: such as Hepatitis (around in different varieties) and HIV (Aids). As a result, contact with bodily fluids should be avoided by anyone who has more than one partner (even if that is only incidental) and partners who have not been solely together for MANY years (not months). Incubation time (the “lead” time before the actual infection shows itself), in the case of HIV for example may be as much as five to seven years.

Another well known cause of STD infection is lack of hygiene. In the BDSM world especially quite a lot of personal hygiene is neglected. Toys that have been on the floor or in a toy bag should not be used unless cleaned and – when brought into contact with the genital area – protected. One should wear latex gloves during penetration, especially when in a (more) public environment.

3. What do I do when I (think I) am STD infected?

There is only one answer: visit your doctor as soon as possible. Bear in mind that your doctor is not there to judge you, but to cure you. And yes, doctors have seen it all before and many times. If you feel troubled by having to go to your doctor, turn to a first aid center or a specific STD center if there is one in your area.

Every STD spreads like wildfire! They are among the most contagous diseases. In most cases if you are infected, you do not only have a responsibility to yourself, but also to your partner(s) and to an extent to you entire environment.

4. Can an STD be cured?

Some can, and some cannot. There are no cures yet for HIV, hepatitis C and various forms of herpes, for example. HIV and hepatitis C are potentially lethal. So is syphylus, but there is a good cure for this disease.

5. Does an STD only effect me?

Every STD will effect you but most will also effect your partner and maybe others (such as unborn children) if not properly taken care of. Sometimes an STD can be the cause of dead babies or incurable medical problems. Some will not really effect the bearer, but will badly effect the partner and – for example – cause infertility (in males especially).

6. How do I protect myself against STD infection?

Your first line of defense is strict personal hygiene. Wear latex gloves and use condoms, also on penetrating toys, such as dildos and vibrators. Regularly clean equipment and – for example – wash bondage ropes.

The second important line of defense is to educate yourself. Again, know what the risks are and avoid them.

7. Does an STD spread quicker, because of BDSM activity?

The BDSM community is very open. It is not unusual to temporarily exchange partners, people switch partners frequently and such things as BDSM parties open an easy risk for infection. Besides, BDSM activity implies much more physical contact than most other forms of sexual behavior and there is the frequent use of toys and equipment. So, there indeed are more opportunities for infection, compared to a standard vanilla relationship. As a result – although no real research has been done in this area – there should be a higher risk of spreading an STD.

8. What BDSM activities are likely to spread an STD?

All forms of penetration, genital or by means of toys, fingers, fists or the mouth are activities that can transmit an STD. In terms of BDSM there are also other activities. Whipping may occasionally cause small superficial skin wounds and any breakage of the skin is a serious crack in the bodies main line of defense against diseases, including many STDs. Bondage ropes, used in the genital area, are a well known vehicle for sexually transmitted diseases and so are internal toys (vibrators, dildos, Ben Wah balls, vibrating eggs, etcetera). Nipple clamps may also cause small skin wounds. In general, BDSM activity is much more physically intens and physically demanding than most other forms of sexual activity. As a result, you should be more careful.

9. Why do governmental and health organisation hardly ever mention BDSM-acitivity in their STD information?

Most forms of what is generally known as “alternative sexuality” (such as BDSM) are overlooked by governmental and health organisations, when it comes to information and education about STD risks. The reason for this is largely in the fact that such organisations simply will not believe there are that many practitioners and that such organisations have no clue about BDSM. “Alternative sexuality” in the entire education of health care professionals usually takes up as much space (and attention) as ONE PAGE IN ONE BOOK! That is, if alternative sexuality is being mentioned at all!

10. How can I help to inform people about STD risks?

If you happen to be active in a local BDSM community, or for example have a personal website about BDSM, try and devote some time and space to sexually transmitted diseases occasionally. For example, next to workshops about flogging, bondage or needle play, a workshop about STD prevention will be very helpful. But, since this is not a popular subject you may also want to settle for having leaflets available, writing something in your magazine or newsletter if you have one and putting information on websites.