Why is it essential to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases? For many types of sexually transmitted diseases, symptoms don’t appear in the early stages of the disease. Without symptoms, the only way to know you have an STD is through testing. And don’t forget that even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass the STD along to a sexual partner. Without testing, you won’t get treatment, and untreated STDs lead to serious complications. The danger of untreated HIV is well known. In fact, HIV often overshadows other potentially serious STDs. For example, the number of men and women with syphilis has been on the rise since 2000. When syphilis goes untested and untreated, it can cause the following problems:
Infects the baby in up to 80% of cases where the mother had untreated syphilis
Causes stillbirth or death of the newborn in up to 40% of untreated cases
Facilitates the transmission and acquisition of HIV infection
After remaining dormant for 10-30 years, syphilis reactivates and causes life-threatening complications
What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases? You can get STDs from all types of sex, including vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to get tested for STDs, so please don’t hesitate to contact The MediSpa and Gynecology to schedule an appointment. Symptoms can take months or years to appear, they may come and go, and they mimic symptoms from other health conditions. Each type of STD has its own unique symptoms, but some to watch for include:
Discharge from the vagina or penis
Burning during urination
Sores or bumps on and around your genitals, thighs, or buttocks
Itching, pain, irritation and/or swelling in the vagina, vulva, penis, or anus
What type of testing is used to detect sexually transmitted diseases? There are a variety of ways to test for STDs, and more than one method may be needed. If you don’t know what type of STD you may have been exposed to, Dr. Saunders can help narrow down the testing procedure based on symptoms and other risk factors. The standard tests for STDs include:
Physical exam (check genital area for warts, sores, rashes, discharge)
Swab samples of discharge from penis, vagina, urethra, cervix, anus or throat
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