PWH Fertility Evaluations

STDs: Why Routine Testing Is Important

Jun 27, 2020
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If you’re a sexually active woman, you’re at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Read on to learn why routine STD testing is important for your health and the health of your partner.

Every day, about one million sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are acquired by men and women worldwide. In the United States, more than 20 million new cases of STDs are reported each year. The scary part? Many STDs don’t have obvious symptoms, but they can cause serious damage to your health. Routine STD testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD or not.

Unfortunately, many women are uncomfortable or embarrassed discussing STDs and STD testing. At Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, our caring providers are dedicated to your complete health and wellness. That’s why Asia Mohsin, MD, and our team are here to help design an STD screening schedule based on your lifestyle, age, health, and other concerns. 

What are STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections passed through vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse. STDs are sometimes called STIs (sexually transmitted infections) or venereal diseases.   

Different types of bacteria and viruses cause many types of STDs. Here is a list of the most common STDs:

  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) / Genital warts
  • Gonorrhea (“Clap”)
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV / AIDS 
  • Syphilis
  • Genital warts

Sexually transmitted diseases often don’t have obvious symptoms. However, if you notice any of the following potential STD symptoms, it’s important to call Progressive Women’s Health right away:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Cramps when not menstruating or ovulating
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Unusual vaginal discharge

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have an STD, as they can also occur with other health issues, but it’s best to get tested sooner rather than later. 

Why is routine STD testing important?

The only way to avoid contracting an STD is by abstaining from sexual activity completely. If you don’t follow this path, routine STD testing is one of the best ways to protect your health and the health of your partner. 

How often you need STD testing depends on your age, whether you’re currently sexually active, your medical history, and your sexual health history. In addition, certain lifestyle factors can increase your risk of contracting an STD and how often you should be screened.  

The following STD testing schedule is recommended for women of all ages by The Centers for Disease Control:

  • Gonorrhea and chlamydia testing: Annually for women under age 25 who are sexually active and women over age 25 with new or multiple partners or who have a partner(s) with a known STD
  • HIV screening: At least once in your lifetime for everyone ages 13-64
  • HIV testing: Annually for anyone who has unsafe sex or shares needles
  • Early pregnancy screening for syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV: All pregnant women 

Can STDs be treated?

Treatment for STDs depends on which disease you have. Different STD diagnoses require different treatment protocols. If you suspect you have an STD, or if you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important to reach out for help as soon as possible so Dr. Mohsin can recommend the most effective treatment.

The good news is that many STDs can be treated with oral medication. At Progressive Women’s Health, we can provide safe and effective treatment if a screening or routine test reveals you have an STD. 

How can I learn more about STD testing?

If it’s time for your STD screening, or if you’re concerned about STDs, Progressive Women’s Health is here to help. Our team can set up an STD screening schedule customized for you based on your unique factors, such as your age, current health, health history, and lifestyle.

To learn more about STD testing or to get tested, book an appointment online or over the phone today. We also offer TELEMEDICINE appointments so you can meet with us from the comfort of your own home.