When a person has oral, anal, or vaginal sex, they are at risk of diseases that are transmitted sexually (STD or STI). Some STDs are more infectious than others and have varying levels of severity.
Just because you are sexually active does not automatically mean that you have an STD, but it’s still very important to use protection and get tested for your own sake as well as the protection of your partner.
What Are Some of the Symptoms?
It is possible to be infected with STDs but remain asymptomatic (or have very mild symptoms).
If there are symptoms, they could include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Unusual discharge from the vagina
- Sores or warts on the genital area
- Painful or frequent urination
- Itching and redness in the genital area
- Blisters or sores in or around the mouth
- Abnormal vaginal odor
- Anal itching, soreness, or bleeding
What Kinds of STDs Are There?
You may not have any symptoms, but it’s important to get tested annually because it’s possible to pass an STD on to your sexual partner, even if it’s just skin-to-skin contact.
Here are three of the most common types of STDs in the US:
- HPV is the most common STI in the United States (with 43 million HPV infections in 2018). It usually goes away on its own within two years, however, it can potentially cause cancer or genital warts (small raised bumps).
- Gonorrhea causes infection in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is most common in young people aged 15-24.
- Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that happens to people of all ages but is especially common in young women. It can cause serious damage to the female reproductive system such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
How Do I Know If I Have an STD?
If you are having sex it is possible to get an STD and therefore, important to get tested as soon as possible. If you test positive for an STD, many are treatable or even curable with different kinds of medication, so make sure to discuss your options with your doctor as well as how to protect yourself in the future.
Annual screening for STDs is recommended for all sexually active women 25 years and under. If you’re 25 or older and have a new partner(s), it’s also recommended to get an annual test for your own wellness as well as that of your partner(s).
Here at Pregnancy Care Center of Rincon, we offer a no-cost STI screening and would love to help you learn about different treatment options, if applicable, in a judgment-free environment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment