The World Egg Bank’s main focus, as you might assume by our name, is operating as an egg bank. In addition to our day-to-day business we also believe that we have the unique ability to be an educational tool on a communal level, especially in regards to women’s reproductive health.
Every month we screen prospective egg donors to ensure they’re healthy and meet FDA requirements to donate. Through this testing protocol our organization has become hyperaware of the amount of women who live low-risk (and in many case monogamist) lifestyles that are unknowingly infected with an STD. In many of these cases women are in complete shock and can’t even think or who/when they would’ve contracted from. At TWEB, we want to educate and promote STD awareness, risks and prevention in hopes that all women can better protect their bodies in an informed manner.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 1 in 2 people will have an STD at some point in their life. That’s right – 1 in 2, as in 50% of the population. Many of these STDs contracted are those that can usually be treated with antibiotics, however, it’s worth pointing out that there are now reported strains of the once treatable Gonorrhea that are becoming antibiotic resistent. Scary stuff to say the least! Young people account for a substantial portion of new STDs and the consequences can be particularly severe for women. It is reported by the CDC that undiagnosed STDs cause an estimated 24,000 women to become infertile each year. This is often times due to lack of symptoms and/or delayed testing. If STDs go left untreated for long periods of time it can lead to irreparable damage to the reproductive oregons.
As you heard in sex ed the surest was to avoid STDs is abstinence, but realistically that route isn’t for everyone. For those who are sexually active their best line of defense and protection against STDs is the following – get tested, use condoms and communicate with partners. Regular testing for STDs is important because many infections can have little to no symptoms, so there is a chance that you and/or a partner could be infected and spreading the disease without even knowing it. Using a condom consistently and correctly greatly reduces the risk of contracting STDs through genital fluids, as well as sligtly lessens the risk herpes and HPV (although these can still be transmitted through skin to skin contact).
If you are considering having unprotected sex, be sure to discuss with your partner the following:
- Whether they’ve been tested for STDs
- Which STDs they have been tested for and how recently
- Whether or not they have had sex with anyone since they were last tested
- Whether they have been vaccinated for HPV
- Whether they have ever had a herpes outbreak (although many people have herpes but experience no symptoms)
Although this can seem like an uncomfortable discussion, it is important to have rather than assume a partner has been tested and free of STDs. Keep in mind you both have the right to know and make an informed decision before having unprotected sex. By taking necessary procautions and opening the lines of communication you will have reins to take control of your own sexual health.
For more information on protecting your body from an STD, visit the links below.