By: Nicole Colwell, STPRC volunteer
We hope you’re enjoying our Super Sex Series, which is actually an exploration of the benefits of waiting until you’re married to have sex. In our last post, we discussed how couples who have sex (whether they have sex before they’re married, or they wait) actually demonstrate a creation of chemical bonds in their brains. These bonds were designed to draw them closer. The problem is that many couples who choose to have sex before they get married end up breaking up, thus breaking this bond. This results is a great deal of pain and heartache, as well as a degree of inability to bond with their husband or wife in the future.
As we continue our Super Sex Series, we’d like to talk about a subject that you’ve probably heard a lot about - STDs.
What are STDs?
STDs, or Sexually Transmitted Diseases, are also referred to as Sexually Transmitted Infections. These infections are contracted by having sexual contact with someone who has the infection. Some examples of STDs include:
What is my Risk?
Years ago, it was believed that if you used protection (such as a condom) during sex, you weren’t at risk for contracting an STD. However, through significant amounts of research, studies have found that any time you have sex with someone who is infected with an STD, you put yourself at risk for contracting the infection yourself. Condoms offer you some protection, but not enough according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection website. According to their findings, latex condoms offer some protection against unwanted pregnancy and some STDs. However, there are other types of condoms that may not provide protection against STDs, including HIV. The website also indicates that the failure rate for condoms when used appropriately is 18%.
How Will I Know if I have an STD?
There are a few symptoms you can look for to determine whether or not you may have gotten an STD. These symptoms include:
The Southern Tier PRC is Here to Help
Although the decision of whether or not to have sex before you are married is entirely up to you, here at the Southern Tier PRC, we have a lot of information and materials that can help you make a good decision. If you would like to speak with one of our peer counselors, we encourage you to make an appointment. You can contact us, or you can also make an appointment through our website by clicking the appointment button above.
STDs are very serious, and they can affect you for the rest of your life. Some STDs don’t surface for years, so you can become infected without knowing it for a long time. It’s our hope that this series on Super Sex will be informative for you, and that it will give you the tools to make excellent choices for your sex life.
By: Nicole Colwell, STPRC volunteer
According to an article on the WomensHealth.gov website, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Perhaps you have recently found out that you are pregnant. It’s possible that it came as quite a shock to you, and you’re now unsure of what to do, or how to react.
Here at the Southern Tier PRC in , we help women and families who are encountering unplanned pregnancies. Here are a few of the common reactions we see in the women who visit the Center.
Concern that the baby’s father will not be happy about the news - This is one of the most common fears that women have when they find out when encountering an unplanned pregnancy. Many of them worry that their partner is going to want them to have an abortion. Some of them worry that their partner will leave them.
Worry that you can’t afford a baby - There’s no doubt that having a baby is expensive. Not only is prenatal care costly, but once the baby is born, paying for clothes, formula and other baby essentials can be pretty taxing on your income.
Unsure of your ability to handle being pregnant for nine months - If your pregnancy is unplanned, you might be concerned about feeling depressed or anxious during the next nine months. You may have other children to care for, or other responsibilities that will make being pregnant very difficult for you.
Fear for your future plans - Whether you’re a student in high school who has had a positive pregnancy test, or you thought your child-bearing days were over, finding out that you’re pregnant can make you very fearful about your future. It’s disheartening to think that you will have to put your plans on hold, or perhaps have to give up your goals altogether.
If any of these sound familiar to you, we want you to know that we understand, and we’re here to help you. We hope that these truths will offer you some encouragement:
Here at the Southern Tier PRC, we are dedicated to helping women and men just like you. Our services include offering free pregnancy tests, free options counseling, free ultrasounds, and much more. We are excited to be able to offer you with materials assistance as well as referrals to many community agencies who will rally around you during this important time in your life.
If you believe you might be pregnant, it can feel as though you’re facing a crisis. You may feel the need to make a quick decision, but that quick decision will affect you for the rest of your life. Contrary to popular belief, it’s important for you to get the education you need about your options before making any decisions regarding your health, or the health of your unborn baby.
If you would like to make an appointment with the Southern Tier PRC, we would love to talk with you. Our peer counselors will help you navigate this difficult time, and all of our services are always free. To make your appointment, please contact us today.
Written by the staff and volunteers of the Southern Tier PRC.