Please find below BPAS' comment on the Health Protection Agency’s data on the numbers of Sexually Transmitted Infections in England in 2011.
BPAS’ lead contraception and STI Nurse Tracey Forsyth said:
“While we are pleased to see that Chlamydia diagnoses among all women have fallen, it is worrying that the number of diagnoses among older women has increased. This may reflect more widespread testing, but the perception of Chlamydia as a “young person’s disease” means older women may not believe this is something they need to worry about. A number of the older women we speak to are coming out of long-term relationships later in life and are not practising safe sex because they do not consider themselves to be at risk of catching an STI or getting pregnant, solely on the basis of their age.
“We are also concerned about the impact that misinformation surround STIs can have. We speak to many women who, because they have previously been diagnosed with Chlamydia, believe that they are infertile, and find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy after taking chances with contraception. While Chlamydia can in some cases lead to infertility, this is by no means an automatic consequence and women should certainly not assume that they cannot get pregnant.”