Tag Archives: sexually transmitted infections

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted

rapestop

Rape occurs in many different situations. Although the stereotype involves a stranger pulling a victim into a dark, isolated place, more common situations involve being assaulted in the home environment by someone known or by a date. These days rapes occur with victims unable to resist and without memory of the assault.
To begin this conversation of how to lower your risk of sexual assault, remember this first:

Never leave your drink unattended, whether on a date or at a club or other social event.

daterapedrugs

This is the second entry in a Straight, No Chaser series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape).

  • Check this Straight, No Chaser, which addresses the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

For the many of you who are victims of rape and sexual assault, you are never at fault, no matter where or how it happens. Your mental health moving forward is largely dependent on when and how completely you accept this fact.

rapeprevention

How can I lower my risk of sexual assault?
This information is modified from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Crime Prevention Council. Here are actions you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault. Being prepared to recognize signs and take action is not the same as living in fear or being paranoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
In general
• First and foremost, be aware of your surroundings. Learn to survey your environment as a prelude to avoiding dangerous situations.
• If any circumstance presents that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. Hone and trust your instincts.
• Be assertive about your personal space. Make it clear that there are limits that are not to be violated. Your first concern shouldn’t be how these boundaries make you look, but your safety.
• Carry your preferred method of protection. Be skilled in your choice and avoid options that can easily be used against you.
At home
• Lock your doors and your windows, even if you’re gone for just a few minutes. The appearance of unforced entry only confuses matters if you’re trying to prosecute an attacker.
• Never prop open self-locking doors.
• Use door guards, including security door chains and partial door stops.
• Never open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Use the door’s peephole to view your visitors.
Out and about
• Walk with confidence. This promotes strength.
• When it comes to using alcohol, know your limits and stick to them.
• Avoid isolated areas such as underground garages, offices after business hours and apartment laundry rooms, especially if you’re alone.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route and routine. Exercise and rest in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
Near your car
• Lock your car, even if you’ll only be gone for a few moments. You don’t want to return to find someone hiding in your back seat.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach your car.
• Get a key with an alarm button. Make sure the battery is always strong and the alarm functioning.
• Watch your car keys and don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
• Park in brightly lit areas that are away from wooded or other areas that could easily disguise danger.
• Drive on well-traveled roads and maintain high levels of fuel in your car. Keep your doors and windows locked while driving.
• Fuel your vehicle during the day.
• Never pick up a hitchhiker.
• If you experience car trouble, stay in your vehicle and call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors and place banners in scattered sites that say, “Help. Call police.”

date_rape_psa_photo

Prevention in these matters is the smart thing to do. Your best chance to avoid sexual assault is to avoid being places in which a higher risk of assault exists.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID1

Straight, No Chaser has discussed several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at length, including gonorrheachlamydia and herpes. One thing that often gets overlooked or not given enough consideration is the risk of complications that occur when contracting a STI. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is one consideration that should be up front and center as a consideration in your mind (assuming you’re female). If you’re not familiar with the term PID, commit it to memory, as this is a relatively common condition.

PID

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to an infection of the upper genital tract in women. It is usually sexually transmitted. PID is the single most common preventable cause of infertility in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); over 750,000 cases of PID occur in the U.S. every year.
Here’s your concern: PID can negatively affect your reproductive organs, including the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and ovaries. The inflammation caused by PID scars affects organs and can result in infertility, tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, abscesses (pus pockets, aka “boils“) and other serious gynecological problems.  Most ominous is the fact that up to 20% of women may become infertile as a result of PID.
As mentioned, PID typically begins as an STI. Among STIs, gonorrhea and chlamydia are the most common causes. Here are additional risk factors for PID.

  • Prior episode of PID
  • Under age 25 – The cervix (opening to the uterus) has greater susceptibility to STIs and thus to PID in this age group.
  • Douching — This can force bacteria from the vagina into the upper reproductive organs.
  • IUD use — In some women, using an intrauterine device (IUD) to prevent pregnancy can also cause PID.
  • Medical care — PID may rarely result from gynecological procedures or surgeries.

