Contracting an STI does not make you a bad person!
When I was 18 my boyfriend of the time cheated on me and gave me Chlamydia.
We had learnt a lot about STI’s in school but because I was in what I believed to be a secure relationship, I didn’t even think to get tested. Thankfully, I was told about what happened a month or so after and straight away took myself to be tested.
The nurse told me that I was incredibly lucky, some girls who have had Chlamydia undiagnosed for over a month can be diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Symptomatic PID occurs in about 10 to 15 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. However, chlamydia can also cause subclinical inflammation of the upper genital tract. This can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, tubal factor infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy.
Honestly, at the time this shocked me. I didn’t know the risks attached to an undiagnosed STI and it affected me for a really long time.
For a while after I had significant trust issues, I felt dirty and unclean, I worried if people found out they would judge me or bully me because of it and ultimately I was heartbroken that someone I trusted had done this to me.
Fast forward to a fair few years later and I have some advice I wish I could have given myself back then.
Yes, STI’s aren’t great, and avoid them at all costs (wear protection!), but if you do contract one, it makes you no less of a person. Not at all, not even remotely.
I know numerous boys and girls at Uni who have had STI’s purely out of bad luck and do I think any less of them? Nope. As long as you are making every effort to be safe during sex you really are doing all you can.
Sometimes things happen so please don’t beat yourself up about it like I did, pop to the doctors and they will sort you out! Also, don’t think the doctor is sat judging you. I promise you, they’re not.
My last bit of advice is to not lose trust in people or lose trust in your own instincts just because you’ve been hurt. I went through a really long period where I didn’t want anyone even touching me and developing a sexual relationship with my current partner took a lot of work. When someone breaks your trust it can be really difficult to build it back up, but talking to people really helps.
No one will ever judge you as hard as you judge yourself, so give yourself a break and talk to people about it.