Another Non-Romantic side of Premarital Sex!

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20

This is another BAD side that is seldom mentioned by parties that endorse premarital sex. Even in the movies you hardly see it being presented to be true to the reality. I don’t think there are too many of us who can see a popular character from TV show and movies who engaged in sex outside of marriage (even the promiscuous ones) ever contracted in STDs, unless that character is the antagonist. But the truth is, as the statistic shows, STDs are prevalent especially among the teenagers. Obviously the entertainment industry hardly presents this side of reality because there is nothing romantic about it. Always remember that this could happen to any of us when we decide to have sex outside of marriage, REGARDLESS how well you think you know your partner. Furthermore, from previous study, many people lie to their sexual partner when they are about to engage in sexual relationship.

Bear in mind that some of the STDs are still deadly while a few others can cause infertility for the victims. And there’s still no safest means to prevent the contraction other than abstinence, so don’t be fooled by the propaganda that you see out there that as long as you use protection, everything will be fine and enjoyable. Also for girls, there is something that you should know that a female’s reproduction system is more vulnerable to contract STDs than that of a male.

This section will contain some of the basic information about some of the most popular (not all) Sexually Transmitted Diseases with graphic pictures. Please note, that this shouldn’t be taken as a medical advice of any kind for STDs if you have one. If you think you’re infected with any of the STDs, consult a physician so you can be treated right away.

This is not supposed to be a medical representation of STDs, this is only posted here to show what you could get by engaging in premarital sex, and this is real. It is here to show what you’re protected from when you choose abstinence and obey God’s Word. Just think of biblical moral boundaries as the lines that are painted on the street. As annoying as that lines are, they are there for our own and other’s safety and protection. In the same way, God’s commands are designed to protect us from heartbreak, disappointment, and lifetime regrets.

Just a point to ponder: “It is much more difficult to believe that someone truly loves you when he or she passes you an STD, instead of virginity, as a wedding gift!”

Another question to ask: After knowing all the consequences, do you think it’s really worth it to forego what you have right now, just for a few minutes of pleasure? That is if you can even enjoy it!

Vaginal Infections

Some vaginal infections are acquired sexually. The most common types are that can be regarded as STDs are:

Trichomoniasis (also known as “trichomonas vaginitis” or “trich”)

Trichomoniasis is caused by a microscopic, one-celled organism known as a trichomonad, which can survive for several hours on articles such as damp towels and swimsuits. Nevertheless, this infection almost always is acquired through sexual intercourse. The vaginal discharge may be greenish or yellowish, either watery or frothy and usually with an unpleasant odor. Vaginal soreness, persistent itching or burning are typical symptoms.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Several types of bacteria (including gardnerella) can cause this infection. Vaginitis usually is transmitted sexually. The vaginal discharge, often heavy, is watery and has a strong “fishy” odor. Sometimes, this infection is also accompanied by other types of infection that cause vaginal itching and burning.

Genital Warts (Venereal Warts; Condyloma; HPV)

HPV in vulva and anus

Vulva, the entrance to vagina (top middle) and anus (lower center).

The extensive human papilloma virus (HPV) family causes genital warts, as well as warts on fingers and plantar warts on the soles of feet. In the U.S., HPV infection has reached epidemic proportions, estimated at more than one million new victims each year and 24 million who now have the disease (as of 1998).

An individual may be infected with HPV viruses and be able to transmit genital warts sexually long before symptoms develop. Venereal warts often are painless. Ranging from pinhead size to a quarter inch in diameter, warts may be invisible to the naked eye. The growths can be raised and bumpy, or flat, or shaped like a tiny cauliflower. Color may vary from white to gray to pink to brown.

Genital warts in vagina

Internal (Hidden) Genital Warts on the lining of the vaginal canal.

In females, warts may form on the cervix, in the vagina or rectum, on the vulva or anus, and sometimes in the urethra. Lasting irritation of the female organs is a frequent after-effect of HPV. Males most commonly develop warts on the penis, but also on the scrotum, the anal area, and the urethra.