There is a pretty significant range in the way PID shows up. You may not have symptoms, or symptoms could be quite severe. Symptoms may include lower abdominal pain, fever and foul-smelling vaginal discharge. You may notice pain with sex or while urinating. Your menstruation may become abnormal.
This may sound odd, but the treatment of PID is much more important than its diagnosis. This is because a diagnosis may be difficult to reach due to the subtlety of symptoms, and the consequences of missing the diagnosis are severe enough that presumptive treatment is commonly done. Early treatment can prevent or limit long-term complications such as infertility and chronic pelvic pain. According to the CDC, without adequate treatment, 20-40% of women with chlamydia and 10-40% of women with gonorrhea may develop PID. Among those with PID, fully one in five (20%) may develop infertility and one in 10 (10%) may develop a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Chronic pelvic pain occurs in approximately 18% of cases of PID.
If you are thought to have or are diagnosed with PID, you will need antibiotics. It is critical that you take these until they are all gone. This is not an instance where you should stop taking the pills once you start feeling better. More specifics on the treatment of PID are provided at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What you really want to remember is that prevention is key. The best way to avoid STIs is to abstain from sex or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and isn’t infected. In addition, correct and consistent use of condoms further reduces your risk of STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea.
One more crucial means of protection from PID is early detection. If you think you or your sexual partner may have an STI, get evaluated and treated promptly.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Syphilis, The Great Mimicker

Today, Straight, No Chaser will present two phrases that you may not have previously heard: The Great Mimicker and MSM, and that means we’re discussing what has historically been a devastating disease: syphilis. Historically, syphilis really is the most important sexually transmitted disease (For what it’s worth, it’s thought that Columbus’ crew spread the disease between the Americas and Europe.). The great mimicker nickname as applied to syphilis exists because syphilis has many general symptoms that resemble and are often confused with other diseases. MSM points to the fact that treatment in the early stages is so complete that syphilis had been rapidly in decline – until it’s reemergence in a specific population. It is estimated that well over 60% of reported early stage cases of syphilis occurs in men who have sex with men (MSM).
In this review, I want to specifically address the symptoms, which are impressively and dramatically different depending on the stage.
syphilis1
Stage I – Primary Syphilis: Primary syphilis usually presents with the presence of a single, painless sore (a chancre), located wherever it was contracted. As pictured above, the head (glans) of the penis is a typical site. The sore disappears in 3-6 weeks (with or without treatment), and if treatment wasn’t received, the disease progresses. Herein lies the problems. Because it’s painless, you ignore it, perhaps thinking it was a friction sore, or you never gave it much of a thought. Because it went away on its own, you forget about it, thinking that it got better. So sad, so wrong…
syphilis2Syphilis-hands
Stage II – Secondary Syphilis: When syphilis returns days to weeks (more typically) after the primary infection, it does so quite dramatically. Rashes can appear everywhere, including across your back (as noted above) and chest to on your palms and soles, in your mouth, groin, vagina, anus, or armpits. The rash could be warts (condyloma lata) or flat. You should be scared, but you might not be because… the rash and the other symptoms again will disappear on its own. Despite what you may think intuitively, you really don’t want that to happen.
Latent Syphilis: Dormant syphilis can stay that way for decades after secondary syphilis has occurred. What you don’t know can hurt you. Syphilis can be transmitted during the earlier portion of latent phases, including to an unborn child.
Syphilis3
Tertiary Syphilis: Late stage syphilis is a disturbing thing to see (and obviously experience). The disease can result in death, causing damage to the brain, heart, liver, bones, joints, eyes, the nervous system and blood vessels. Before it kills you, it can result in blindness, paralysis, dementia and loss of motor control. If you don’t know how the research discovering all of this was conducted, for now I’ll just say it was one of the most shameful acts of medical history. I’ll blog on it later. The individuals in the above picture were alive when these pictures were taken, by the way.
A special note: The microorganism causing syphilis is rather aggressive, so much so that it can be transmitted by oral, anal or genital sexual contact. By oral, I also mean kissing. Pay attention to those oral sores. Furthermore, syphilis gets transmitted from mother to unborn child. This is a devastating occurrence – if untreated, a child may be born prematurely, with low birth weight or even stillborn. If untreated, once born, a child may suffer deafness, seizures and cataracts before death.
Prevention and Treatment Considerations: Advanced syphilis is especially disheartening because it is so easily treated and prevented. Prevention is as simple as always wearing condoms, being in a monogamous relationship with someone confirmed not to have it, checking your sexual partner prior to sex and not engaging in sex if any type of sore/ulcer is in the mouth, genitalia or anal region. Regarding treatment, syphilis once upon a time was quite the plague until penicillin was discovered; treating syphilis is how penicillin ‘made a name’ for itself. Treatment with penicillin easily kills syphilis but unfortunately does nothing for damage that has already occurred. Remember that treating syphilis at any point can prevent the most severe complications that lead to death.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Chlamydia Infections

