Did you know that after colds and the flu STDs are the most common contagious infections in the U.S.? Not only that, if undetected and untreated, some STDs can cause major damage to the body. That’s why at our Houston, Texas women’s health practice, STD screenings are one of the most frequent tests we perform.
If you are sexually active, you should be getting STD screenings. How often these screenings should occur depends on the specific disease for which we are screening. Read the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations on frequency of screening to learn more.
To give you some more insight into STDs, however, and why we screen for them regularly, read on.
What to Know About STDs
How You Can Get an STD?
As their name states, STDs are infections spread through sexual contact. That could include contact via skin, genitals, mouth, rectum or bodily fluids. They are either bacterial or viral, and the treatment plan will depend on which one it is.
You will be at higher risk for an STD if you:
- Have more than one sexual partner
- Your partner has more than one sexual partner
- Have sexual intercourse with someone with an STD
- Have a history of STDs
What are some common STDs you screen for?
There are a number of STDs, so this list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the most common STDS we will check for when we screen:
- Genital herpes
- Hepatitis B
What STD symptoms should I be aware of?
Each STD presents different symptoms, and for some, the sufferer doesn’t even exhibit any symptoms. That’s why we recommend frequent screening for any of our sexually active patients.
How Can I Prevent STDs?
If you are engaging in sexual intercourse, you should be getting regular STD screenings, but there are some things you can do for prevention, including knowing your partner, avoiding risky sexual acts, using latex condoms and vaccinations.
Why Get Screened for STDs?
The sooner we detect an STD, the sooner we can treat it and prevent further complications.
In some cases, according to the CDC, if certain STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea go untreated, they can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID, an infection of the female reproductive organs, has shown to affect 1 in 8 women’s chances of getting pregnant and is a very serious condition.
STDs can also affect pregnancy, so it’s important to know if you have one so we can provide proper prenatal care for our pregnant patients.
Please call us if you have any more questions about STDs or STD screenings or to schedule your screening.