STI TESTING & TREATMENT
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If you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, then you can get a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Other names for STI are STD (sexually transmitted disease) and venereal disease (VD). Many STIs are never detected since there are often no symptoms.
According to the CDC, approximately one in five people in the U.S. had an STI in 2018. Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and HPV accounted for 98% of all prevalent STIs.
Can STIs Be Treated?
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can all be cured with antibiotics. However, when left untreated, these diseases can contribute to major problems including increased HIV risk, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and transmission of the disease to others. Syphilis can also be transmitted to a baby during pregnancy and can contribute to complications like stillbirth, miscarriage, newborn death, and health problems throughout the baby’s lifespan. HIV is not curable, but is now thought of as a chronic disease that can be managed with medication. Genital herpes (HSV) is also not curable, but it is treatable with medications to reduce the discomfort of outbreaks.
How to Reduce Your Risk of STI Transmission
Abstinence (not having sex)
Get the hepatitis B and HPV vaccines
Have fewer sex partners
Engage in mutual monogamy
Talk openly with your partners about STDs
Get tested regularly
How to test for STIs
HIV, Hepatitis, and syphilis are all tested with blood samples drawn at the lab. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are tested either with vaginal swabs or urine tests. Trichomonas can be detected with tests that use swabs from the vagina as well. HPV is usually checked along with a pap smear. Herpes can be detected with a swab (if there are active sores) or with a blood test (to check for previous exposure/infection).
What do my test results mean?
If you have been told you have an STD you may have more questions. Speak with your provider or you can read more on trusted website like these from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis.
More information about some common infections
It is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia
It can be spread without ejaculation (semen or sperm) or vaginal sex
You can get it again, even if you have already had it
It is easily cured with antibiotics, but you should take all medication, even when you feel better
You should avoid sex until 7 days after both persons complete treatment
If not treated, it can make it difficult to get pregnant in the future or even more serious, life threatening infections
It can infect the genitals, rectum, and even the throat and is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex
Symptoms can include a discharge or pain with urination, though most women don't have any symptoms
It is most common among people age 15-24
If not treated can cause problems getting pregnant in the future or even serious, life threatening infections
Symptoms may include discharge, itching and vaginal odor, but many patients do not have any symptoms
If not treated, can cause infertility in the future
Oral and genital herpes are common
Oral herpes are more commonly called cold sores
Herpes in the genital area can be caused by either HSV 1 (which more commonly causes cold sores on the mouth) or HSV 2 (which more commonly causes sores in the vagina, vulva, anus, or the skin around the genital area
It is common to have been infected or exposed to herpes and to never have had a breakout or symptoms
People infected with herpes are most likely to give it to someone else when they are having a breakout, but 10% of the time it can be passed on without any visible symptoms
There is no cure, but symptoms can be managed with medication
It is curable antibiotics
It can cause serious health problems is left untreated, including death
The infection develops in stages and each have different signs and symptoms
Syphilis is spread through vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, or at childbirth from mother to baby
Want more information?
Make an appointment today to discuss your concerns, questions, or to get tested.