Chlamydia_image

For most people, NGU isn’t a college in South Carolina. In fact, non-gonococcal urethritis isn’t really even that anymore, meaning it doesn’t need to be defined by the fact that it’s not gonorrhea. Chlamydia (the most common cause of NGU) by itself causes an estimated 3 million sexually transmitted infections a year. It is the most likely reason you’re coming into the emergency department when someone’s been behaving badly, and it was the most common sexually transmitted infection for a long time (prior to the advent of human papillomavirus – HPV). This Straight, No Chaser gives you some essential information about sexually transmitted infections featuring Chlamydia.
chlamydia
1. It’s a real good reason to wear condoms. Chlamydia most commonly presents with no symptoms but may present with burning with urination, having to go more often (that’s the urethritis; the urethra is the tube through which urine flows) and a cloudy discharge. Less commonly, it can affect the rectum (proctitis) or a portion of the testicles (epidydimitis).

chlaymdia neonatal

2. It’s contagious. If you’re sexually active with someone infected, odds are you’ll get it. It can be acquired via oral, vaginal or anal sex, and ejaculation isn’t required for transmission. Even worse, that means you can pass it to your newborn child (to disastrous effects to the baby, as noted in the lead picture of the newborn; Chlamydia has long been a significant cause of blindness worldwide, though thankfully the rate is decreasing).

Chlamydia-rate

2. Treatment doesn’t prevent you from reacquiring it. If you don’t change the behavior, you won’t change the future risk.
3. If both partners aren’t treated, then neither is treated. This can just get passed back and forth like a ping-pong ball. If you have several sexual partners, you’ll manage to introduce a lot of drama into a lot of lives. If you are treated, you should not engage in sexual activity until one week after your partner(s) have completed treatment.
Chlamydia stats
4. It causes serious damage to females. PID (pelvic inflammatory disease – a complication of untreated Chlamydia) is a serious enough topic to warrant its own post, but untreated infections lead to infertility, an increased rate of tubal (ectopic) pregnancies and other complications. This needs to be identified and treated.
5. STDs hang out together. Chlamydia that goes untreated increases the chances of acquiring or transmitting HIV/AIDS. An infection with Chlamydia should prompt treatment for other STDs and testing for HIV.

chlamydia infection condom

6. It is easily prevented and treated. Wear condoms each time, every time. Get evaluated early with development of signs or symptoms. Discuss the discovery of Chlamydia with all sexual contacts from the last several months. This is an infection you don’t have to catch.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea_enHD_1
Some of you are old enough to remember when Gonorrhea was called ‘The Clap’, but do any of you know why it was called that? Read on for the answer. In the meantime, realize how disgusting a disease this is. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that well over 800,000 cases of gonorrhea occur yearly. To make matters worse, have you heard about the new ‘Super Gonorrhea’? Don’t let this happen to you.

Here’s what I want you to know about Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea

1. It’s a real good reason to wear condoms and a just as good of a reason to wash your hands. Gonorrhea most commonly presents with no symptoms (more often the case in women), but it has two symptoms that won’t let you forget it. It’s the STD that may present with burning upon urination so severe that you feel like you are peeing razor blades. It’s also defined by copious discharge. If you’re exuding white, yellow or green pus, think gonorrhea. As was the case with Chlamydia, it can affect the rectum (proctitis) or a portion of the testicles (epidydimitis), as well as the throat or eyes. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, gents.