Warts on penis

Genital Warts on the head of the penis (upper left). The rest of the abnormalities seen on penis shaft are penile papules (not part of HPV).

Venereal warts can be difficult to detect, even by physicians. About 70 percent of women with external warts also have warts on the cervix or in the vagina. Pap tests often provide the first clue. Internal lesions typically go unnoticed, but sometimes itch and bleed. To date, certain types of treatments can eliminate the warts, but the virus remains in the body, and warts often reappear. During an outbreak of condyloma (warts), caution should be exercised. Scratching genital warts can spread them to other parts of the body. Sexual activity should be avoided until warts are completely gone.

HPV on lips

Genital Wart on corner and on lower lip.

A prospective mother who’s at risk for genital warts needs to be tested early in her pregnancy. Mothers with genital warts can deliver babies with warts. In rare cases, venereal warts enlarge during pregnancy, actually blocking the birth canal, making Caesarean delivery a must.

Syphilis

Syphilis is at a 40-year high, with about 150,000 new cases every year. Add to that about 3,500 cases of congenital syphilis in babies born to infected mothers. Each year brings a dramatic increase in both types. Spread mainly by sexual contact, syphilis is one of the most serious STDs, causing widespread tissue damage. After infection, an individual with untreated syphilis becomes a carrier, able to infect sexual partners for up to four years.

Even when treated, syphilis can erupt many years later. After sexual contact with a diseased person, a lesion appears, usually in the anal-genital area. This is a small, red, elevated sore (chancre) that becomes moist and eroded. After four to ten weeks the sore will heal without treatment.

Women may show no symptoms. However, diagnosis can be made by a physical examination and blood test anytime following the first three weeks after contact.

On the secondary stage, things will become worse. The internal damage begins, and the diseased person is still contagious. The person may develop non-itching eruptions or a rash, usually on the trunk of the body, commonly within six weeks to three months.

When the latent period arrives, with no symptoms, the person is not contagious anymore. However, the late stage of syphilis may show itself in any organ—the brain, the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and on the skin. These late effects, which can be disabling, crippling, and disfiguring, may not arrive for more than 30 years. A pregnant woman can also pass the disease to her child. The child may show signs of congenital syphilis later—up until puberty and even as late as age 30.

Gonorrhea

Over one million new cases of gonorrhea occur annually. Gonorrhea is a serious bacterial infection that is spread only through sexual contact. The usual incubation period is two to seven days, but symptoms may not appear for weeks, months, or years. Up to 80 percent of infected women display no symptoms and unknowingly become carriers, capable of transmitting gonorrhea to their sexual partners. It’s less likely that infected men will be symptom-free.

A typical symptom in infected individuals of either sex is painful urination. Males may notice a cloudy, pus-like discharge from the penis. Females with gonorrhea may have a cloudy vaginal discharge, pssible lower abdominal discomfort, or abnormal vaginal bleeding. Gonorrhea can also infect the mouth or rectum as a result of oral or anal sexual contact.

Gonorrhea may also cause impotence in men because it usually involves a man’s entire reproductive tract. In the female, gonorrhea may infect the uterus and surrounding abdominal area, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease and/or peritonitis. Frequently the end result is sterility. In both sexes, when gonorrhea goes undetected and untreated, it can spread throughout the bloodstream, infecting the heart, the brain, the joints, bones, tendons, skin, and other parts of the body. When an infected, untreated woman gives birth, her baby’s eyes are subject to infection with the gonorrhea bacteria.

One reliable source estimates that in the U.S. each year as many as 100,000 women are rendered sterile by gonorrhea and the pelvic inflammatory disease that almost always follows.

