If you are sexually active, it’s important to get screened for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) on a regular basis. There are a variety of tests for different STDs, so you can choose the one that’s right for you.
Let’s discuss what STDs are, why it is important to get tested regularly for STDs, what your options are at an STD screening appointment, and where you can join Kent, Washington, for confidential and comprehensive STD testing and treatment.
What Are STDs?
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are passed unknowingly from one person to another through sexual contact of any kind. This includes oral, vaginal, and anal sex. STDs can affect both males and females.
There are many different types of STDs, and some of them can be cured with medication. However, others cannot be cured, and they can cause lifelong health problems – and the symptoms can be worse if they are left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to get tested regularly for STDs and to practice safe sex.
How Do You Know if You Have an STD?
Many STDs don’t cause any apparent symptoms, so you would have no idea you had one unless you were tested. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Painful urination
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain during sex
- Sores or bumps on the genitals or anus
- Unusual bleeding from the vagina
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area (thick lumps felt under the skin)
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible so you can be tested and treated.
STD Screening Options
It will be your decision regarding what STDs you are tested for during your screening. It is recommended that you have comprehensive STD testing, which includes screening for the following:
- Chlamydia at any active sites – oral, vaginal, and/or anal
- Gonorrhea at any active sites
- Herpes 1 and 2
- Mycoplasma genitalium
- Hepatitis C
Don’t be shy – be sure to explain to your healthcare provider what sites on your body need to be evaluated and tested. Your provider can also test for conditions that are not STDs but are common women’s health problems, such as:
- Yeast infections
- Bacterial vaginosis
Why Should I Get Screened for STDs Regularly?
Sexually active people should get tested regularly for STDs since most of these diseases don’t show any symptoms. Untreated STDs can cause serious health problems, including cancer and infertility.
In some cases, STDs can even be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. That’s why it’s so important for women who are pregnant or are thinking about getting pregnant to get screened for STDs. If an STD is discovered, it can be treated or otherwise handled appropriately by your healthcare professional before you become pregnant, so you can have a healthy baby.
Private STD Screening in Kent, Washington
Here at FamilyCare of Kent, you will feel completely comfortable getting screened for STDs on a regular basis – this means you should get tested every 1 to 3 months, depending on the situation. Talk to your nurse practitioner about how often you should get tested.
Our family nurse practitioners are certified healthcare professionals who can care for all aspects of your health, including women’s and men’s sexual health. We offer all of the STD screenings listed above, and most importantly, testing and treatment are completely confidential.