Always use protection!
Esther admitted that back in high school, she’d roll her eyes and laugh at the sex educator told them to always use condoms and to make sure they had regular testing for STDs. Pfft—as if I would ever get an STD! she recalls.
I had unprotected sex. When he didn’t take out a condom and put it on, I felt too awkward to ask him. I thought, well, he didn’t say anything, so maybe I shouldn’t either. I knew it felt better for him to not wear a condom and I didn’t want to be a prude or spoil the mood. I decided against bringing it up. I was on the pill and I wouldn’t get pregnant, so it was cool, right?
He came home and told me that he had the STD and I immediately insisted that there was no way he could have gotten it from me. However, he revealed that he’d had a sexual health checkup just a few days before we’d met and he was clean. I still couldn’t believe that I was infected given that I had no symptoms. He pointed out that chlamydia didn’t always have any symptoms. I immediately booked a checkup and found out I was pregnant.
A few days after I read the positive pregnancy test, I had pains not dissimilar to period pain. It worried me so I went to the hospital. In the end, I miscarried that pregnancy and the doctors told me that my fallopian tubes were twisted. The doctors assumed it was because of my untreated chlamydia. While I was told I could possibly get pregnant again, it would be incredibly difficult.
The third time I got pregnant, everything seemed to be going well. My hormone levels were where they should have been, there was a little heartbeat, and the egg had made it to where it was supposed to be. I was so excited to be a mom. Turns out, the egg had got stuck inside of my fallopian tube and it wasn’t in the right place and the pregnancy had to be terminated. They also had to remove my “good” tube, meaning there’s no chance I’ll ever conceive naturally.
Never again will I be embarrassed to ask a partner to use a condom or to seek out care immediately if I sense anything is wrong. The embarrassment of asking my partner to wrap it up is a whole lot less embarrassing than explaining why I can’t have kids.
Educate yourself! Find out about STDs by reading up and asking your doctor. Did you know that chlamydia is the most common STD amongst women under 25 or that it can be spread through oral sex as well as penetrative sex? Chlamydia is easily treated and there are no long-term consequences if it’s treated right away. So, whether you’re in a relationship or not, make a date on your calendar to get a sexual health check-up every few months. It’s better to be safe than sorry.