Chlamydia

This “silent sexual disease” is a leading sexualy transmitted disease in the U.S. today. One state health department estimates that new cases of this bacterial infection are about four times more common than new cases of genital herpes or genital warts combined. Approximately four million new cases of chlamydia occur each year. Most physicians do not routinely test for it.

Symptoms often are mild, mimicking other ailments. Typical symptoms in females are abdominal pain (sometimes with fever), vaginal discharge, difficulty in urinating, and pain during sexual intercourse. Likely symptoms in the male are urinary tract infections (urethritis) plus a discharge from the penis, which contains no pus. About 70 percent of women and 30 percent of men display no symptoms at all, so the disease quietly ravages the body.

Consider these dismal facts. The prevalence of chlamydia is highest among sexually active women under the age of 20. Left untreated, chlamydia can spread throughout the reproductive tract, causing infertility or sterility in both women and men. Officials identify chlamydia as the culprit in an estimated 40 percent of the country’s cases of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection that can permanently scar the uterus and fallopian tubes. Chlamydia is now labeled a major cause of infertility among women of childbearing age. Usually the infected woman is unaware of the damage until she wants to become pregnant.

When women with chlamydia do conceive, their chances of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy increase dramatically. An ectopic pregnancy is fatal to the fetus, and life-threatening to the mother as well. If a normal pregnancy occurs, and the woman is not treated during gestation, the baby can be infected while passing through the birth canal. These infants may develop eye, ear, or lung infections. Following delivery, an infected woman is at greater risk of uterine infection.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

A sexually active female teenager is much more susceptible to all STD germs, but especially PID. An unchecked STD—usually chlamydia or gonorrhea—is the standard cause of pelvic inflammatory disease. However, E. coli and other bacteria also can be at fault.

The type and severity of PID symptoms depend on the type and strength of the infecting bacteria. General symptoms include moderate to severe pain in the lower abdomen; fever, either high or continuing low-grade; nausea, which may include diarrhea and vomiting; painful intercourse; unusual vaginal discharge; spotting and/or pain between menstrual periods; change in normal menstrual periods—irregular or unusually long periods, heavy bleeding or discharge, or painful periods.

Irreparable damage has become PID’s legacy, particularly with repeated episodes. Fallopian tubes become scarred, then completely blocked. Infertility, even permanent sterility, frequently results. When pregnancy does occur, the chance of the fertilized ovum attaching inside the tube is high (ectopic pregnancy). When this happens, death of the fetus is inevitable, and risk to the mother’s life is high.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a very contagious viral infection, occurring around the sex organs, spread almost entirely by sexual contact. Most genital herpes infections are caused by herpes simplex type 2 virus, which is related to herpes simplex type 1, the virus involved in chicken pox, fever blisters, and cold sores. (There are other herpes viruses, as well, that cause other conditions.) Estimates by various agencies range from five to 30 million individuals in the U.S. who are infected with genital herpes, with at least 300,000 new cases each year. (Physicians are not required to report the disease.) According to some studies, 30 to 40 percent of single, sexually active people (as of 1998) are infected.

Penis with vesicles or fluid-filled blisters

Penis with vesicles or fluid-filled blisters. These appear early in an attack.

Genital herpes usually begins within four to seven days after infection, but symptoms can begin as long as a month later. A mild burning or tingling in the genitals and buttocks often signals an outbreak. Fever, flu-like symptoms, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin may follow. Within a week, fluid-filled blisters appear, which then break and form raw, extremely painful sores. For males these outbreakes usually are confined to the penis, scrotum, and buttocks. In females, however, both external and internal sex organs are involved. About one-third of herpes patients experience only mild symptoms such as itching, redness, and a few insignificant bumps, or no symptoms at all.

But the majority of those infected face recurring outbreaks for life. Severity and frequency of these flare-ups vary with the individual, but usually are less severe than the initial infection. Herpes sufferers typically have from one to six outbreaks per year. Trigerring factors are individual, too—anything from a cold to menstruation to emotional stress to wearing clothes that fit too tihgtly.

