The risks of having multiple sex partners are increasing as new diseases crop up and new research gives light to new concerns. You may find sex enjoyable and want new experiences. Or perhaps you aren't currently in a relationship, but still require sexual satisfaction. This is normal, but that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. It's important to take safety precautions, such as condom use and regular medical testing, to avoid the following risks.
- Pubic Lice. Pubic lice are similar to head lice and live in pubic hair. They bite the skin and suck out blood, causing itching, and general discomfort. Many times the pubic hair must be shaved as part of the treatment.
- Urinary Tract Infections. Urinary tract infections aren't considered a sexually transmitted infection, but they are more common in someone with multiple sex partners. Symptoms typically include a burning type pain during urination, as well as rectal pain in men and pelvic pain in women.
- Syphilis. Syphilis starts off as a single sore on the genital area. If left untreated, it can cause catastrophic complications including aortic aneurysm, blindness, and irreversible brain damage.
- Chlamydia. Chlamydia infects 50 million new people worldwide each year. Symptoms typical of chlamydia are discharge and painful urination. Men often time don't have any symptoms and so the infection goes untreated, which can lead to complications later on in life.
- Gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection. It can cause even more severe symptoms than other STDs, especially abdominal pain, fever, and sepsis. The biggest risk factor in getting gonorrhea is having multiple sex partners.
- Genital Herpes. Herpes causes painful sores to erupt on the genitals. There is no cure for herpes and recurrent break outs throughout life are common. Some people may have as many as three breakouts per year. Sores do not have to be present for the infection to spread, so it's hard to know if someone you're having sex with has this virus.
- Hepatitis C. Having multiple sex partners significantly increases your risk of contracting a serious whole body infection. This is an infection that is not confined to the genital. The most common disease in this category is Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that damages the liver. It is the number one cause of liver transplantation in the United States, a major risk factor for both liver scarring and liver cancer, and can only be cured in 50 percent of affected people. The treatment is painful and intensive. Pills and shots are given. The treatment has many side effects, specifically fatigue, nausea, anemia, and headache.
- HIV. HIV is the incurable virus that causes AIDS. It attacks the body's immune system, eventually causing the body to become unable to protect itself against infection and cancer. Death is the end results, and is usually due to an infection which the body was unable to fight off. An estimated 33 million people currently have it. A study done by the The Center For AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco, California found having multiple sex partners to be the leading cause of HIV infection, surpassing bisexuality and I.V. drug use.
- Cancer. Undetected STIs can cause cancer in both sexes. Men with multiple sex partners are three times more likely to get prostate cancer, due to Trichomonas vaginalis. This is both the most common non viral STI with over 170 million cases seen annually. The infection is not symptomatic in men so most men don't get treated. The continuous inflammation in the prostate can lead to prostate cancer. In women, cervical cancer is common and is due to the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.
- Infertility. Scarring from untreated infections can also lead to infertility in both men and women. Infertility due to infection is usually a result of the inability of fertilization to occur. In men, the scarring narrows the passageway through which the sperm come out. This causes a blockage and sperm remain trapped in the man's body. In women, cervical scarring makes it difficult for sperm to get to the egg. Cervical scarring is also connected to miscarriage. Because having multiple sex partners increases the risk of catching an infection, it is considered a risk factor for infertility.
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