the wispering podcast
Wispers

The Shock (Of Diagnosis)

By Symone Elena

🗣️ wis·per·ing /ˈ(h)wispər-ing: verb

Why no "h"? We're changing the conversation around sex, our bodies and reproductive health.


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Welcome to The Wispering Podcast, where our goal is to change the volume on some of life's, most difficult conversations. This podcast is brought to you by wisp, an online Telehealth community for women and men looking for reliable and discreet online care for their sexual and reproductive health needs. Log on to hellowisp.com and get same day prescriptions for UTI, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, genital herpes, oral herpes, a.k.a cold sores, and many more. Medication can be picked up at a local pharmacy or you can have meds shipped in discreet packaging directly to your home. Online consultations only take a few minutes and all medication is prescribed by US-licensed doctors in all fifty states.

Hi everyone, welcome back and if you're new here, I'm your host Symone Elena. I do want you to swing back to Episode 1 if you haven't yet just so. You can get to know myself and wisp a bit better and to understand what we're trying to do here to support you guys in the community. But if you didn't listen to Episode 1, I just kind of want to give it a quick run down. We pretty much just broke down what our mission is, what we want to do to better assist you guys when it comes to your sexual and reproductive health, and to segue into that. I do want to talk about receiving an STI diagnosis and the shock that comes behind it.

A positive test usually isn't the first moment you realize things may have been a bit off with your reproductive health, and as we grow up and experience new things and move to new places, it's common to confront challenges that you never thought you'd have to face, and that's totally okay, but typically as your world expands, so does your sex life. It's important to develop skills that help you adapt to whatever situation your body is confronted with. So let's just talk about it. Let's talk about the shock. The way we feel when our body is telling us that something is not right down there, and then also just the shock of just receiving a positive STI test.

But first let me break down what an STI is. For those of you don't know, STI stands for "sexually transmitted infection" and it's defined as the transmission of bacteria, viruses, and parasites through sexual contact. So that's how you can contract an STI. Sometimes, but not always, these infections can cause disease, which is where the term sexually transmitted disease, aka STD, comes in, which I know a lot of you are more familiar with. So typically you'll begin to show or feel symptoms only if the infection becomes a disease. Because of this, the medical community considers STI a more appropriate term than STD.

So let's talk about bacterial vaginosis, UTI, and yeast infections. These are considered as STIs, yes and no. Sex tends to play a role in the frequency of some vaginal infections like UTIs and bacterial vaginosis, especially if you don't pee after sex, these infections are not considered as STIs just because they can happen without sexual contact. So I mean, honestly, it can happen if you don't take a bath properly or just various lifestyle choices and sex can play a part in both of those. But you do got to understand y'all, if you're using soaps and stuff from Bath and Body Works down there, I'm goin need you to stop, because those can basically just increase your chances of getting bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections just because it's irritating your skin and your natural pH.

So let's just take a common case of UTI, urinary tract infections. You can get a UTI from sexual contact or from something just from like wearing a wet bathing suit for too long, and I need you all to understand something. I need you to pee after sex like — I really need you to pee after sex. I don't care if you're tired, if you don't feel like you have to pee, you just need to sit on the toilet until you pee, because most of the early stages of UTI you're, going to feel it and it'll have like a frequent burning sensation. You could have some bloody urine, there'll be some tenderness. You'll definitely know when you have it and you want to get it taken care of as quickly as possible and drinking cranberry juice is not the solution. It might help for a little bit, but it's not a solution, and I can honestly attest to that because I had a similar situation happen to me.

To me, I was at my brother's birthday party and having a good time and I kept feeling like I had to pee and I'm like, bro, I just went to the bathroom like five minutes ago. Like I don't gotta pee, I haven't even had any water, so I go to the bathroom and I experience probably the most burning sensation I've ever felt, and when I attempted to finish, I looked at the toilet and there was blood and I'm like, I know I'm not on my period to what's going on? So my boyfriend was there with me at the time, at the party, and we had just like entered into a relationship. So I was comfortable with him, but I kind of wasn't comfortable enough to like let him know what I was dealing with.

So I grabbed my brother who's like 90% drunk and i'm like, "I think i got a UTI? I think?" So i'm telling him what my symptoms are and he's like, "Oh yeah, 'Mo," he's like, "You definitely got a UTI, like you might need to go get that checked out." Mind you, it's like one in the morning and I'm like, "Sir, it's the weekend!" I don't even think any Urgent Cares are open, so i'm pretty much suffering the whole weekend and having to explain that to your significant other was was really tough. I mean granted, once I finally told him I was just like, "Hey, like we definitely can't have sex tonight. I'm sure drunk sex would have been great, but yeah. I can't have that." I told him what happened and he was fully supportive. He was like, "Do you know, do we need to go to the ER, anything like that?" I'm like, "No, because 1) who has money for the ER, I don't." Urgent Care, wasn't open until Monday, so I kind of just had to thug it out it for like the next two days until Monday came and then when I went, my doctor just let me know, she was like, "You just had like a really bad case of a UTI." And the blood was actually blood clots forming up, so long story short, pee after sex if you don't want to deal with any of this.