New research indicates that about 70 percent of those with genital herpes contracted the disease from a partner with no noticeable symptoms. In the absence of symptoms, doctors have difficulty diagnosing genital herpes.

Vulva (external female genitalia) with ulcers

Vulva (external female genitalia) with ulcers. These appear in the middle of an attack when the blisters rupture. They are usually extremely painful.

Herpes infection can be spread whenever any part of one’s body (or one’s partner’s body) touches active sores containing the virus. Mucous membranes (as in the mouth or genital area) are especially vulnerable. When the skin is broken, as from cuts, eczema, and abrasions, risk of infection increases dramatically. If there are sores in the mouth, using saliva as a wetting agent for contact lenses can transfer the herpes virus to the eyes. Should the virus invade the eye, it can cause lesions on the cornea that may result in partial or complete vision impairment.

Note to Women

Herpes virus can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Despite prompt identification and treatment, those infants infected with herpes are at great risk of developing brain damage or dying. Herpes infection is lifelong and multiplies the woman’s risk of developing cancer of the cervix. Cervical cancer is curable, but early detection is essential.

Chancroid

This STD hasn’t been much of a factor since the late 1940s. However, in the past few years, reported cases have increased sharply, and it is once again being regarded as a significant disease here, as it already is in many parts of the world. Chancroid is a bacterial disease that cause genital ulcers and swollen lymph glands. If not treated, the disease can destroy the urinary tract and other body tissue.

Chancroid usually is found among heterosexuals, with 3 to 25 times more cases among men than women.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

AIDS was identified in the U.S. and in Europe in 1981. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Once the virus invades the body, it silently begins to ravage the immune system. The HIV virus invades the bloodstream, attacking white blood cells, and also cells of the bone marrow, spleen, liver, and lymph glands. These cells normally manufacture antibodies against disease and cancer, so the HIV-infected person becomes increasingly vulnerable.

During the incubation period (which can be more than 10 years), the infected person may be unaware of infection and display no identifiable symptoms. Nevertheless, the individual is capable of transmitting the virus all along. Testing only establishes that the infected person has finally produced enough HIV antibodies to show up on the screening. From that point on the individual is declared “HIV positive.”

Compare the fact to confident statements frequently expressed in the media. Mutual HIV testing is touted as the “guarantee” that two individuals can fearlessly engage in sexual activity. Not so! Test results are valid only for the time the test was taken—not the next week or the next month. For all these reasons, some health professionals consider AIDS a “ticking time bomb.” There simply is no way to estimate the number of infected persons, male or female, straight or gay, marriage or single, young or old.

Although AIDS is contagious, it can’t be spread in the same way as the common cold, chicken pox, or measles. Rather, it’s contagious in the same manner as are other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or syphilis. In fact, research suggests that other sexually transmitted diseases and genital ulcers actually promote the transmission of AIDS. It’s thought that these conditions provide an entry route for the HIV or somehow alter the immune system.

After infection with the AIDS virus, some people remain apparently well. Nevertheless, these persons can transmit the virus to others through sexual relations; through sharing needles in intravenous drug use; or when donating blood, organs, tissue, or sperm. AIDS is spread through blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. Other pssible (though far less likely) avenues are the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth, which are permeable and thus allow viruses to pass directly into the bloodstream.

The AIDS virus has also been identified in menstrual blood, tears, saliva, sperm, and feces. It’s presently considered unlikely that the virus can be transmitted by any means other than sexual contact or by blood exhange.

AIDS is spread by sexual contact: vaginal, oral, and anal sex. And sometime “French” kissing or wet kissing may also spread AIDS virus. Since 1986, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that couples not kiss deeply if one of them is infected with the AIDS virus, mostly because of the possibility of mouth lesions or bleeding gums.

Notes

Most of the information were taken from: Lenore Buth, How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex (St. Louis: Concordia, 1998), 106-121.