PHIL_3766

2. It’s contagious. If you’re sexually active with someone infected, odds are you’ll get it. It can be acquired via oral, vaginal or anal sex, and ejaculation isn’t required for transmission. Even worse, that means you can pass it to your newborn child (There’s even a name for the condition: ophthalmia neonatorum, as seen in the above picture.).
2. Treatment doesn’t prevent you from reacquiring it. If you don’t change the behavior, you won’t change the future risk.

gonorrhea dc

3. If both partners aren’t treated, then neither is treated. This can just get passed back and forth like a ping-pong ball. If you have several sexual partners, you’ll manage to introduce a lot of drama into a lot of lives. If you are treated, you should not engage in sexual activity until one week after your partner has completed treatment.
4. It causes serious complications. PID (pelvic inflammatory disease – a complication of untreated Gonorrhea and Chlamydia) is a serious enough topic to warrant its own post, but untreated infections lead to infertility and an increased rate of tubal (ectopic) pregnancies. Gonorrhea also spreads through the blood and joints. Many of these complications are life-threatening.

gonorrhea stat

5. STDs hang out together. Gonorrhea that goes untreated increases the chances of acquiring or transmitting HIV/AIDS. An infection with Gonorrhea should prompt treatment for other STDs and testing for HIV. It is generally assumed that if you have gonorrhea, you’ve likely been infected with Chlamydia.
6. It is easily prevented and treated. Wear condoms each time, every time. Get evaluated early with the development of signs or symptoms. Discuss the discovery of Gonorrhea with all sexual contacts from the last several months. This is an infection you don’t have to catch.
7. It is now super, but not in a good way. Due to antibiotic resistance, treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more complicated. We are seeing more patients who don’t respond to the first course of treatment. Consider antibiotic resistance if symptoms persists more than three days after completion of treatment.

Now, about The Clap.

gonorrhea1

Traditionally, there have been three theories about why gonorrhea used to be commonly called the clap, only one of which sound legitimate to me.
1. Treatment (allegedly) used to involved ‘clapping’ a book together around the penis to expel the discharge. Not only does that not make sense, I can’t imagine men letting someone smash their penis in that manner, when you could just ‘milk’ the discharge out (no pun intended). This is a very common explanation, though…
2. The clap may be a mispronunciation of the phrase ‘the collapse’, which is what gonorrhea was called by medics when GIs were being infected with gonorrhea in WWII.
3. Finally, perhaps, clap is derived from the French word for brothel, “clapper.” Makes sense if you’re in Paris, but in NY, why wouldn’t it have been called ‘the broth’, because that’s kind of how it looks… Sorry if you’re reading this during breakfast. Then again, I did spare you a picture of genital gonorrhea.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Doctor/Patient Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Talk

stdstudSTD1in25
As an emergency physician, my first consideration is to eliminate life threats.  Along the way, I cure disease and provide a ton of information.  With all of these efforts, I provide a heavy dose of tough love and straight talk meant to empower (and hopefully never belittle).  This is heavy on my mind because this week we’ll be discussing sex – not the pleasant aspects, but those instances when something has gone wrong as a result of sex.

std-statistics-worldwide-infographic

I’ve been on the receiving end of hundreds (more likely thousands) of couples coming in, usually one dragging the other by the ear, attempting to determine if “something’s going on”, and yes, more than a few relationships have left the emergency room dissolved after such conversations.  I would like to have the beginning of such a conversation with you much in the way that I might have with one of these couples.  This is a very appropriate prelude to a conversation about sexuality transmitted infections (aka STIs aka STDs).
Patient: I have a foul smell coming from my vagina.  I know he’s doing something!
Doctor: Can you tell me what it smells like?  Is there any vaginal discharge, rash or other lesions that you’re seeing?
Male partner (who would have been better off saying nothing): It smells like fish!
Patient (after shooting eye lasers at her partner): I am not having sex with anyone but him, so I know he did something!
Male partner: Doc, I’m not doing anything.  She’s the only one I’m with, and I don’t have any symptoms.
Doctor: So each of you only has each other as a partner?
Couple: <nods yes>
Doctor: Would you bet your lives on it?
Couple: <Stunned silence>
Doctor: Well that’s exactly what you’re doing every time you’re having unprotected sex.  Now about that discharge…
This upcoming week we are going to address several of most common and/or most important STIs out there for you to know about.

std red-carpet-celebrities-with-stds

Chlamydia

Gonorrhea

Syphilis

Herpes

Not talking about them, not protecting yourself from them, and not testing yourself for them is truly believing that ignorance is bliss.  In this case, what you don’t know can kill you.  No matter what you think about how ‘good’ it is, it’s not worth risking your life over.  Also, as an additional conversation, I’ll discuss Bacterial Vaginosis.
If you’re sexually active, you really should follow this series. There’s going to be a lot covered. Might I suggest you cover it as well?
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea_enHD_1
Some of you are old enough to remember when Gonorrhea was called ‘The Clap’, but do any of you know why it was called that? Read on for the answer. In the meantime, realize how disgusting a disease this is. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that well over 800,000 cases of gonorrhea occur yearly. To make matters worse, have you heard about the new ‘Super Gonorrhea’? Don’t let this happen to you.

