Surprising Group of Women Has a High Risk of STDs

legsWhen you think of what kind of women are most in danger of getting STDs or HIV, you probably think of young, never-married women -- in their 20s, perhaps -- who are sowing their wild oats and engaging in risky sex perhaps because they don't yet fully grasp the potential consequences. But what if I told you that another group of women is particularly at risk for contracting STDs and HIV: newly divorced middle-aged women.

Yup, a new study has found that women who are well past their 20-something years and emerging from marriages are actually prone to take risks that make them vulnerable to STDs and HIV.

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Past menopause, these women aren't afraid of pregnancy, and that may make them less concerned about using forms of birth control -- like condoms -- that can also protect them from STDs. Adding to their vulnerability, post-menopausal women may be physiologically more disposed to contracting STDs during unprotected sex because menopause can make vaginal walls thinner.

In a way, this is sort of a good-news-bad-news study in that it's nice to know these middle-aged women whose marriages have -- for whatever reason -- failed to go the distance are out there getting it on and losing themselves in the moment. (You go, old girls!) But sheesh, ladies, age is supposed to bring wisdom. You've got to be careful to protect yourselves!

By all means, go out and have fun, but don't do it in a way that puts your health at risk. How hard is it to go into your local pharmacy and buy a box of condoms? Sure, asking a potential sexual partner to use the condom may be a little more thorny, but you've got bite the bullet and do it. Think of what's at stake! I know, I know -- you're out of practice. It's a whole new world with new concerns. You're feeling emotionally and sexually vulnerable as it is. But here's a dating truth that hasn't changed in the years you were happily (and then perhaps unhappily) married: If a guy's not willing to take steps to protect you both, he's not a guy you want to hop in the sack with.

Are you surprised by the results of this study?

 

Image via Quang'y/Flickr

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