Sexually active with one or more partners? Congratulations you are eligible for an STI and STI screening! All jokes aside though, taking care of your sexual health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself no matter your gender.

All about condoms

Condoms are one of the most common and widely known ways to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy and STD/STI’s. According to WSU’s 2018 College Student Health Survey, birth control pills were the most common form of pregnancy prevention with condoms being the second most common.

Other forms of birth control such as the shot and the IUD protect you from unwanted pregnancy, but only a condom can protect you from chlamydia, herpes, HPV and gonorrhea.

According to plannedparenthood.org, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. Condoms can be used for any kind of sex whether it be oral, vaginal or anal. Condoms are sold in Health and Wellness Services in IWC room 222 and are also free in most on campus dorm bathrooms provided by resident assistants.

According to a WSU’s 2018 College Student Health Survey, condoms were used the least during oral sex and used the most during vaginal intercourse. The same study shows that there has been a decrease in condom use during vaginal intercourse by 11.7% within the last three years.

There are condoms for both males and females, but they should never be worn together. Doubling up on condoms doesn’t make sex “safer” and only one condom will suffice. The most common type of condom contains latex, but if you have a latex allergy, non-latex condoms such as Durex Non-Latex condoms are a better alternative.

STD’S/STI’s

STD stands for sexually transmitted disease while STI stands for sexually transmitted infection.  Both can be transmitted after a form of unprotected sexual activity with a partner.A common STI is HIV or human immunodeficiency virus.According to cdc.org, over half of the 20 million sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed each year are people between the ages of 15 to 24.

Common STD’s diagnosed and treated at Winona State University include; chlamydia, herpes, HPV, and gonorrhea. According to cdc.org, sometimes symptoms of an STD doesn’t show up for weeks, months or at all and if symptoms are ignored, it can be dangerous for your personal health as well as your sexual partner’s health.

How do I know if I have an STD/STI?

The most common STD’s such as chlamydia, herpes, HPV and gonorrhea, could have symptoms to watch out for, but getting tested each year and even after a new partner, is a good way to ensure that you are safe, healthy and STD-free.

According to a WSU’s 2018 College Student Health Survey, 9.3% of students have reported having at least one STI and there has been a 72.5% increase of cases of chlamydia within the past three years.

Chlamydia: Most people don’t experience symptoms, but those who do have abnormal discharge and women experience abdominal pain and pain or bleeding during sex or between periods.

Herpes: There is no cure for herpes, but there are medications that manage the symptoms such as blisters and sores around genitals,.

HPV: HPV stands for human papillomavirus and often there are no symptoms and the virus clears on its own, but sometimes symptoms include genital warts and this virus can lead to cancers.

Gonorrhea: Many people do not experience symptoms, but those who do might find abnormal discharge, pain and difficulty peeing, men could have swollen testicles and women could experience bleeding between periods.

What to do?

Getting tested regularly is one of the best ways to stay healthy, and if you happen to contract an STD/STI, it can be treated or monitored right away.

  • Wear a condom during sex whether it be oral vaginal or anal.
  • Get tested once a year as well as whenever you have sex with a new partner.
  • Watch out for signs and symptoms of an STD/STI and act on it immediately.
  • Contact a medical professional when something seems different, painful or uncomfortable.

Resources WSU has

WSU Health and Wellness Services has many resources to keep you safe and healthy such as women’s health checks and exams, contraception management and more. STD/STI tests are available by appointment by calling 507-457-5160 to make an appointment. You can also call

the confidential and free Ask-A-Nurse line at 507-457-2292 if you have questions or concerns. For more detailed information go to www.winona.edu/healthservices/

 

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Cheney Mason

Cheney is from Stevens Point, WI and is majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish. She enjoys writing, baking, working out, hanging out with friends and traveling.

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