November 20, 2018

Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the Cradle to Grave Phenomena – My Healthy Life Podcast: Episode 16

Don't be afraid to talk about STDs - the cradle to grave phenomena

“A cradle to grave phenomena.” That’s how our subject matter expert in this episode of My Healthy Life refers to STDs. Not quite dinner table talk, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are indeed something that need to become more normalized in our conversations. Despite the common idea that teens or young people are more susceptible, STDs have the potential to impact babies as they are born, teens, senior citizens and anyone in between.

So let’s talk about STDs.

Our subject matter expert, Dr. Shannon Dowler (you may know her as “Rap Dkta D” if you’ve seen any of her rap videos), reminds us that “STDs never get old.” The number of cases and people impacted is steadily on the rise year after year. The statistics are staggering – in the last five years, there’s been a:
  • 22% increase in cases of chlamydia
  • 67% increase in cases of gonorrhea
  • 76% increase in cases of syphilis

What can we do to help decrease and prevent STDs? “I think the most important thing is to have that dialogue partner,” says Dr. Dowler. Left untreated, STDs can have lifelong impacts including increased risk of giving or getting HIV, chronic pelvic pain or infertility.

Dr. Dowler reminds us all to ask questions! While you may feel embarrassed, but don’t be. Talk openly with your partners and healthcare providers – get tested and get treated.

Dr. Dowler is passionate about educating all generations about STDs – what they are, the risks, screening and treatment options. Hear her stories, laugh a little (or a lot) and become enlightened in the latest episode of My Healthy Life, a podcast by Mission Health.


Shannon Dowler, MD, is a family physician and the chief of community medicine and ambulatory health for Mission Health.

If you are concerned or believe you might have a sexually transmitted disease, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or visit a Mission My Care Now near you.

To find a primary care doctor or schedule an appointment online, visit missionhealth.org/providerfinder.

Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention