While sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can affect anyone of any age, young adults between the ages of 15-24 account for about half of all new cases of STDs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is why routine screening is essential if you’re sexually active. If you haven’t had an STD test in a while or if you think you might have an STD, schedule an exam at Rose Women’s Medical Center in Franklin Park, Illinois. You can book your appointment discreetly either online or over the phone. Rose Women’s Medical Center offers affordable all-inclusive medical abortion services (the abortion pill) for $380.
The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to have a doctor give you a comprehensive examination. Not all STDs cause symptoms, so it’s not always easy to tell if you have one. Some symptoms of an STD include:
You can still spread or contract STDs even if neither you or your partner are experiencing symptoms, which is why routine testing is so important.
Your gynecologist suggests STD testing based on any symptoms you’re experiencing, your age, and your lifestyle. Part of your testing could include checking for:
If you have specific concerns — for example, if your partner finds out they have a certain STD — let your practitioner know. They can tailor your STD screening based on your individual needs.
Chlamydia is an easily curable bacterial infection. It’s important to get treatment for chlamydia as soon as you find out you have it, as it can cause major damage to a woman’s reproductive system if it remains untreated and can greatly affect pregnancies. Both men and women can get chlamydia. Symptoms usually appear several weeks after contracting the STD, and include:
Since you can get re-infected with chlamydia again even after it’s treated, your doctor may schedule a follow-up appointment with you for another STD test.
Gonorrhea is a very common bacterial sexually transmitted disease. If left untreated, pregnant women can spread gonorrhea to their babies. It’s easily curable with antibiotics. Some men and most women carrying gonorrhea do not report any symptoms, but if they do, signs include:
Gonorrhea can also affect the eyes, throat, and rectum.
Syphilis is a bacterial STD characterized by four progressive stages — primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. Syphilis symptoms are dependent upon what stage you’re in. Because syphilis can be very serious, it’s important to catch it early.
The first two stages are associated with sores and rashes and can easily go unnoticed. The latent stage does not present any symptoms. The tertiary stage is considered the most serious and can affect various organs, including the heart and brain.
If you find out that you have syphilis and your doctor has detected it early enough, they can prescribe you antibiotics to treat it.
Genital warts are a benign, easily treatable STD, and are a common byproduct of HPV. They look like whitish bumps around your genitalia. Usually, they aren’t painful, but they can itch.
Sometimes genital warts go away on their own. However, it’s a good idea to get an STD test if you find that you have them because it could be an indicator that you have another sexually transmitted disease. There are several ways to get rid of genital warts, including freezing them off and applying a prescription topical cream.
Herpes is a common viral STD. They are different from genital warts, which are caused by HPV. Once you contract the herpes virus, you have the STD for life.
Herpes manifest as painful sores in your mouth or around your genitalia. However, you don’t have to have symptoms to be a herpes carrier. You can also have the following symptoms:
Even though you can’t get rid of the herpes virus, your doctor can prescribe you medication that can shorten or prevent outbreaks.
HIV and AIDS are not one in the same. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, and can result in AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. You can be a carrier of HIV without also having AIDS. One in 7 people are living with HIV in the U.S. and are unaware of it.
HIV is transmitted through certain body fluids with sexual activity or improper needle or syringe use. It may also be passed from a mother to her child during pregnancy.
Everyone who is sexually active should get tested as part of a routine health check. Getting tested regularly is the only surefire way to tell if you have HIV. However, flu-like symptoms such as soreness and a fever can occur within a few weeks of contracting HIV.
Medication can help make living with HIV easier and slow the progress of AIDS. AIDS breaks down the body’s immune system so that people living with the disease are more likely to suffer from infections, other diseases, and cancer.
HPV is the most common STD, and comprises several types of the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 79 million Americans are infected with HPV, and it’s linked to other complications like genital warts and cervical cancer.
Most people don’t know they have the STD and there are no symptoms to indicate if you have HPV. And unfortunately, there is no treatment for the virus. But you can prevent contracting HPV by getting vaccines that have been developed. Those vaccines can guard against up to nine kinds of the STD.
Although there is no specific test to find out if you have HPV, the caring and knowledgeable team at Rose Women’s Medical Center can provide counsel if you have concerns about HPV or if you find out that a partner has it.
It’s important to get tested for trichomoniasis (trich), since about 70% of men and women infected with this STD don’t have signs or symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. Trichomoniasis is known for being the most common curable STD.
This infection stems from a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vagialis, which causes genital inflammation, burning, or painful urination in some cases. If left untreated, trich can make it easier for you to become infected with other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. It may even lead to preterm delivery if you’re pregnant and women are more likely to have a baby with a low birth weight.
Yes. Being pregnant doesn’t give you any extra protection against STDs. Having an STD can complicate your pregnancy and impact your developing baby and their fragile immune system. Some STDs cause issues that become apparent at birth. If you become pregnant, both you and your partner should take precautions to be tested and treated right away.
Most STD testing consists of both a physical exam and lab work. During a physical exam, your gynecologist may perform a pelvic exam and take vaginal cultures. This process can be a little uncomfortable and you might notice some pressure, but it shouldn’t be painful.
For the lab portion, you might need to provide a urine or blood sample, or both. Once your specimens come back in from the lab, your dedicated practitioner at Rose Women’s Medical Center might have you schedule a follow-up to go over your results and discuss any necessary treatments. Your provider can also counsel you on future STD prevention to minimize your risk.
For comprehensive STD testing, book an exam with the skilled, compassionate team at Rose Women’s Medical Center today. You can either schedule your visit online or call the clinic.