DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – A new report from the Centers of Disease Control show that current rates of sexually transmitted infections are at a record high.
The report said that this is the fifth-consecutive year of the upward trend. It also showed notable increased rates of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis.
And now, doctors, like Dr. Erika O’Donnell, Physician OBGYN for Medical Associates, are urging people to get tested for STI’s.
One of the theories surrounding the increase of STI’s is the variety of birth control options. Forms of contraception, like hormonal implants, birth control pills and IUD’s have grown in popularity over the years.
However, they do not protect anyone from giving or receiving a sexually transmitted infection.
“Comparatively, we have so many options for birth control now a days that some people are not always relying on condoms for pregnancy prevention anymore,” said Dr. O’Donnell. “And they’re not really thinking about sexually transmitted infections anymore because a woman is on the pill or she has an IUD or an implant.”
Other staff, such as Cathy Elgin & Sara Craugh both nurses for Medical Associates, say that many people have a false sense of optimism when it comes to contracting these illnesses.
“Don’t think that it won’t happen to you because in most cases they usually thought that it wasn’t going to happen to them and that’s who we usually see it in,” said Elgin.
Another theory suggests that online dating could also play a role. Doctors say that dating apps make it easier than ever for people to meet.
“There’s more anonymous sex occurring so sometimes it’s harder to track partners when people have hooked up that way,” said Dr. O’ Donnell.
Dr. O’Donnell encourages people to get tested for STI’s at least once a year. And if you have multiple partners, you should be tested more often.
HPV and chlamydia are the two most common sexually transmitted infections. Male and female condoms can be effective in preventing both STI’s and pregnancy.