6 Ways STDs Impact Women Differently From Men
STDs affect men and women equally, but some sexually transmitted diseases impact women in different ways to men. Keep reading to learn more about how STDs impact women differently.
How Do STDs Impact Women Differently From Men?
Whilst most STDs will affect both men and women, a woman’s anatomy means that STDs and their symptoms may affect them in different ways to men.
1. Womens’ anatomy places them at a greater risk of contracting STDs
The lining of the vagina is considerably thinner and more delicate than the skin on a penis, making it much easier for STDs to penetrate. Further, the warm and moist environment of the vagina is a good place for bacteria to grow, which can lead to several other sexual health issues such as Thrush and Bacterial Vaginosis.
2. Women are less likely to show symptoms of STDs
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are some of the most common STDs in women, and often go undetected as most will never show symptoms. However, If Chlamydia goes untreated, it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, resulting in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
3. Women often mistake STD symptoms for something else
Similarly, a woman may have symptoms of an STD but mistake them for something else. Discharge could be mistaken for Thrush, and problems urinating could be attributed to a UTI – both very common amongst women.
4. STDs can seriously affect the reproductive system
Left untreated, STDs can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which, in turn, can severely harm the reproductive system, causing ectopic pregnancies and infertility. Such reproductive issues caused by STDs are far less common in men.
5. STDs can be passed onto unborn babies
STDs such as Herpes, HIV, and Syphilis can be passed on from mother to baby during pregnancy or at birth. They pose a serious risk to the child with potential effects such as stillbirth, low birth weight, brain damage, impairments, and disabilities.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, it is important to be tested for STDs before doing so, to ensure that you do not have any STDs, or that you can be treated for them beforehand.
6. Women are at risk of cervical cancer from the HPV virus
The HPV virus is one of the most common STDs in women and is the main cause of cervical cancer. The virus is also very common amongst men, however, most men will not develop any serious health complications as a result of contracting it.
There is, however, a vaccine to help prevent HPV which is routinely offered to girls and boys around the age of 12-13 at school.
Private STD Testing at Your Sexual Health
Regular STD testing is vital to ensure that any infections and diseases are caught early to avoid more serious health complications further down the line. Your Sexual Health offers private STD testing at a number of clinics throughout the UK, and home-testing kits for a wide range of sexually transmitted diseases.
Stay on top of your sexual health and book a Comprehensive Profile Test today to check for some of the most common STDs in the UK. If you’re not sure what you need, one of our friendly advisors would be happy to help. Get in touch with us today for more information.