According to the Centers for Disease Control, cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States have increased for the third year in a row. Without treatment, STDs can lead to chronic pelvic pain, certain cancers, and even infertility. Because many STDs have no symptoms, doctors at Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, Maryland, recommend regular STD screening for women who are sexually active. Screening is discreet, and the results are confidential. To take charge of your sexual health and schedule preventive vaccinations and a comprehensive STD screening, call or click today.
Sexually transmitted diseases and infections pass from one person to another through sexual contact involving blood, semen, and vaginal or other bodily fluids. Some infections are also transferred through pregnancy, childbirth, sharing needles or blood transfusions.
STDs have a wide variety of symptoms including:
A regular STD screening is vital for detecting infections and diseases that don't exhibit any symptoms. Left untreated, many STDs have serious health complications and can even impact your fertility.
When discussing your sexual health with your doctor, report any symptoms or concerns you have. Your doctor uses different lab tests to look for signs of disease and infection:
STDs vary from woman to woman depending on her age, sexual history, and symptoms. In addition to STD screening, your doctor recommends preventive care including regular Pap tests and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.
Treatment for STDs depends on your symptoms and condition. Antibiotics are effective for treating those caused by bacteria including:
During treatment with antibiotics, it’s important to take the entire course of medication and refrain from sexual activity until your doctor approves it.
Antiviral medications help to manage herpes and HIV, although the possibility of spreading these viruses still exists. Your doctor can discuss birth control options to protect you and your partner.
For STDs with physical symptoms like HPV, chemicals or topical creams are used to remove warts and prevent their transmission to other partners.
Don’t be afraid to discuss your sexual health and STD concerns with your OB-GYN. A healthy sex life is an integral part of your physical and emotional well-being. So protect yourself and protect your partner with consistent, preventive STD screening and vaccinations.