Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that pass from one person to another via sexual contact. You may think that only other people get STDs, but these infections are more common than you may realize. Nearly 20 million new cases of STDs occur every year in the United States.
Here at Family Urgent Care, our team wants you to know the facts about STDs, including important information about who should be tested and how often. Read on to learn more.
Many different infections
There are more than 20 types of STDs, including the following:
- Genital herpes
- Hepatitis B and C
The most common STD is HPV, which infects as many as 80% of sexually active people at some point in their lives.
These infections can spread through oral, vagina, or anal sex. Some STDs, such as hepatitis, can be transmitted through contact with an infected person’s blood. STDs are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Who gets STDs?
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of getting an STD, but these infections occur most often in younger people. According to the American Sexual Health Association, one in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25, and about half of all cases of STDs in the United States affect people ages of 15-24.
You can get an STD if you’re straight or gay, married or single. Even if you are monogamous, your partner may not be. Anyone who has unprotected sex with an infected person is vulnerable.
You should get tested for STDs because the longer you go untreated after getting infected, the greater your chances of developing complications. Some STDs can lead to chronic illness, so it’s crucial that you receive proper medical treatment and learn how to avoid spreading the infection to others.
Generally, people who are sexually active should be tested for STDs once a year. If you have multiple partners or use intravenous drugs, Dr. Hagan may recommend more frequent testing.
If you’re a woman, you should be tested before getting pregnant or as early as possible in your pregnancy. Having certain STDs can raise the risk of serious pregnancy complications.
You should also receive prompt testing if you experience common STD symptoms, such as sores or warts around your mouth or genitals, pain during urination or intercourse, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, or unexplained bleeding, fever, skin rash, or abdominal pain.
Types of testing
STD testing methods include urine tests, blood tests, and swabs of your throat, genitals, or anus.
Although you may have come across at-home STD tests in drugstores, you’re better off receiving professional testing from our team of professionals. The tests we use at Family Urgent Care are more reliable and accurate than at-home tests from a drugstore.
If you test positive for an STD, our team works with you to create a customized treatment plan.
Schedule your STD test today
Don’t wait any longer to get tested for STDs. Book an appointment by phone or with our online scheduling tool. We serve residents in and around Schererville and Chicago, Illinois.