Risky Sexual Behavior and Fertility
Updated: Dec 21, 2019
One of my best friends’ little sister is 15 years old and just started freshman year of high school. My friend found out through cell phone snooping that her sister was having sex with multiple guys. Maybe older. Maybe the same age. From the text messages, it was clear these guys did not respect her sister, and that these were one night stands with kind of random boys or men. We were also suspicious that alcohol was consumed, and condoms not used. I’ll admit that I do not have a perfect sexual history. I made mistakes in my youth that I regret. So, my friend asked me if I would have a casual girls night chat hanging out where we could answer any questions her sister may have in a safe and comfortable environment as well as provide health education that is lacking from the curriculum of our local public school system.
We touched on several topics including safe sexual practices, STDs/STIs, pregnancy, body respect, assertiveness and many others. We gave her some real life examples and consequences to think about. For instance, chlamydia is a common bacterial STI that most often does not have symptoms. Not getting the appropriate treatment or having multiple infections can result in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can permanently damage reproductive organs and tissue resulting in fatal ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and tubal factor infertility. So, we talked about how her high risk behavior could impact her ability to have children in the future, and if she does choose to have unprotected intercourse, what can be done to lower her risks through screening and treatment.
For chlamydia, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:
-Annual chlamydia screening of all women less than 25 years old that are sexually active or pregnant.
-Women including pregnant women older than 25 with risk factors like having new partners, multiple partners, or a partner with an STI.
-After being treated for a chlamydial infection, women should be retested about 3 months after treatment.
We actually had a really fun time, and my friend’s sister participated, and asked some great questions. She was very receptive, but it’s hard to tell how much she absorbed and whether it would translate to a change in behavior.
Jeanna Ryan MPAS, PA-C, MS, RDN, MSCIS
Physician Assistant, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Mother of 3 Daughters