Well let me tell you, young and old, that I have some seriously bad news for you. A quick look at the WHO statistics tells me that:
- 448 million new infections of curable sexually transmitted (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) infections occur yearly.
- Some sexually transmitted infections exist without symptoms.
- In pregnant women with untreated early syphilis, 25% of pregnancies result in stillbirth and 14% in neonatal death.
- Sexually transmitted infections are the main preventable cause of infertility, particularly in women.
And if you have an untreated STI, you have a 10 times higher risk of contracting and transmitting HIV!
Sadly, women are the more vulnerable group as they can often harbor some infections without knowing that they have the disease. This is particularly so in the case of Chlamydia, the complications of which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancies: here's more from the WHO:
- 10 - 40% of women with untreated chlamydial infection develop symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Post-infection tubal damage is responsible for 30 - 40% of cases of female infertility.
- Women who have had pelvic inflammatory disease are 6 - 10 times more likely to develop an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy than those who have not
- 40 - 50% of ectopic pregnancies can be attributed to previous pelvic inflammatory disease.
- In untreated early syphilis, 25% of pregnancies result in stillbirth and 14% in neonatal death – an overall perinatal mortality of about 40%.
- Up to 35% of pregnancies among women with untreated gonococcal infection result in spontaneous abortions and premature deliveries, and up to 10% in perinatal deaths.