How STDs can affect adolescent growth & development

How STDs can affect adolescent growth & development

Sexually active adolescents are more vulnerable to contracting STDs than any other age demographic. As they are the novices of the sexual playing field, they are the least informed & experienced, and under constant duress of raging hormones thereby putting themselves at great risk of contracting various STDs. According to an NCBI study,  the US Department of Health and Human Service reported that 25% of teenagers who are sexually active have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

At an age plagued by unrelenting peer pressure, hormonal imbalances, and parental disharmony – adolescents are quite vulnerable when it comes to STDs. 

Often, the lure of unprotected sex combined with a lack of self-control, or understanding of the life-long impacts their decisions will have, makes teens largely responsible for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. 

We need to adjust our conversational tone with teenagers so they might understand the large consequences of unprotected sex. This article explores the dangers of such sexual infections and more specifically how STDs can affect adolescent growth & development.

1)  STDs can cause ectopic pregnancy

During a time when vibrant, budding would-be adults frequently throw caution to the wind, it is the adolescent girl who is at a greater risk of falling prey to sexually transmitted diseases. 

Early pregnancies among teenagers are common, and sometimes an unwanted baby comes alongside diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. According to, chlamydia can cause the attachment of a fertilized egg to take place in the fallopian tube instead of the uterine lining. This condition is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy, a complication resulting from the embryo attaching outside the uterus. And it can prove fatal if the underage mother doesn’t terminate the fetus early enough.

2)  Infertility is also a possibility

While female adolescents are often thought to be most at risk of becoming infertile, due to the heightened chances of contracting pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) associated with STD contracture such as gonorrhea, their male counterparts are no exemption. 

STDs such as genital herpes can lead to a scarring of the reproductive organs, erectile dysfunction, and cause permanent damage thereby rendering any future efforts of having children of their own futile.

3)  Sexual infections can lead to depreciating muscle mass and poor bone formation

In the worst case scenario, an adolescent can contract HIV making their general growth and development extremely painful and constricted. 

The HIV weakens the body’s defenses by depleting the immune system, and reduces its ability to form strong bones and build muscle mass. If infected, and adolescent should immediately consult their parents to ensure a start on AVR treatments straight away. 

They will have to endure massive changes in diet & exercise, lifestyle, and social interactions. Complimenting the daily AVR treatment with cbd oil is also advisable. 

Scientists and medical organizations believe that cannabis not only holds the secret to the cure of the virus, but also has the ability to counteract the severity of symptoms associated with the virus, allowing users to live a comfortable, normal life.

4)  Syphilis can lead to dementia or blindness

The beginning of a syphilis infection will manifest as harmless genital sores around the mouth or rectum which are later replaced with uncomfortable, persistent rashes. The secondary syphilis rash can even be hard to see, and may not itch. According to Planned Parenthood, the adolescent might experience flu-like symptoms, a fever, exhaustion, headaches, or muscle soreness. This won’t be alarming at first, as it may seem like the common cold. 

As sores appear, they may affect the mouth, vaginal area, or anus, and the patient may later experience weight loss, or hair loss.

If the STD persists untreated, the infection will eventually develop into a form of syphilis called neurosyphilis that targets the central nervous system thereby affecting the mental health of the affected individual. 

Dementia, depression, memory difficulties, neck stiffness, mood changes, and drastic personality deviations are some of the long-term challenges associated with this kind of syphilis. 

In extreme cases, the affected could lose their ability to see. This would thereby effectively limit their chances of molding the future they so desire.

Protected sex has become somewhat of a cliché these days however, parents and the community at large can never emphasize enough the importance of safe sex practices. STDs greatly affect the adolescent age group and it is, therefore, important to raise enough awareness to remind teenagers – who often brush aide such topics with a simple “I know”- of what consequences might arise out of sexual activity. The best thing we can do is to arm young people with knowledge of how to protect themselves so that they don’t muddy a promising future.

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