Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be present in the body with little or no symptoms. If you are sexually active, getting tested is essential to protect you and your partner’s health. STD testing is one of many free services we offer women during pregnancy.
What are STDs?
STDs are disease-causing infections contracted through sexual contact, exposure to contaminated objects like sharing needles, and from mother to baby during pregnancy or birth. Left untreated, they can cause long-term side effects like:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Increased chances of contracting other STDs, including HIV
- Increased risk of certain cancers
There are three types of STDs, viral, bacterial, and parasitic.
Viral STDs like herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are not curable. With treatment, though, individuals can manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of transmitting it to others.
Bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are usually easy to treat with antibiotics. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common STDs.
Trichomoniasis is the most common parasitic STD and is also easily treated with medication.
When to Get Tested
If you are sexually active, you should be tested at least once a year for the most common bacterial STDs, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. You should be tested more frequently if you have multiple partners or partake in risky behaviors like needle sharing.
If you are pregnant, you should get tested for STDs, regardless of the outcome you choose for your pregnancy. STDs can be dangerous for a baby you decide to carry to term. Obtaining an abortion while an STD is present in your body increases your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
STD testing is an essential part of maintaining your health and safety. First Concern offers STD/STI information for our clients. Be informed! Start by contacting us today!