Five STD Risk Factors to Consider
To determine if you are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), it is important to consider various factors. These include your sexual behaviors, the sexual behaviors of your partners, and any potential exposure to STDs. Here are some common risk factors:
- Unprotected sex: Engaging in sexual activities without using barrier methods such as condoms or dental dams can increase the risk of STD transmission. Even kissing can spread STD’s!
- Multiple sexual partners: Having multiple partners or engaging in casual sex increases the likelihood of coming into contact with someone who has an STD.
- History of previous STDs: If you have had an STD in the past, it may increase your susceptibility to other infections.
- Sharing needles: Sharing needles for drug use or tattooing can expose you to bloodborne infections like HIV and hepatitis B or C.
- Lack of regular testing: Not getting tested regularly for STDs can put you at risk since some infections may not show symptoms initially but can still be transmitted.
It’s important to note that anyone who is sexually active is potentially at risk for contracting an STD, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. Regular testing and open communication with your healthcare provider about your sexual history can help assess your individual risk level and take appropriate preventive measures.
If left untreated, certain untreated STIs can lead to serious health complications such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic pain, increased vulnerability to other infections including HIV/AIDS, and even certain types of cancer in some cases.
To learn more, check out these additional risks for contracting an STD and be sure to get tested! Many people have no symptoms and will infect their partners as well!
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