Why Women Are More at Risk of STDs —Experts

Maternal health experts have urged women to take the prevention of sexually transmitted infections seriously, noting that they are more prone to them because of their anatomy.

According to the experts, women are more at risk of contracting STDs than men because the female genital tract has a wider surface area than those of men.

They also stressed that sexually transmitted diseases can have tremendous impact on women than men.

They noted that STDs can destroy the female reproductive system and cause infertility in women if left untreated.

Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise in separate interviews, the gynaecologists stated that most women with STDs are not even aware that they have them, noting that they only get to know when they go for a test.

One of the experts and a former chairman, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Lagos chapter, Dr. Joseph Akinde, told our correspondent that women with STDs are asymptomatic and therefore do not seek treatment, unlike the men that often manifest symptoms and go for treatment.

Akinde, who is also the Medical Director of Living Spring Hospital, Ejigbo, a private medical facility in Lagos, stated that STDs cause more damage in women than in men.

The gynaecologists explained, “In a number of instances, women, when they have an infection, the infection may be asymptomatic, and yet it is doing the damage.

“But with men, it is always symptomatic. That women do not manifest symptoms does not mean that they do not have them. The disease is in them, but they do not have symptoms.

“For example, if a man comes down with gonorrhea, he is going to have excruciating pain in the next five days. But a woman can have gonorrhea and may not know while the thing is causing serious damage to her system.

“So, STD has higher damage on the woman than the man. Women can know that they have it by going for a test. If a woman has problems getting pregnant, if she is married, those are the things that could make her go for a test.”

The physician, however, said that women with STDs might experience low abdominal pain and vaginal discharge as symptoms.

Akinde said, “A woman may have STD in her system but will not know and thus could be transmitting the infection sexually to a man.”

The gynaecologist stressed further said STDs have a more severe impact on women than on men, stressing that women with STDs can experience chronic ill health, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.

He said, “It damages their reproductive system. It causes a tubal blockage, the woman cannot get pregnant naturally. STD has a great psychological and social effect on women.”

To prevent it, Akinde advised women to avoid multiple sex partners.




Credit: Punch


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