And watch, I say that and some of y'all are still going to ignore it and honestly, look. I love the Lord and I love the universe just as much as the next person, but praying that it goes away on its own is not how you fix these type of situations, and I promise you, if I ever go through your search engines on Google and see that you Googled how to like home-remedy bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections with, you know, apple cider vinegar, I'm really going to be disappointed. Like y'all. The kitchen is not going to fix your problems, and I understand it. It's very expensive. Sometimes you may not have health insurance, like i get it, but there are options out there to help you and that's what wisp is here to do. So if you have symptoms or even if you just want to get tested or just want to just make sure you're taking care of yourself, I need you to go. Getting tested and regular screenings just need to become a part of your routine, at least, I'd say, three times a year, just to avoid having these types of conversations with, not only yourself, but with your partners, and you know not wanting to have these type of talks with your doctors. Now, I know, like this is your first time hearing all of this. It can be a little bit overwhelming and shocking, but let me just paint a picture for you. Imagine if you're beginning a newly monogamous relationship and you and your partner, you get screened, and you get rid of the condoms and then, boom, after a few weeks of unprotected sex, one of you experiences genital herpes.

Now I know your first thing to jump to is somebody's cheating, but I need you to keep in mind what you've learned already about viruses. It's entirely possible that one of you is a carrier of the herpes virus and just didn't know it. So that's why I truly want to emphasize just making sure that you're taking care of yourself on a regular, consistent basis and STIs are just common, y'all, like they're really, really common and honestly, the only way to avoid an STI is to never have sex! So, with protected sex like using condoms or a dental dam, there is still some risk of getting an STI, and just because someone looks healthy doesn't mean that you can't get an infection from them or vice versa, and I know that sounds scary. But this is honestly, it's just nothing new. This is not new at all, and the truth is that for most of us, STIs are a part of life, and with modern medication it's totally possible for you just to live your life just as safe and satisfied as you want to.

But, again, I'm going to reiterate this. The first step is being in tune with yourself, knowing your body and knowing yourself, and not ignoring what your body is trying to tell you — you can't do it. I don't care how scared you are you got to be in tune and not ignore what it's trying to tell you. Remember, ask questions, get your screenings always practice honest communication with your partners and your hook-ups and your one night stands, like all those people. You need to take into consideration with everything that you do, and you also need to have those conversations with them as well, just so that they can be open with you and there's an open line of communication, and if you guys need to look at symptoms together, you can definitely just go on with his website, hellowisp.com and over on the blog it'll definitely give you a great break down of anything that you might be experiencing.

So, in light of today's theme, if you didn't listen to Episode 1, we have a segment on the podcast called Wisper A Secret, and that's just pretty much a place where we allow you guys to just share anonymously responses to questions that we put out there and if you have any questions or need advice on anything. So one of the questions we threw out was: did you ever have to call all the people you slept with and tell them about a recent STI diagnosis that you had, and you know, if you did, how did it go? So one wisper wrote back that for past people and for potential relationships, they explained it to them before both of them were fully invested, which I think was really beautiful, but the first time was extremely difficult. "So after that experience, I use my Notes app to write out everything and usually just send them that informationm, it got easier. But for the most part they are very receptive, so it became really easy and they were really appreciative of the honesty, since not many people are even having these type of conversations." So for me, in response to that, I do think using your Notes app is a really great idea. I know some people just aren't the best with talking or communicating, and I think writing down what you want to say, even if you don't read this group, but just writing it down just that you can get it off of you and how you want to express it is such a great idea. And for me having conversations like this, I'm having it right now with complete strangers. So it's not hard for me, but I know others out there may not be able to do the same thing, so I think figure out what works best for you. It may not be easy. The very first time that you have to do it, fingers crosssed you never have to, but figure out what works for you and just keep that open line of communication.

We had another wisper share a story-time with me, not so much where they're answering the question, but they needed some advice. I'm literally trying to figure out how to even go about helping them. So i'm just going to go about it and hopefully we can give them some help. So they wrote, "So my best friend who is currently married gave head to [her husband's] brother, okay, I'm close to both of them, and I don't feel comfortable that I know this secret. He's a good guy, excellent father even to her previous kid who is not his, so when family gatherings happen, we are all including her husband and brother, whose penis she sucked, like we're all there together and it's awkward, and I don't like being in this situation- help!" Granted, this is not my first time reading this, but it's like every time I read it again it just gets harder to digest. I've never experienced something like this or been in a situation to where I've had to hold a secret like this so intensely. But all I can say that is if it's forcing you to choose sides, and we all understand where your loyalty resides, it resides with your best friend, and i understand that, but it seems that you have a really great relationship as well with the husband. So if it's forcing you to choose size - and it's also putting you in an uncomfortable position, you might need to step back, you might need to pull away. Even if that doesn't mean you know, sharing what you know, but at the same time you have to put yourself first, and for sanity purposes for any other purpose outside of just making sure that you're comfortable in any situation, you might just not be able to be around until she's able enough to have this talk with both parties and let them know like you know. This was a transgression this, that, and the third, because it is going to boil down to oh, so you knew, and you didn't say anything and you don't deserve to be put in that position. So for me, if I was in your shoes, I would just take a couple steps back. You know and let them work through it, and even if they don't you just you just need to start separating yourself, because you just don't need to be around that type of energy, and it's not fair to you.

So guys. I think i think that's definitely it. I know for the next episode I definitely want to talk about deconstructing the stigma of receiving an STI, because we all know as soon as you find out that somebody has something you just think: they're dirty and all these other horrible things, and we want to make sure we break that stigma and let people know like it's common, it's, okay, you're, not a horrible human being, and it's not your fault. So I definitely want you to drop us a line. We do want to hear from you. You can reach out to wisp on Instagram and Twitter @hellowisp and that's w-i-s-p and then for me, if you want to, you know, hang out with me on my Instagram, it's @symoneelena, and I will talk to you guys soon. So again be love, be light.

The Wispering Podcast should not be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified health provider about any symptoms you may be experiencing.

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