As a woman, navigating your reproductive health can feel a bit daunting. But being properly educated about your reproductive system is vitally important for your current and future health. Call us today to at 760-284-5089 to take the next best step for you and your health!
If you are sexually active, you should be tested annually for an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). No matter how cautious you are with your sexual health, any form of sexual activity puts you at risk for contracting an infection caused by a virus, bacteria, parasite, or fungus. And unfortunately, many STIs do not have many symptoms (or asymptomatic), so you or your partner could be contagious and not even realize it.
With proper treatment, long-term risks associated with an STI can be avoided. However, if left untreated, an STI could cause damage to your reproductive system and your future health.
A woman’s reproductive system consists of her vaginal canal, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. All of these structures play a vital role in a woman’s ability to have children. However, even if a woman does not desire to ever become pregnant, the health of her reproductive system affects her overall health.
Most often, an STI begins in the vaginal canal, and when untreated, will slowly move up through the other structures. As the infection spreads, it may develop into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID. PID can cause inflammation, adhesions, and irreversible scarring. Often this will lead to long-term pelvic pain and can cause pregnancy complications, such as an ectopic pregnancy, or even lead to infertility as scar tissue blocks the fallopian tubes. One in ten women who develop PID become infertile.
To prevent these complications, women should be routinely tested for STIs. Studies have found that some women who developed PID were diagnosed with untreated Chlamydia, whereas others were diagnosed with untreated Gonorrhea.  Other STIs can cause additional complications to a woman’s health. For example, HPV alters cervical cells and may lead to cancer. Or bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis increases a woman’s risk of contracting another STI.,
Without proper identification and treatment, a woman may contract additional STIs, or contract the same STI again. Reoccurring infections can also result in PID and therefore in long-term complications.
Although discussing your sexual health may feel scary, you deserve a team of trained professionals to help you navigate what might be next for you. You’ve got what it takes to protect your reproductive system and your health. Call us at 760-284-5089 to find out how we can support you!