Thinking you may have an STD can be frightening. And as not all STDs are symptomatic, you could have one without knowing.
If you’re sexually active, getting tested regularly is crucial. Testing aids in prevention, early detection, and receiving treatment as soon as possible.
Choices Family Resource Center is here to provide accurate, comprehensive information on STDs. You deserve the facts, and we’re here to help.
What is an STD?
An STD, or sexually transmitted disease, is spread mainly through sexual contact or bodily fluids like blood or semen. They can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
STDs can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the American Pregnancy Association, STD-related complications can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, eye infections, premature births, and more. If you’re pregnant, getting tested should be a top priority.
Common STD symptoms include:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Painful or burning urination
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes
- Unusual, odorous vaginal discharge
If you notice any of these symptoms or something feels “off,” don’t hesitate to get tested. Untreated STDs can cause severe, lifelong health complications, including:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Heart disease
- Eye inflammation
- Certain cancers (i.e., HPV-associated cervical and rectal cancers)
Protect Your Health
Getting tested is also an excellent way to learn about prevention methods. You’re more capable of protecting yourself against STDs than you may think.
Common prevention methods include:
- Avoiding sexual intercourse
- Staying with one uninfected partner
- Getting vaccinated
- Avoiding illegal drug and excessive alcohol use
- Speaking with your partner about practicing safe sexual behavior
Empowering yourself to take charge of your health is one of the best ways to prevent STDs. And if you do have one, knowing what to do in the future has long-lasting benefits.
We Have the Information You Need
Choices Family Resource Center provides no-cost, confidential referrals for STD/STI testing and treatment. We’re committed to helping you protect your health.
Contact us today to make an appointment and learn more.