Womens Health

Why Drinking Alcohol Can Give You An STD

In previous generations, young women were frowned on for drinking. It was only ‘fast girls' who did and they were not the sort of girls young men brought home.

Nowadays, however, it's even become fashionable for young women to get seriously drunk, have multiple sexual partners and generally behave like one of the guys.

Binge Drinking

A recent study at John Hopkins University shows that women who binge drink, i.e. drink five drinks or more at one time are much more likely to indulge in risky sexual behavior. As women are usually smaller and lighter than men, the same amount of alcohol will affect women more, so they become drunk quicker.

According to this research, women who ‘party' are more likely to indulge in high-risk sexual behavior. They are three times more likely to have anal sex, twice as likely to have multiple sex partners and five times more likely to contract gonorrhea, compared to women who don't drink. Of course, it maybe that women who indulge in unsafe risky sexual behavior are more likely to drink.

Unsafe Sex

In any case, whichever comes first, the chicken or the egg, a recent British study showed that ¾ of women taking part in a survey had unprotected sex because they were drunk. The same survey found that 9 out of 10 men and women attending a Special Clinic routinely binge drink, drinking as much as 26 units of alcohol (i.e. 2 ½ bottles of wine or ¾ of a bottle of vodka) when they do. Less than 1 in 5 said they always used a condom with a new partner.

Another study from Washington University Medical School in St Louis found that some young people have had as many as 50 -100 partners! Obviously the more partners someone has, the more chance they have of contracting an STD. Moreover, the higher the number of partners, the more likely a person was to have alcohol related problems.

Higher Risk of STDs For Women

In fact, a woman is 8 to 10 times more at risk of contracting HIV from an infected man, by having unprotected sex, than a man is from a woman, and there are similar differences for other STD's too! Also of course, men can't get pregnant from having sex, whereas that's another risk for women.

Of course using a condom helps protect against getting pregnant and contracting STDs, but you do have to use them! Getting seriously drunk makes it just that more difficult for a woman to insist on a man wearing a condom if she can barely stand up straight, especially if it is with someone she has only just met!

While most people are very responsible about their sexual health and take precautions against pregnancy and STDs, it's hard to be sensible when you are drunk.

So remember heavy drinking won't just give you a hangover, it increases your risk of contracting an STD and of becoming pregnancy !  Good and sober judgment is needed to help ensure safe sex.

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