STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are infections that spread through sexual activity (vaginal, oral, and anal sex). Several infections can also spread through close personal or physical contact, such as kissing. The main causes of STDs and STIs are parasites, bacteria, and viruses. According to recent statistics, millions of Americans get infected with STDs and STIs every year, with half of the diagnoses occurring in teens and young adults.
The most common STDs include:
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Common Symptoms of STDs and STIs
Common symptoms of STDs and STIs in women are
- Changes in urination
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina
- Itching in the vaginal area
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Rashes or sores around the mouth or vagina
- Strong vaginal odor
Common symptoms of STDs and STIs in men are:
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- An urge to urinate frequently
- Abnormal, colored, or foul-smelling discharge from the penis
- Bumps, blisters, or sores in the penis or genitals
- Painful sensation while ejaculation
- A painful or burning sensation during urination and bowel movements
Doctors recommend STD testing based on sexual activity and the risk for specific diseases. Your doctor will start the treatment immediately if the test comes back positive. If the STD goes undiagnosed, it can cause physical complications.
What is STD Testing?
An STD test or screening is done using a urine and blood test. The type of test depends on the type of STD, symptoms, and the patient’s sexual and medical history. The doctor will talk to the patient, ask relevant questions, and examine the patient’s genitals. Based on the interview and the examination, the doctor may take one or more of the following samples:
- Cheek swab
- Urine sample
- Sample from the genitals (urethra in men and cervix in women)
- Swab any sores or discharge
- Blood sample
Often, the sample can be collected and tested in the doctor’s or health provider’s office. Else it’s sent to the lab, and the results come later.
Key Reasons to Go for STD Testing
If you have an undiagnosed STD or STI, it can spread to your partner unintentionally. Hence, STD testing can help treat and diagnose the condition before it causes any physical or emotional complications. It can help you prevent the following risks:
Undiagnosed STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can affect your reproductive health as they can proceed to pelvic inflammatory disease in women and cause infertility in both men and women. However, both infections can be cured with early treatment.
Untreated STDs can increase the risk of premature birth, stillbirth, and miscarriage. That’s because there’s a high chance that you might transmit an untreated STD to your unborn child during or prior to their delivery.
More Life-altering complications
Untreated STDs can remain in the body for a long time after the first infection and can cause serious damage to the body. For instance, syphilis can cause dementia, and hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis of the liver.
The right thing to do when you have STDs is to follow the doctor's directions for treatment. Even though some STDs cannot be cured, there are many ways to manage the symptoms and ensure that your condition does not spread to anyone else.
If you need to get tested for STDs, visit us at the 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic in Oceanside, CA. Our skilled and experienced medical professionals conduct discreet and efficient STD testing in a comfortable environment.