Leo is just Godsent, the man of my dreams. The love I need to heal from my past relationship. He is dark, handsome and had this athletic body. A very ‘okay’ guy.
Our hook-up was just natural, and it wasn’t long before we knew we liked each other. My kind of guy, a ladies’ man – hardworking, corporate, funny, and decent. The one guy to one chic sort of person. It was all pleasantness. His last relationship ended six months ago, and both of us seemed just ready for each other.
When the sex began, it became even more exciting. Our chemistry aligned. I always stayed cautious of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). So, I insisted on condoms use in the first month. He did not object.
I was relaxed and happy. He was just ‘over-faithful’, loved me and showed it. Sometimes, I would wonder if he could have an STI. He didn’t show any behavioural disposition and was just too healthy to have one. Being a medical professional (pharmacist), he certainly must have been protecting himself all his life. He doesn’t drink, smoke nor roll with bad friends.
Subconsciously, we began skipping the use of condoms and occasionally even take it out at the heat of things. We knew our risks, but we had screened each other with our spiritual and laboratory eyes. For me, Leo must be clean. On my own, I would usually urinate and wash after sex. I relied on my calendar to calculate my safe periods and used ‘Backup” emergency contraceptive whenever I feel I could get pregnant.
Two months into the relationship, I began noticing some foul discharge from my privates. It came with pain in my lower tummy, itchiness of my genitals and bleeding at wrong times. I was super worried and scared. My cycle even changed. It would be heavier than usual and offensive (Mogbe!). This has never happened before. Leo had no symptoms, and I was so uncomfortable telling him. Could he say I cheated or brought it with me into the relationship? Who should I talk to? I started distancing from him; he would notice the problem if we made out. Somehow, I was convinced he passed it on to me.
Can I talk to my best friend at work? But this is so private. And I don’t want anyone thinking of Leo as having sexually transmitted infections. I can’t also go to the hospital in my area; those know me. E go get as e be. The symptoms got worse. I suddenly became a sad lady. This dropped my productivity at work. I read all the materials online about sexually transmitted and urinary tract infections. Some articles said I could even become infertile or have an ectopic pregnancy without treatment.
Then the Marie Stopes Contact Centre number popped up – 08000022252 and 22252. Can I trust them, I asked myself? I called them with my office line to hide my identity as much as possible. My relief came after I spoke to the call centre agent. Very professional and reassuring. Hmmm, can I trust them with my identity and be assured of quality service and confidentiality. I scheduled a visit with their Abuja Center. I had some counselling sessions, examinations and tests. I was also able to get Leo to come for the same. We had an STI. It was during the consultation that Leo mentioned he has been having some burning pain in his testes for which he has used some over the counter antibiotics. I didn’t know this.
The Marie Stopes team were non-judgemental, professional, empathic and respected our privacy. Surprisingly, the treatment was simple. Also, I took the Jadelle implant to prevent unplanned pregnancy. We are now free. We have our lives back.
I understood that STIs may show little or no symptoms in some people and can be very distressing for others. Feel free, get tested and treated. You can reduce the risk of contracting STIs by screening yourselves before entering a sexual relationship with a new partner.
Leo and I just had our court wedding, six months after the STI event. We are having the time of our lives.
No let STI spoil your love life, talk to us. If you can relate with this story, seek help now to avoid future stories that touch.