Why should I be tested for STDs?
If you become unknowingly infected with an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and don’t receive proper treatment, you may develop medical problems:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Not knowing whether you have an STD also puts your sexual partners at risk for infection. Prompt STD diagnosis and treatment prevent complications and the spread of the infection.
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs in the United States. You can get this disease through oral, anal, and vaginal contact. When you have chlamydia, you may not show any symptoms, or you may experience one or more of the following:
Genital irritation or itching
Strong-smelling vaginal discharge
Pain during intercourse or urination
If chlamydia remains untreated, you may also experience lower abdominal pain, fever, or nausea when the infection spreads.
Chlamydia is curable with antibiotics. You can reduce your risk of contracting chlamydia by avoiding sex with infected persons and using condoms.
What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea infections spread through oral, anal, or vaginal contact. You may not experience any symptoms after you become infected. or you may experience some of these symptoms:
Increased vaginal discharge
Pain or burning while urinating
Vaginal bleeding between periods
Gonorrhea can also infect other areas of your body, including your rectum and throat.
Antibiotics can cure gonorrhea infections. You can reduce your risk of contracting gonorrheaby avoiding sex with infected persons and using condoms.
What is HPV?
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a group of related viruses of many strains. Certain strains of HPV cause warts but other strains can cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, or vulva.
You can contract HPV through skin-to-skin contact and sexual intercourse with an infected person. Symptoms may not present which makes determining when and where you caught it difficult.
Regular Pap smears screen for HPV and precancerous lesions of the cervix.
HPV vaccinations are available to help prevent some HPV infections.There is no treatment for the virus but vigilant follow up with pap smears will mitigate the effect of the virus.
Other STD's: HIV, Syphillis, Herpes
In addition to the above STD's you should be tested for HIV, Syphillis and Herpes (both Herpes Type 1, and Herpes Type 2 or oral and genital herpes) if you think you have been exposed to someone who might have these infections.