I was recently struck by how easy it is for teen sex to change in a heartbeat the future of young women without a teenager even knowing what has happened until it is too late.
I've written extensively about the dangers of teen sex and the rampant increase in incidence of HPV infection. HPV is the STD that keeps on giving, spreading exponentially when an infected boy or girl has sex with others. There are three strains of HPV that cause virtually all cervical cancers.
Here's a story about how cervical cancer changed one woman's life forever. She is a survivor of cervical cancer caused by HPV. She had it twice. Now she is unable to conceive or carry a child. She and her husband will be fortunate indeed if just one of the remaining cryo-preserved embryos that they saved before her treatment allows them to have children.
Here's what Michelle Whitlock wrote in MAMM, a magazine about Women, Cancer, and Community. Read it and pass it on! You could save lives. You could help others prevent what occurred to Michelle.
A young survivor asks that we get over the stigma of cervical cancer so the dialogue can begin
By Michelle Whitlock
"When I started having sex, I didn't know anything about what causes cervical cancer. That's largely because cervical cancer is clouded with a stigma due to its association with a sexually transmitted disease called human papillomavirus, or HPV. Many survivors are too ashamed and embarrassed to share their stories.
"When you mention HPV, people immediately think you have genital warts, or assume that you slept around. There's this sense that women with cervical cancer caused their own illness when actually it's ignorance that's the main culprit. It's estimated that more than half of women will carry a sexually transmitted strain of HPV at some point in their lives. Many of those strains do not have any symptoms, and you can contract them by having sex one time with a single partner, even if you use a condom (though condoms do decrease your risk). I didn't know any of that."
Pass it on!
Read this blog's archives of recent articles on HPV, its prevalence, the HPV vaccine, and related topics here.