Here’s what I want you to know about Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea

1. It’s a real good reason to wear condoms and a just as good of a reason to wash your hands. Gonorrhea most commonly presents with no symptoms (more often the case in women), but it has two symptoms that won’t let you forget it. It’s the STD that may present with burning upon urination so severe that you feel like you are peeing razor blades. It’s also defined by copious discharge. If you’re exuding white, yellow or green pus, think gonorrhea. As was the case with Chlamydia, it can affect the rectum (proctitis) or a portion of the testicles (epidydimitis), as well as the throat or eyes. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, gents.

PHIL_3766

2. It’s contagious. If you’re sexually active with someone infected, odds are you’ll get it. It can be acquired via oral, vaginal or anal sex, and ejaculation isn’t required for transmission. Even worse, that means you can pass it to your newborn child (There’s even a name for the condition: ophthalmia neonatorum, as seen in the above picture.).
2. Treatment doesn’t prevent you from reacquiring it. If you don’t change the behavior, you won’t change the future risk.

gonorrhea dc

3. If both partners aren’t treated, then neither is treated. This can just get passed back and forth like a ping-pong ball. If you have several sexual partners, you’ll manage to introduce a lot of drama into a lot of lives. If you are treated, you should not engage in sexual activity until one week after your partner has completed treatment.
4. It causes serious complications. PID (pelvic inflammatory disease – a complication of untreated Gonorrhea and Chlamydia) is a serious enough topic to warrant its own post, but untreated infections lead to infertility and an increased rate of tubal (ectopic) pregnancies. Gonorrhea also spreads through the blood and joints. Many of these complications are life-threatening.

gonorrhea stat

5. STDs hang out together. Gonorrhea that goes untreated increases the chances of acquiring or transmitting HIV/AIDS. An infection with Gonorrhea should prompt treatment for other STDs and testing for HIV. It is generally assumed that if you have gonorrhea, you’ve likely been infected with Chlamydia.
6. It is easily prevented and treated. Wear condoms each time, every time. Get evaluated early with the development of signs or symptoms. Discuss the discovery of Gonorrhea with all sexual contacts from the last several months. This is an infection you don’t have to catch.
7. It is now super, but not in a good way. Due to antibiotic resistance, treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more complicated. We are seeing more patients who don’t respond to the first course of treatment. Consider antibiotic resistance if symptoms persists more than three days after completion of treatment.

Now, about The Clap.

gonorrhea1

Traditionally, there have been three theories about why gonorrhea used to be commonly called the clap, only one of which sound legitimate to me.
1. Treatment (allegedly) used to involved ‘clapping’ a book together around the penis to expel the discharge. Not only does that not make sense, I can’t imagine men letting someone smash their penis in that manner, when you could just ‘milk’ the discharge out (no pun intended). This is a very common explanation, though…
2. The clap may be a mispronunciation of the phrase ‘the collapse’, which is what gonorrhea was called by medics when GIs were being infected with gonorrhea in WWII.
3. Finally, perhaps, clap is derived from the French word for brothel, “clapper.” Makes sense if you’re in Paris, but in NY, why wouldn’t it have been called ‘the broth’, because that’s kind of how it looks… Sorry if you’re reading this during breakfast. Then again, I did spare you a picture of genital gonorrhea.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted

rapestop

Rape occurs in many different situations. Although the stereotype involves a stranger pulling a victim into a dark, isolated place, more common situations involve being assaulted in the home environment by someone known or by a date. These days rapes occur with victims unable to resist and without memory of the assault.
To begin this conversation of how to lower your risk of sexual assault, remember this first:

Never leave your drink unattended, whether on a date or at a club or other social event.

daterapedrugs

This is the second entry in a Straight, No Chaser series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape).

