So you think you have an STI? Don’t feel guilt or shame. Educate yourself and reshape your outlook. Celebrate your option to prevent disease & enjoy a rocking sex life. Don’t hate your STI, embrace it. B/c that funk doesn’t define you.
My suggestion? Relax, learn the facts, and understand the pleasures of your body. Many of them can be explored safely and without risk of infection. But infections do happen, and even STIs can be passed along without sexual activity. So drop the judgment, get informed, and let’s shatter the stigma around STIs together.
Alright friends, here’s what you need to know. First and foremost…
If you do have an STI, life will go on. It’s easy to feel lost or vulnerable in a sea of online information, but steer clear of those gnarly google searches. They won’t do you any good. The reality is STIs and STds have been overblown by the pharmaceutical industry. Many are curable and all are manageable. Treatment is the most important step! And all you need to know is where you can access ob/gyn services in a timely manner. If you don’t know, contact your local Planned Parenthood. Or google our co-founder, Claire (email@example.com), because she loves helping people with this kind of thing.
Next up: take care of your emotions, lovely! Self-love is the best medicine. Bubbly baths, candy, anyway you know how. Release the stigma society pushes on STIs and realize how little it will affect your full life.
Changing your own perspective can be an uphill battle, so be patient with yourself. It may take long hours of soul searching and self-appreciating–– but just know, you are loved and supported.
Yes, STIs can be totally scary. Unfortunately, the false information and stigma that surround them contribute to the fear. So let’s get the facts straight. STIs are infections like any other. Yes, you have to care for them and care not to pass them on. But no, you don’t have to stop caring for yourself in the meantime. You are just as beautiful and lovable as you were uninfected.
The good news: many STIs are totally curable. Read up and educate yourself. The monster in the closet isn’t scary as soon as you turn the light on. The same goes for knowledge about STIs. Light a fire under the STI stigma! Don’t worry, I’ll help you.
There are three different types of STIs: bacterial, parasitic and viral. Let’s get started.
Like pubic lice, scabies and trichomoniasis. You may have painful urination and itchy genitals but these can totally be cured with antibiotics. Again: get tested, know the signs, and use protection. No big deal.
Herpes, HIV and HPV. There are 100 strands of HPV, and only about six of them can be harmful. Get yourself REGULARLY TESTED, and you should be good. These can’t be cured, but they can be effectively managed with medicine.
Let’s relay the info on Herpes really quickly because it sounds like a scary one. There are two types of herpes. HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 pretty much causes cold sores and fever blisters. About 80 percent of the population has HSV-1, and guess what? They’re fine! Take some medicine, avoid kissing people and oral stuff when you have an outbreak, and you are are good to go. A lot of people have HSV-1 outbreaks due to stress and sun exposure! Wear SPF chapstick folks.
HSV-2 causes breakouts around the genitals. This one is the scarier of the two. Most people think outbreaks happen all the time, but really some people never have outbreaks and some have very minor ones.
If you do have an outbreak, just like cold sores, abstain from sex stuff and take some medicine and you’ll be A-Okay.
Speaking of STIs, sores, bumps, warts, the like––take this into consideration…
Know your body, and know what bumps need to be checked out by a medical professional.
Pimples, inflamed follicles and shaving irritation can also cause bumps in your downstairs. This may not be a major worry, but it’s recommended to get STI tested so you can have peace of mind. Knowledge is power. If you haven’t had sex with a new partner recently then it may just be a pimple, ingrown hair or razor burn. Talk with your doctor.
Calling past sexual partners to break the STI news is no one’s favorite activity. When at the ob/gyn, ask your doctor exactly what you and any of your past partners need to know. Depending on the STI, you may not need to contact every sexual partner. If you’re currently seeing someone, have a conversation with them and urge them to get tested. Use condoms as always (Lovability has some awesome vegan ones), and be extra careful about unprotected zones.
If you need guidance, talk to your healthcare professional to get specific guidelines and advice on how to approach these conversations. The friendly folks at Planned Parenthood can provide great advice too. You’re not alone!
It’s all about respecting each other and staying healthy. Just be open and honest with your partner and your doctor, and use condoms. Have fun with it, and pick some new ones out together. Lovability’s condoms are vegan, odor-free, and come in stylish tins. Find the right condoms for you and your partner, and enjoy them.
You don’t have to be a spinster or abstinent for life. Hold off adopting those cats and put away that quilted sweater vest (except I think those are trendy now?). If you have a viral STD, be extra careful to use condoms and refrain from sexual activity when you have an outbreak. If you have a bacterial STI, refrain from sexual activity until you are fully finished with your treatment and your doctor gives you the greenlight. Talk with your doctor about medication and just be open and honest with your partner.
Remember friends, it’s the age old tale–– USE PROTECTION. GET TESTED REGULARLY.
Seriously, don’t panic. Don’t hate yourself. Don’t stress. Take a deep breath, meditate, practice mindfulness, go for a walk, do anything to calm your nerves. Getting an STI isn’t the end of the world. Your sex life will SURELY continue. You are a desirable and affectionate badass who deserves love and passion. Just be open and honest with yourself, your partner and your doctor. It’s all about living a healthy, happy, sexually empowered life, and you got that.
And remember, the best way to protect yourself from STIs is with consistent, awesome condom use. And we’ve got you covered. Shop here.
Amy & The Babes With The Power
Amy is a writer, storyteller, and part-time dog masseuse who loves spreading health and wellness empowerment to the masses. You can check out her writing and social media on her website: helloamychristine.com