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Sometimes it seems like people just assume that things like reproduction just stop being a concern during an emergency. The truth is far from that. This post may be off-putting to some of you but it is a subject that will come during a long-term situation and like so many things people don’t want to think about, the consequences of not learning now may cause a lot of trouble later on.
I know that morality and religious beliefs come into play when talking about this type of thing. I hope I have managed to be respectful towards everyone in this post. Please know that I have tried. This article is for men and women alike. Both genders should be aware of some of the basics for a SHTF situation.
STDs can increase dramatically during a SHTF scenario.
During a long emergency, safe sex is not practiced as much. Part of this is due to a lack of access to supplies. Condoms are actually a decent trade item to put back for a long emergency. They are not cheap but they will be worth a lot during a long emergency.
Lack of good hygiene practices can make it easier for sexual infections to spread
When you are not able or just don’t take the time to keep yourself clean, it is easier for all types of infections and fungus to spread. If you have not considered all aspects of hygiene for you and your family for a long emergency or SHTF, now is the time to do so.
During SHTF scenarios people will have weakened immune systems
A weakened immune system ups the odds that an infection will take hold and it increases the likelihood of severe consequences. Secondary illnesses and infections are another cause for concern.
Sexual activity among teens will probably increase where there is large enough of a community and where people still get together to socialize or hang out.
Sex before marriage is a choice that is made more often than waiting. To ignore this and assume that “my kid won’t do that” is naïve. I have seen too many parents try to stress abstinence only to become very young grandparents. In some cases the parents simply chose to ignore the obvious signs that their children were sexually active and thus they did not have easy access to any birth control methods or guidance that could have saved them from not so great choices.
During an SHTF scenario when someone may think they have a low or moderate chance of survival or that there life may be snatched from them at any moment, may not be that worried about sticking to a moral code that was handed down to them. Anything that is a comfort or distraction is going to be tempting. Even if your kid is pretty young now, you need to think about that they will grow up and that growing up could happen during an SHTF scenario.
Safe sex is a lot better than winding up with a pregnant teenager during a long emergency. Child birth is dangerous enough and stressful living may make it hard or impossible to have a healthy pregnancy especially if someone has any underlying health issues. Some STDs can also ruin someone’s chances of becoming a parent later on so preventing them is very important.
Remember too that you will be busy trying to survive during SHTF and not able to keep as close an eye on the activities of the young people in your family.
Birth and Pregnancy During A Long Emergency
During a long emergency or SHTF scenario you may want to take some steps to prevent pregnancy even if you normally would welcome it. This is a very personal decision, but it is wise to consider the risk to yourself and an unborn child. Will you be able to get enough food to eat? Do you have vitamins or a source of folic acid? Have you had a difficult pregnancy or birth in the past?
Remember that during a SHTF scenario there probably will be no one to perform any major procedures if you have any complications. You will have no access to good prenatal care. Perhaps if there is someone in your survival group that has some midwife or medical experience you will be slightly better off but that doesn’t mean that a minor thing during good times might not turn into something tragic.
People will hide sex related health issues out of shame and this will lead to higher rates of transmission to others.
Even going to the doctor during good times is really embarrassing to some people when they have to talk about some subjects. Do you think people are going to deal with their issues or ask for help or are they going to hide them until they cannot?
Some STDs are easier to treat than others. A good stash of antibiotics and antifungals is a start towards being able to combat some STDs.
Sexual Health and Wellness Supplies To Have On Hand
Even if you have no need for them yourself, during SHTF they could be an excellent trade item.
Monistat-7 or generic equivalent and fluconazole pills
Creams are the most common way to treat a yeast infection over the counter. These are sold as 1,3, and 7 day treatment plans most commonly. The nurses that I have talked to over the years tend to recommend the 7 day treatment because the shorter courses don’t always knock out a particularly bad yeast infection which results in someone having to be treated for a longer period.
An alternative treatment is to buy fluconazole pills. These are available wherever you get fish antibiotics. It is the same drug that is found in Diflucan which is what doctors prescribe to take care of yeast infections. The pills make you feel kind of out of it so it is best to take them at night and then go to bed.
A Note on Yeast Infections
Guess what? Women and men can get yeast infections and they can be transmitted back and forth. You have to break the cycle. Even without sexual activity, yeast infections are one of the most common ailments for women to experience. Stress, hygiene, and hormones, can all create conditions where yeast infections are more likely.
