Every year more than 20 million people in the United States become newly infected with an STD. STDs or STIs (sexual transmitted diseases or infections) are diseases that spread through sexual contact such as vaginal, anal and oral sex. Though it is extremely important for a sexually active adult to schedule a routine screening, it is even more so for women to get tested regularly.
Reasons why women should be more concerned about their sexual health.
- STDs tend to be more severe in women than men.
- STDs can lead to infertility, organ damage, cancer and death if untreated for an extended period.
- Some women do not experience or show symptoms of certain STDs.
- There is a higher chance of infection from receptive sex than that of penetrative sex for certain STDs (e.g. HIV).
Routine screening protects you and your partner(s) from possible infection. For more information on STD counseling options in Orange County, visit our specialists at OhBloomGyn.
STD Q & A
Why is STD testing important?
If you’re sexually active — even if you have a single, long-term partner — regular STD screenings should be part of your preventive health care routine.
Routine screenings are the only way to discover any STDs that may be asymptomatic or lying dormant. Regular testing also gives you an opportunity to find and treat an infection as quickly as possible, so you can prevent its further spread and avoid potential health complications.
OhBloomGyn offers in-office testing and treatment for a complete range of STDs, including:
- HPV (low-risk and high-risk)
- Hepatitis B and C
- PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
After going over your medical history and performing a pelvic exam, your doctor can recommend which screening tests you should have, and how often you should be tested.
What are the most common STDs?
STDs are bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections contracted through sexual contact. Although any sexually active person is at risk of sexual infection, approximately half of all new STD diagnoses affect adolescents and young adults. The most common STDs are:
Chlamydia and gonorrhea
As the most frequently diagnosed STDs, chlamydia and gonorrhea may first present like a mild urinary tract infection. Left untreated, they can lead to chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancies, and infertility.
This STD usually causes painless sores called chancres on your feet, hands, or genitals. You may also experience flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, syphilis can lead to serious health problems, including nerve damage.
An estimated one in six adults has genital herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus and usually causes painful sores around your genitals. Because not everyone who gets herpes has noticeable sores, however, it’s possible to carry and transmit this STD unknowingly.
Why should I be testing for HPV?
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is an exceedingly common sexually transmitted infection. It’s so widespread, in fact, that experts believe most people are infected with HPV shortly after they become sexually active.
Many people with HPV are unaware they’re infected because they don’t have symptoms. If you test positive for HPV, you’ll be told which type you have.
Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts, or small contagious bumps, on or around your vagina. High-risk HPV can escalate your risk of developing cervical, vulvar, or vaginal cancer; it may also increase your risk of developing throat or anal cancer.
To schedule your next STD screening, call the OhBloomGyn office today and book an appointment with Dr. Diana Tran Kim or Dr. Viet Anh Be.