Routine STD screening typically relies on blood tests, urinalysis, and a pelvic exam with a Pap test or an HPV test to screen for infection with the human papillomavirus. Regular screening for sexually-transmitted diseases is important for preventing symptoms from becoming worse, and it’s also important to prevent spreading disease to another person.
STDs can cause very few or even no symptoms in their early stages, which means it’s very easy to pass them on to another person. Having routine screening helps prevent disease transmission in addition to providing appropriate care for infections that are present.
STD symptoms can vary based on the type of infection that’s present. Some of the more common symptoms include:
Many STDs can be cured with medications, but there are a few for which there is no cure, like:
genital warts, herpes, and HIV.
When a complete cure is not available, there are plenty of options to help manage symptoms to help patients lead normal lives and prevent disease transmission.
According to recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all sexually-active people should have an STD screening every year, or every 3-6 months to those who engage in risky behaviors like having more than one sexual partner or having unprotected sex.
It takes a few weeks for disease pathogens to reach levels where they can be detected by blood tests or other testing. Women who have engaged in risky sexual behavior should call the office to ask how soon they can be tested to ensure the most accurate results. Routine STD screening can also be performed during an annual wellness visit.
The only types of birth control that can help prevent becoming infected with an STD are abstinence and condoms. To be effective, condoms must be used every time when having sexual contact.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!