  • Check this Straight, No Chaser, which addresses the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

For the many of you who are victims of rape and sexual assault, you are never at fault, no matter where or how it happens. Your mental health moving forward is largely dependent on when and how completely you accept this fact.

rapeprevention

How can I lower my risk of sexual assault?
This is information is modified from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Crime Prevention Council. Here are actions you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault. Being prepared to recognize signs and take action is not the same as living in fear or being paranoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
In general
• First and foremost, be aware of your surroundings. Learn to survey your environment as a prelude to avoiding dangerous situations.
• If any circumstance presents that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. Hone and trust your instincts.
• Be assertive about your personal space. Make it clear that there are limits that are not to be violated. Your first concern shouldn’t be how these boundaries make you look, but your safety.
• Carry your preferred method of protection. Be skilled in your choice and avoid options that can easily be used against you.
At home
• Lock your doors and your windows, even if you’re gone for just a few minutes. The appearance of unforced entry only confuses matters if you’re trying to prosecute an attacker.
• Never prop open self-locking doors.
• Use door guards, including security door chains and partial door stops.
• Never open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Use the door’s peephole to view your visitors.
Out and about
• Walk with confidence. This promotes strength.
• When it comes to using alcohol, know your limits and stick to them.
• Avoid isolated areas such as underground garages, offices after business hours and apartment laundry rooms, especially if you’re alone.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route and routine. Exercise and rest in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
Near your car
• Lock your car, even if you’ll only be gone for a few moments. You don’t want to return to find someone hiding in your back seat.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach your car.
• Get a key with an alarm button. Make sure the battery is always strong and the alarm functioning.
• Watch your car keys and don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
• Park in brightly lit areas that are away from wooded or other areas that could easily disguise danger.
• Drive on well-traveled roads and maintain high levels of fuel in your car. Keep your doors and windows locked while driving.
• Fuel your vehicle during the day.
• Never pick up a hitchhiker.
• If you experience car trouble, stay in your vehicle and call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors and place a banners in scattered sites that say, “Help. Call police.”

date_rape_psa_photo

Prevention in these matters is the smart thing to do. Your best chance to avoid sexual assault is to avoid being places in which a higher risk of assault exists. Good luck.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea_enHD_1
Some of you are old enough to remember when Gonorrhea was called ‘The Clap’, but do any of you know why it was called that? Read on for the answer. In the meantime, realize how disgusting a disease this is. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that well over 800,000 cases of gonorrhea occur yearly. To make matters worse, have you heard about the new ‘Super Gonorrhea’? Don’t let this happen to you.

Here’s what I want you to know about Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea

1. It’s a real good reason to wear condoms and a just as good of a reason to wash your hands. Gonorrhea most commonly presents with no symptoms (more often the case in women), but it has two symptoms that won’t let you forget it. It’s the STD that may present with burning upon urination so severe that you feel like you are peeing razor blades. It’s also defined by copious discharge. If you’re exuding white, yellow or green pus, think gonorrhea. As was the case with Chlamydia, it can affect the rectum (proctitis) or a portion of the testicles (epidydimitis), as well as the throat or eyes. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, gents.

PHIL_3766

2. It’s contagious. If you’re sexually active with someone infected, odds are you’ll get it. It can be acquired via oral, vaginal or anal sex, and ejaculation isn’t required for transmission. Even worse, that means you can pass it to your newborn child (There’s even a name for the condition: ophthalmia neonatorum, as seen in the above picture.).
2. Treatment doesn’t prevent you from reacquiring it. If you don’t change the behavior, you won’t change the future risk.

gonorrhea dc

3. If both partners aren’t treated, then neither is treated. This can just get passed back and forth like a ping-pong ball. If you have several sexual partners, you’ll manage to introduce a lot of drama into a lot of lives. If you are treated, you should not engage in sexual activity until one week after your partner has completed treatment.
4. It causes serious complications. PID (pelvic inflammatory disease – a complication of untreated Gonorrhea and Chlamydia) is a serious enough topic to warrant its own post, but untreated infections lead to infertility and an increased rate of tubal (ectopic) pregnancies. Gonorrhea also spreads through the blood and joints. Many of these complications are life-threatening.

gonorrhea stat

5. STDs hang out together. Gonorrhea that goes untreated increases the chances of acquiring or transmitting HIV/AIDS. An infection with Gonorrhea should prompt treatment for other STDs and testing for HIV. It is generally assumed that if you have gonorrhea, you’ve likely been infected with Chlamydia.
6. It is easily prevented and treated. Wear condoms each time, every time. Get evaluated early with the development of signs or symptoms. Discuss the discovery of Gonorrhea with all sexual contacts from the last several months. This is an infection you don’t have to catch.
7. It is now super, but not in a good way. Due to antibiotic resistance, treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more complicated. We are seeing more patients who don’t respond to the first course of treatment. Consider antibiotic resistance if symptoms persists more than three days after completion of treatment.

