What’s More Likely From Unprotected Sex: Getting Pregnant or Getting an STD?

What’s More Likely From Unprotected Sex: Getting Pregnant or Getting an STD?

A reader submitted the following question:

“What is more probable in a random heterosexual encounter without protection: getting an STD or getting pregnant? I assume the answer will change with age (higher chances of STD for older people, higher chances of pregnancy for younger women) but I think would be interesting to know the answer for an average person.”

Thanks for this very interesting, but very complex question! There’s not a simple answer because there are a lot of unaccounted for variables here.

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Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are as many as 20 million new infections that occur each year in the U.S. and that we spend upwards of $16 billion annually on health care to treat them. So what's been happening with rates of STDs in recent years? Are they increasing or decreasing? Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the data. To learn more, check out the CDC's full report here (please note that HIV/AIDS is covered separately in its own report here). In addition, visit this page for information on the CDC's current STD screening recommendations.

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