Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting or spreading sexually tramsmitted infections (STIs). STIs are spread through fluids during kissing, oral sex, or intercourse. It’s a good plan to be familiar with the most commonly spread STIs so you can be tested periodically.
Chlamydia is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis and is very common within the US. It is known as the silent infection, because most people have no symptoms.
If left untreated, chlamydia can cause life-long health complications for women. These include pelvic inflammatory disease, scar tissue on fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy which grows outside of the uterus) and chronic pelvic pain.
Treatment is simple and effective. Your doctor will prescribe you a course of antibiotics and advise you to not have sex with anyone until your treatment is complete.
As with chlamydia, gonorrhea is caused by a bacterial infection. Gonorrhea can infect the genitals, rectum, or throat. It is also typically asymptomatic in most women. If left gonorrhea can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes causing infertility issues later in life.
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by a simple urine test. Treatment is easy and involves a single injection of a commonly used antibiotic.
HPV, short for Human papillomavirus, is the most common STI in the US. With 43 million infections reported in 2018, HPV is usually spread through vaginal or anal sex. However, anyone who is sexually active can contract HPV and it can be spread through close skin to skin contact as well.
HPV can go away on its own without any treatment, but it has been reported to cause certain types of cancers if left untreated for too long.
Genital herpes is an STI caused by two different viruses. One virus causes oral herpes and can be spread through saliva. Genital herpes is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex contact. Most people are unaware they’re infected with herpes, but oral herpes can cause fever blisters or sores around the mouth.
While there is no cure for genital herpes, medication will help prevent and shorten outbreaks. It is especially important to contact your doctor if you are pregnant and think you may have contracted genital herpes. Genital herpes can spread to unborn babies by infected mothers and cause a potentially life-threatening case of neonatal herpes shortly after delivery.
One of the most serious STIs, syphilis is caused by a bacterium infection. If you are having oral, vaginal or anal sex, you are at risk for contracting syphilis. Syphilis can cause very serious side effects such as sores, fatigue, severe headaches, muscle paralysis, eye pain, hearing loss and the list goes on. Penicillin is typically prescribed to treat and manage syphilis.
You don’t have to wonder about STIs anymore. Here at Pregnancy Care Center, we offer free STI testing and treatment options for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
We care about your future. Call or text us today at (912) 826-1133 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our healthcare professionals.