Reproductive Health Daily

Repro Health Daily is a social media based sexual health and reproductive health education organization. We operate under the premise that despite some teens and young adults understanding how they can best protect themselves while being sexually active and/or preparing to have a child, the regular reinforcement of these factual messages (the 'daily' in our name!) in a non-threatening, engaging way - via social media sites with their peers - normalizes healthier, safer behaviors.

Repro Health also offers reproductive and sexual health education programs. We are happy to present to classrooms, schools, and organizations. We can train teachers in how to implement them via social media and tailor them to their audience, or offer virtual lesson plans.

Feel free to ask us any questions about reproductive health that you may have. We can post the questions anonymously as well. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter and continue the education and discussions!
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Today we’re starting a unit on a very common STI, genital herpes. Let’s begin with some preliminary facts about this virus:

Facts

—Genital herpes is cause by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2).

—Most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2.

—Most individuals have no or only minimal signs or symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.

—The infection, since it is caused by a virus, stays in the body indefinitely. This means once you contract herpes, you will always have it. Outbreaks can be controlled and prevented, which we’ll talk about over the next few sessions.

—Nationwide, 16.2%, or about one out of six, people 14 to 49 years of age have genital HSV-2 infection. Over the past decade, the percentage of Americans with genital herpes infection in the U.S. has remained stable.

—Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of five women 14 to 49 years of age) than in men (about one out of nine men 14 to 49 years of age).

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After addressing some important facts about chlamydia, we want to make sure you know how to recognize some possible symptoms! Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because the majority of infected people have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

  • In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra. Women who do have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating.
  • If the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.
  • Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.
  • Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. They may also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Kepe in mind that pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon in chlamydia.
  • Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum. This can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. 
  • Something that is less fequently addressed is that chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

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We mentioned earlier this fall that chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the States. So, we think we should play catch-up with some more facts about this STI that has an estimated 2.8 million infections occur every year. 

  • Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  •  Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection. 
  • Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. 
  • Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia.
  • Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active.

Tomorrow we’ll chat about symptoms!