STI's can be silent infections and left without treatment can cause all kinds of problems including infertility. If you're sexually active and don't use a condom, even once, you are susceptible to getting an STI. Condoms also cannot protect from every STI and therefore it is extremely important to know your partners sexual health history and know they have been checked out before taking your relationship to the next level. Here are the most common STI's that can be asymptomatic.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
This is the virus that causes cervical cancer and you could be carrying it right now, without it causing any damage. Most strains of this virus do not cause cancer, some may cause genital warts. Condoms cannot protect against all strains and therefore it is important to get your smear tests when you reach 30. You may also get the HPV vaccine which should be given as a preteen to help combat the risk of this virus being spread. Due to this vaccination being used in many countries, the risk of getting cervical cancer has dropped significantly.
This STI is most common in people under the age of 25 and most sufferers will not even know they have it. If you do show symptoms these can be commonly mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection, therefore if you have any doubts, visit a sexual health clinic. It is better to be safe than sorry. If this STI spreads unnoticed it can lead to damage to the reproductive organs and can be life threatening if you are pregnant to the fetus. It is curable with antibiotics and is usually diagnosed along with Chlamydia. If you have suffered from an STI sometimes getting back to being sexually active and enjoying sex again can be hard, as you are worried about getting another. recoveryourhealthtoday.com explains why it doesn't need to be this way and why sex should help you feel healthy and happy.
You’d think you would know if you had genital herpes, right? This is not always the case and those with Herpes Simplex 2 may never be diagnosed. This strain is usually associated with genital herpes, and the strain that causes sores on the mouth is Herpes Simplex 1. This can be spread to the genital area too though, even if a mouth sore is not present through oral sex, which a condom would not protect you from. There are dental dams you can purchase if you are worried your partner has Herpes, and these are recommended for the gay and lesbian community.
You do not need to be put off sex because of STI’s. Just be open and honest and get screened regularly. Use a condom or dental dam if required, unless you are trying to get pregnant and you are with a partner you can trust. If you are dating someone new it is recommended that you both get screened before you first have intercourse, as you may be carrying something you do not even know you have.