SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE (STD)
Most sexually-transmitted diseases can be successfully treated with medication, but others require long-term management to keep under control. The team at Women's Health Specialists is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of STDs in patients, providing confidential care customized for each patient's needs.
How can I tell if I have an STD?
STDs cause different symptoms depending on the type of STD that is present, but in many cases, these symptoms don't become serious until the disease has progressed to a more severe stage. Sometimes, subtle symptoms like itching or redness may be overlooked or attributed to another cause. The only way to know for sure if a sexually-transmitted disease is present is to be tested. Even if no symptoms are present, testing should still be performed on a routine basis for those who engage in risky behaviors such as unprotected sex or having multiple sexual partners.
What symptoms can STDs cause?
When STDs do cause symptoms, those symptoms can include:
- Sores on or near genitals or near the anus or mouth
- Pain during urination
- Discharge from the vagina or penis, especially one that has an unusual or foul odor
- Pain during sex
- Flesh-colored lumps or bumps around genitals
- Low-grade fever or other flu-like symptoms
- Swelling around the genitals
- Pain in the lower belly
Symptoms can vary considerably depending on the type of STD that is present and how far the disease has progressed.
What treatments are available for STDs?
That depends on the type of STD. Some types of STDs can be treated with antibiotics and other medications, but other types of STDs, including herpes and HPV, cannot be cured. In those cases, ongoing management will be needed to keep symptoms under and prevent flare-ups.
How can I tell if I should be screened for STDs?
The Department of Health recommends every sexually-active person be screened every year, and those who engage in risky sexual behaviors should be tested every three to six months to ensure diseases are caught in their earliest stages. Testing can be performed with a blood test and sometimes other tests as well, including an examination of signs like sores or swelling.