Now, about The Clap.

gonorrhea1

Traditionally, there have been three theories about why gonorrhea used to be commonly called the clap, only one of which sound legitimate to me.
1. Treatment (allegedly) used to involved ‘clapping’ a book together around the penis to expel the discharge. Not only does that not make sense, I can’t imagine men letting someone smash their penis in that manner, when you could just ‘milk’ the discharge out (no pun intended). This is a very common explanation, though…
2. The clap may be a mispronunciation of the phrase ‘the collapse’, which is what gonorrhea was called by medics when GIs were being infected with gonorrhea in WWII.
3. Finally, perhaps, clap is derived from the French word for brothel, “clapper.” Makes sense if you’re in Paris, but in NY, why wouldn’t it have been called ‘the broth’, because that’s kind of how it looks… Sorry if you’re reading this during breakfast. Then again, I did spare you a picture of genital gonorrhea.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted

rapestop

Rape occurs in many different situations. Although the stereotype involves a stranger pulling a victim into a dark, isolated place, more common situations involve being assaulted in the home environment by someone known or by a date. These days rapes occur with victims unable to resist and without memory of the assault.
To begin this conversation of how to lower your risk of sexual assault, remember this first:

Never leave your drink unattended, whether on a date or at a club or other social event.

daterapedrugs

This is the second entry in a Straight, No Chaser series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape).

  • Check this Straight, No Chaser, which addresses the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

For the many of you who are victims of rape and sexual assault, you are never at fault, no matter where or how it happens. Your mental health moving forward is largely dependent on when and how completely you accept this fact.

rapeprevention

How can I lower my risk of sexual assault?
This is information is modified from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Crime Prevention Council. Here are actions you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault. Being prepared to recognize signs and take action is not the same as living in fear or being paranoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
In general
• First and foremost, be aware of your surroundings. Learn to survey your environment as a prelude to avoiding dangerous situations.
• If any circumstance presents that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. Hone and trust your instincts.
• Be assertive about your personal space. Make it clear that there are limits that are not to be violated. Your first concern shouldn’t be how these boundaries make you look, but your safety.
• Carry your preferred method of protection. Be skilled in your choice and avoid options that can easily be used against you.
At home
• Lock your doors and your windows, even if you’re gone for just a few minutes. The appearance of unforced entry only confuses matters if you’re trying to prosecute an attacker.
• Never prop open self-locking doors.
• Use door guards, including security door chains and partial door stops.
• Never open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Use the door’s peephole to view your visitors.
Out and about
• Walk with confidence. This promotes strength.
• When it comes to using alcohol, know your limits and stick to them.
• Avoid isolated areas such as underground garages, offices after business hours and apartment laundry rooms, especially if you’re alone.
• Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night. Vary your route and routine. Exercise and rest in well-traveled, well-lit areas.
Near your car
• Lock your car, even if you’ll only be gone for a few moments. You don’t want to return to find someone hiding in your back seat.
• Have your key ready to use before you reach your car.
• Get a key with an alarm button. Make sure the battery is always strong and the alarm functioning.
• Watch your car keys and don’t put your name and address on the key ring.
• Park in brightly lit areas that are away from wooded or other areas that could easily disguise danger.
• Drive on well-traveled roads and maintain high levels of fuel in your car. Keep your doors and windows locked while driving.
• Fuel your vehicle during the day.
• Never pick up a hitchhiker.
• If you experience car trouble, stay in your vehicle and call for help on your cellular phone. If you don’t have a phone, put the hood up, lock the doors and place a banners in scattered sites that say, “Help. Call police.”

date_rape_psa_photo

Prevention in these matters is the smart thing to do. Your best chance to avoid sexual assault is to avoid being places in which a higher risk of assault exists. Good luck.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You’re a Victim

Sexualviolence

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. This topic is sensitive enough that nothing needs to be interpreted as subjective.

  • This Straight, No Chaser will address the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault and steps you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

The scope of sexual assault is so vast that it’s surprising more isn’t being done to prevent it. Can you imagine the fervor we’d have if 20% of the population had cancer?

