Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a possible consequence for those who choose to be sexually active. Take some time to educate yourself on the different types of STDs, STD symptoms and prevention methods.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has infected nearly 20 million individuals; with an estimated 6 million newly diagnosed cases each year. HPV is transmitted via skin to skin contact; sexual intercourse is not necessary for HPV transmission. There are over 100 strains of HPV the most common are genital warts and cervical cancer. A new HPV vaccination, Gardasil, was recently developed for women between the ages of 9 and 26. Gardasil may help protect against the four most common strains, including genital warts and cervical cancer. It is administered in a series of three vaccinations over a six month period. Check out these fact sheets to learn more about HPV and the Gardasil vaccine.
If you carry the DU Student Health Insurance Plan and The Health and Counseling Fee, the vaccinations are available for you, free of cost at the The Health and Counseling Center. Contact the HCC (303.871.2205) to find out if you're covered.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2003 over 1 million individuals in the U.S. were living with HIV/AIDS. The disease is spread through sexual contact with an infected person, sharing needles for injecting drugs, or from mother to child during birth or by breast feeding. The most effective form of prevention is consistent condom use. Condoms cannot protect you 100% against HIV/AIDS, but they will greatly decrease your chances when used correctly.
Diagnosed with an STD?
Were you recently diagnosed with an STD?
Discovering you are infected with an STD is extremely difficult. However, for most STDs, your doctor can prescribe medication to cure the disease or suppress the symptoms. It is important to share this news with past partners so they can also get tested and treated if necessary.
Telling past sexual partners that you contracted an STD is a very daunting task! Fortunately, there is a new resource to ANONOMOUSLY contact past sexual partners with e-postcards. inSPOT.org is a great way to inform partners they too might have an STD. Taking this step may prevent them further spreading the STD and may help protect them from the long term effects associated with untreated STDs.
Click here to learn more about inSPOT.org or send an e-postcard.
Are you in a relationship?
Telling someone you care about that you are infected with an STD can be extremely difficult. InSPOT.org also provides advice on how to talk to your partner about your STD.
Visit inSpot.org for more information.
Choosing the right birth control
There are so many different kinds of birth control-from oral contraceptives, to condoms, to diaphragms and even hormone shots. As a college woman, how do you decide what is right for you? It is always best to talk to your doctor, but to learn more about your options, click here to visit the Women's Health Matters website.
Pregnancy in College
Think you might be pregnant? There are a few options. Home pregnancy tests can reveal with reasonable accuracy if you are pregnant a few days after your missed period. If your test is positive, you should see a doctor to confirm. Keep in mind, if you are 18 or older, all medical records are confidential. If you would like to a pregnancy test, please call the Health & Counseling Center to schedule a same-day appointment (303.871.2205).
Fortunately in the modern age, information about pregnancy is easy to come by, for more information, click here.
Cervical cancer affects a womans cervix. Some of the important risk factors that can lead to cervical cancer include infection from the HPV virus, smoking, HIV, Chlamydia and/or a family history of cervical cancer. There is no cure for cervical cancer. It may be prevented by the HPV immunization; and can be detected early by regular, annual Pap smears. For more information visit the American Cancer Society website.
Store your condoms in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and light. Remember, condoms can expire, so check the expiration date! Its a always a good idea to talk to your partner about condoms, sex, STDs, etc. before engaging in sexual activity.
How to put on a condom:
- Use a new condom every time you have sex.
- Open the condom carefully (not using your teeth). If the condom is brittle, use a new one.
- Remove the condom from the package; squeeze the tip of the condom with your thumb and forefinger, to leave room for fluid (your fluid).
- Place the unrolled condom at the tip of the erect penis. While holding the tip with one hand, unroll the condom to the base of the penis with your other hand.
- If youre feeling sassy, have your partner unroll the condom.
- After ejaculation, hold the rim of the condom at the base of the penis and pull out. This keeps it from slipping off.
- Throw the condom away. Don't flush it, silly.
- Lubricant can reduce the risk of your condom breaking during use.
- Only use water based lubricants (astroglide or KY jelly). NEVER use petroleum based lubricants.
- Spremicide may reduce the transmission of STDs.
- Condoms can slow down ejaculation.
- Polyurethane condoms are available for both men and women.
Testicular cancer is most common in young men between the ages of 20 and 39. It is more common in men who had abnormal testicle development, undescended testicle, or have a family history of cancer. Most cases of testicular cancer are found by patients themselves. Screening can be increased if men do regular self exams. Some of the symptoms include: a painless lump or swelling in the testicle, pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum, an enlargement or change in its feel and/or a dull ache in the lower abdomen, back or groin. If you experience these symptoms it is important for you to see a doctor immediately. For more information, click here.
Love and Relationships
When you are starting a relationship think about these key steps in order to fulfill your relationships potential!
- Explore each other's interests and passions so that you have a long list of things to enjoy together. Try new things together to expand mutual interests.
- Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Happy couples are able to focus on all the considerate things your partner says and does.
- Establish a pattern of apologizing if you make a mistake or hurt your partners feelings. Your partner will trust you more if he or she knows that you will take responsibility for your words and actions.
Seven Basic Steps to Maintaining a Good Relationship
- Be aware of what you and your partner want for yourselves and what you from the relationship.
- Let one another know what your needs are.
- Realize that your partner will not be able to meet all your needs. Some of these needs will have to be met outside of the relationship.
- Be willing to negotiate and compromise on the things you want from one another.
- Do not demand that a partner change to meet all your expectations. Work to accept the differences between your ideal mate and the real person you are dating.
- Try to see things from the other's point of view. This doesnt mean that you must agree with one another all the time, but rather that both of you can understand and respect each other's differences, points of view, and separate needs.
- Where critical differences do exist in your expectations, needs, or opinions, try to work honestly and sincerely to negotiate. Seek professional "coaching" early rather than waiting until the situation becomes critical.
Outside Pressures on a Relationship
- Time together and apart: Always a common relationship concern. You enjoy time together, but you also may enjoy time alone or with other friends. This should be discussed within the relationship; embrace the time spent together but also acknowledge the need to have personal time as well.
- Friends: Giving up friends may not be healthy for your or the relationship. You might want to talk with your partner about friendships with others; identify any concerns and recognize that each of you will want to continue your outside friendships as well as your current relationship.
- Differences in Background: If you are from different backgrounds, be aware that you may need to spend more time and energy to build your relationship. Even if coming from very similar backgrounds, you may find it important to discuss lifestyles because you may surprise your partner and visa versa.
- You Partner's Family: Some people find that dealing with their partners family difficult or frustrating. It might be important for your relationship to discuss and agree how you want to respond to differing family values and support one another in the face of what can be very intense Suggestions from family.
Information gathered from the University of Texas.