Urinary Tract Infection Tests
Urinary tract infections are common enough that you can just buy the test strips at the grocery or drug store. During an extended emergency there is a good chance that someone will experience a light to moderate urinary tract infection. Sometimes you can feel the symptoms coming on if you have experienced one before. This is helpful because the sooner you start treating it the better.
If you are prone to UTI infections or just want to have some preventative means then you should put back some cranberry powder or a bunch of the capsules to take daily. This can also help
UTI’s can be painful. AZO or the generic equivalent will stop the burning sensations and bladder spasms that can occur. It is not a cure but it helps you be a lot more comfortable and pain free while you are being treated with antibiotics.
Here is a list of sexually transmitted diseases and infections that are treatable with antibiotics and the most common antibiotics that they can be treated with. Many of these are available for purchase online but labeled for use in fish.
Chlamydia– Azithromycin, erythromycin, doxycycline
Gonorrhea-Ceftriazone, cefivime, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin
Syphillis-Penicillin but if someone is allergic to penicillin they can use doxycycline or tetracycline
Trichomoniasis- Metronidazole (sometimes sold as Flagyl). Women usually show symptoms first but any sexual partners should also be treated. Note that pills cannot be used in the first trimester of pregnancy. There are creams and suppositories for that time.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease- With this condition it is typical to use two antibiotics at once. Antibiotics used include ofloxacin, metronidazole.ceftriaxone, doxycycline, and moxifloxacin.
From my research, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, metronidazole and penicillin are what you should put back for STD treatment. Of course these antibiotics are useful for a great many other conditions.
WARNING: This section is a little intense. I am going to talk about sexual predation and rape during a SHTF scenario.
There will be more sexual depravity to watch out for simply due to a lack of law enforcement and consequences
People will do things that they were afraid to do before. Kids and teens that have been raised too sheltered can be naive and vulnerable. Not
While we have laws to protect young people from predators to some degree, there is no age of consent during SHTF and probably no law enforcement to help if someone does something sick.
Should ladies make themselves look less attractive so they are not as much of a target?
I have heard some say that women should take steps to make themselves appear less appealing, especially if they have no men around them. I think that this is not very helpful advice. I would change it to say that you might want to take the grey woman approach and while you don’t have to go rub dirt on your face and chop all your hair off, you might want to dress in colors and clothing that do not draw the eye.
Blending in to the surroundings and not standing out is something that women and men will want to do more of during a SHTF scenario. Sex trafficking is a major problem in the USA already and I imagine it would get a lot worse quite fast during a long emergency.
During a SHTF scenario there will be all kinds of awful people that will be allowed more freedom to do what they want and they will look for targets that they think are the easiest, most vulnerable, and that could provide them with more of whatever they think they need.
Rape is used as a way to dehumanize and control.
Rape is not primarily about sexual release, is it is about control and domination. It is also a commodity for some to profit on during hard times. Rape is justified by some because the women being subjected to it are dehumanized. They are less than women to these people, they deserve what they get because they are bad in the eyes of the rapist. This is how someone can turn into a rapist or an accomplice of a rapist during
Rationalization of terrible acts is the downward moral spiral where there is often no return. In the case of
Rape is also a weapon against men because the idea is that it hurts the morale of men if the women on “their side” are violated.
Dehumanizing is a powerful weapon that leads many down a path of moral decrepitude. By choosing to dehumanize others, people lose their humanity in a way.
In some cultures and religions, a woman that is raped will never be seen the same way by others again. In some cases they may never have the opportunity to move on because they are seen as “damaged goods”. This is yet another way that rape is seen as a powerful weapon and demoralizing attack against anyone that opposes.
Rape happens to men too
I don’t think I should have to remind people of this fact but at the same time, rape is often treated as just a womens issue. The extent of male rape is hard to judge since so many probably never come forward out of fear of ridicule or shame.
Personal defensive measures and awareness of surroundings are important to prevention
While nothing is completely preventable or able to be planned for, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from becoming a victim of sexual crimes and violence during a SHTF scenario.
- Always have a weapon on you that is easy to get to
- Take your time when traveling and observe your surroundings at all times.
- Avoid areas that are easy for others to hide in
- Move in pairs
- Take steps to not stand out too much. No flashy clothes, jewelry, hair, etc.
- Learn some hand to hand combat and how to break a hold
- Avoid travel at night
Women that have men as part of their group may consider not going out at all at times. This sounds severe but it is not actually uncommon for women to take care of a lot of the home related duties and tasks and avoid going out during times of severe unrest and violence. We still live in a day and age when women are considered easy targets.
Do you have anything to add?
Samantha Biggers can be reached at [email protected]