  • Nearly 20% (1 in 5) women have been victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. The rate for men in 1 in 71.
  • It is estimated that 20-25% of college women in the U.S. have experience a rape or rape attempt while in college.
  • When surveyed, 8% of high school students report having been forced to have sex.

These self-reported numbers are generally accepted as underestimates. The stigma, shame, fear of repercussions and unlikelihood of successful prosecution deter many victims of sexual violence from reporting abuse.

 Sexualassaultdef

Is sexual assault as simple as you know it when you see it (figuratively)? Sexual assault and abuse are any sexual activities that you do not agree to, including …

  • Any inappropriate touching of another’s sexual organs
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration and intercourse regardless of “no” or without expressed consent
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Child molestation

The scope of sexual assault also includes any inappropriate verbalizations or viewing of another person– basically anything that engages another to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. The following are included:

  • Voyeurism (someone unknowingly viewing your private sexual acts)
  • Exhibitionism (someone exposes him/herself to you in public)
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Sexual harassment

 sexual_assaulthelp

If you are the victim of sexual assault, there are important steps to take immediately:

  • First, get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can.
  • Next, call 911 or the police or go to the emergency room where the staff can call the police and/or arrange for you to file a police report should you so desire.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust.
  • Call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor if you are experiencing feelings of fear, shame or guilt, all of which are normal after an assault. Emergency room staff will also be able to connect you to a local rape crisis center.
  • Although the urge will be overwhelming to do so, do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes, touch or change anything at the site where the assault occurred. The entirety of your current state is needed evidence, and the emergency room or other hospital staff will need to collect evidence. The evidence obtained from you using a rape kit will include fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • Go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. You will need to be examined, treated for any injuries and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and/or pregnancy.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Help is available but only if you ask. Here is information on services available to you.

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)

You will also have access to many local resources through your emergency room or police department. The important point is to get to safety and to help.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You're a Victim

Sexualviolence

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. This topic is sensitive enough that nothing needs to be interpreted as subjective.

  • This Straight, No Chaser will address the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault and steps you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

The scope of sexual assault is so vast that it’s surprising more isn’t being done to prevent it. Can you imagine the fervor we’d have if 20% of the population had cancer?

  • Nearly 20% (1 in 5) women have been victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. The rate for men in 1 in 71.
  • It is estimated that 20-25% of college women in the U.S. have experience a rape or rape attempt while in college.
  • When surveyed, 8% of high school students report having been forced to have sex.

These self-reported numbers are generally accepted as underestimates. The stigma, shame, fear of repercussions and unlikelihood of successful prosecution deter many victims of sexual violence from reporting abuse.

 Sexualassaultdef

Is sexual assault as simple as you know it when you see it (figuratively)? Sexual assault and abuse are any sexual activities that you do not agree to, including …

  • Any inappropriate touching of another’s sexual organs
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration and intercourse regardless of “no” or without expressed consent
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Child molestation

The scope of sexual assault also includes any inappropriate verbalizations or viewing of another person– basically anything that engages another to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. The following are included:

  • Voyeurism (someone unknowingly viewing your private sexual acts)
  • Exhibitionism (someone exposes him/herself to you in public)
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Sexual harassment

 sexual_assaulthelp

If you are the victim of sexual assault, there are important steps to take immediately:

  • First, get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can.
  • Next, call 911 or the police or go to the emergency room where the staff can call the police and/or arrange for you to file a police report should you so desire.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust.
  • Call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor if you are experiencing feelings of fear, shame or guilt, all of which are normal after an assault. Emergency room staff will also be able to connect you to a local rape crisis center.
  • Although the urge will be overwhelming to do so, do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes, touch or change anything at the site where the assault occurred. The entirety of your current state is needed evidence, and the emergency room or other hospital staff will need to collect evidence. The evidence obtained from you using a rape kit will include fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • Go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. You will need to be examined, treated for any injuries and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and/or pregnancy.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Help is available but only if you ask. Here is information on services available to you.

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)

You will also have access to many local resources through your emergency room or police department. The important point is to get to safety and to help.
Feel free to ask any questions you make have on this topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA). Enjoy some of our favorite posts and frequently asked questions as well as a daily note explaining the benefits of SMA membership. Please share our page with your Friends on WordPress, on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress