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We sometimes deal with a tough situation in direct service: a user comes in, and reports having contracted an STI; a user who also isn't a first-time user of our site or services, and who, in a previous conversation with us about pregnancy risks, blew off also talking about STIs and safer sex and turned down help we offered to them to reduce their STI risks, not just pregnancy risks.
When this happens, a person like this will usually be very upset about having contracted an STI, often angry, and even mystified about how this happened to them. Of course, we're rarely mystified and also are not usually surprised this happened, since we already identified risks of STIs when we were talking with them in the past, which is why we brought the importance of safer sex up with them in the first place.
This is one of those things where there's no joy or pride in being right: it stinks to be right about someone getting any kind of illness and being unhappy. Even though the majority of STIs are tRead more...
Although the implant is a long-acting method of contraception, it does only last three years, so eventually it needs to be removed entirely or replaced. For me, the decision to get mine replaced was kind of a no-brainer. Everything that factored into my original choice was still there: my desire not to have children at the moment, the other medications I'm on, the very high effectiveness rate, the fact that it requires pretty much no effort on my part. Plus, after three years, I knew what the side effects would be like for me, and in general, those have been pretty minimal. One of the main reasons people get the implant removed is irregular bleeding or spotting, and while I definitely don't have a regular cycle anymore, I'm not bleeding constantly and I've had only a little bit of spotting on occasion.
Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.
Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.
This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.
My partner atRead more...