Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health concern in the United States, with almost 2.5 million cases yearly. Even though they are serious conditions, many forgo seeking medical care due to the stigma associated with STDs. However, seeking the care and treatment you need is key to maintaining your sexual health.
STD clinics are a great resource for those who wish to receive testing and treatment without judgment or fear of embarrassment. Let’s talk about everything that happens in an STD clinic and where you can find the best STD clinic in Kent, WA.
Your first visit to an STD clinic will involve a medical evaluation. The healthcare provider will ask you questions about:
- Your sexual history
- Any symptoms you might be experiencing
- Any potential exposures you’ve had to STDs
Based on the information gathered during your medical evaluation, the provider will order tests to check for any potential STDs. This could include the following:
Blood tests are a common method of testing for STDs. They can detect the presence of antibodies that indicate a virus or infection.
Urine tests are often used to check for the following:
- Chlamydia – when the urethra, cervix, anus, or throat is infected
- Gonorrhea – when the urethra, cervix, anus, throat, or eyes are infected
- Trichomoniasis – a parasite that infects both men and women
In some cases, swabs of the genitals or throat will be taken to test for STDs like:
- Herpes – caused by two different types of viruses that can cause genital or oral lesions
Diagnosis & Treatment
If any of the tests come back positive, the provider will make a diagnosis and discuss treatment options with you. An accurate diagnosis is crucial because not all STDs are treated the same.
The most diagnosed STDs include the following:
- Syphilis – a bacterial infection that can affect any part of the body, including the genitals
- HIV/AIDS – when the immune system is attacked by a virus, leading to AIDS
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – when the genital area, mouth, or throat is infected; has multiple types of HPV and can lead to cancer
Your treatment will depend on the type of STD and whether it is bacterial or viral. Your healthcare provider will also consider your specific needs when deciding how to best treat you.
The most common STD treatments include the following:
Depending on the STD, you may need to take antibiotics or antiviral medications. You will also likely receive instructions on how to take the medications and any precautions you should take during treatment.
Your provider may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help manage your condition, like abstaining from sexual contact or using condoms. They can also provide resources and support to help you make these changes.
Most STD treatments will require follow-up visits to ensure the treatment is successful. You may need to have further tests or check-ins with your provider to monitor your progress.
Prevention Of Future Infections
Your provider will also discuss ways to reduce your risk of future infections. This could include:
- Getting a regular STD screening
- Avoiding unprotected sex
- Using barrier methods like condoms
STD clinics provide psychological support to help people cope with the diagnosis and answer questions or concerns they might have.
This can be a helpful resource for those struggling with the emotional impact of an STD diagnosis.
When to Visit an STD Clinic
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs is important. It’s also a good idea to get tested if:
- You have had a recent sexual partner
- You experience any unusual symptoms
- You think you may have been exposed to an STD
Regular testing and treatment are key to maintaining your sexual health. If you think you may have an STD, don’t hesitate to get tested.
An STD clinic offers a safe and judgment-free environment to receive the care you need.
Trusted and Compassionate STD Clinic in Kent, WA
If you have STD symptoms or need to get regular STD testing, FamilyCare of Kent provides high-quality personalized care for each patient. Our nurse practitioners specialize in women’s health and sexual healthcare. We take pride in offering not just evaluation and treatment of STDs, but we will work with you on preventing them as well.
To make an appointment, call us today at (253) 859-2273 (CARE) or request an appointment through our online scheduler. We look forward to serving you!