A mutual understanding on sexual health matters and contraception is important in any relationship. But these are deeply personal and fundamental issues and let’s face it, in a fledgeling relationship, they may not get the talk time they deserve. So what if matters develop quite quickly but your new love interest refuses to wear a condom?
One option is to just walk away – you don’t want to be with someone who plays fast and loose with either STIs or unwanted pregnancies. But if you are really falling for him, it just may not be that simple.
Is now really the time to have that conversation about Sexually Transmitted Disease?
According to Public Health England, PHE, around four hundred new cases of STIs are diagnosed daily in young adults. Statistics reveal that in 2017, there was northwards of 144,000 cases of chlamydia or gonorrhoea in the age bracket 15-24 years old. Certainly young people so the under 25s, account for well over 50% of recorded cases. But are you really going to reach for your PHE data file at your most intimate moment to try and make the point?
The big problem with STIs
STIs can be symptomless so you might be quite right in thinking you don’t have one but unless you are tested and practice safe sex, then you really won’t know.
Antibiotic resistance has been a feature of medical news in the last few years. There is a growing fear about superbugs which will be resistant to the current antibiotic offering and STIs are included in this. Gonorrhoea certainly has been on the rise with PHE reporting a 22% increase in 2017 from the previous year and some of this is attributed to developing strains of the disease becoming resistant to current medication.
The perversity of STIs
There is a stigma surrounding STIs, they are still linked to the concept of promiscuity so contracting one can result in a sense of shame and embarrassment, hardly likely to encourage someone to be forthcoming about their health status. So all the more reason to use a condom then. The stigma does seem a little counter-intuitive but it still prevails.
The influence of dating apps
It is possible that modern digital culture and the use of dating apps is inadvertently increasing the incidence of STIs as now it is both possible and easy to have several sexual partners at the same time or in quick succession. This does increase the risk and occurrence of STIs so there is a clear link between them and promiscuous behaviour. But it is the stigma attached to this perceived behaviour which causes the difficulty. If admitting to an STI is tantamount to saying you have had plenty of sexual partners and you have been irresponsible, you are hardly likely to want to present this image to your latest beau.
It’s a two-way thing
It may not be the guy who ditches the condom, she just might tell you not to bother so should you just go along with it?
At the end of the day, your sexual health is just too important to mess about with. If your partner doesn’t respect either your health or their own then you really have to question whether their feelings are genuine and if you want to be with them.