More than 20 million Americans are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) each year. These diseases and infections are passed through normal sexual contact, and some people carry them without showing symptoms. Although most STDs can either be managed or cured, untreated infections can cause serious health problems. The top-rated physicians at Michigan Avenue Center for Health in Chicago’s South Loop provide comprehensive STD screening for patients in the Chicagoland area. Call or request an appointment online today.
STD Testing Q & A
Why is STD Testing Important?
Even if you have just one partner, being sexually active means you should consider having regular STD screenings as part of your preventive healthcare and overall wellness plan.
It’s possible to contract an STD and not experience any symptoms, so finding out that you have one is essential to treating or managing the condition to prevent complications. It’s also important to find out if you have an STD so you can prevent its further spread.
What STDs Should I Be Tested For?
STDs are bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. Although anyone can get an STD, young people between 15 and 24 years old represent approximately half of all new infections.
In addition to offering STD screenings for Hepatitis B and C, trichomoniasis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and HIV/AIDS, Michigan Avenue Center for Health also offers tests to detect these common STDs:
Genital Herpes: Genital herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus, can produce painful sores or blisters around your genitals or anus. Because it doesn’t always cause symptoms, however, you can carry and transmit the disease without knowing it. About one in six adults has genital herpes.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: The two most common STDs in the United States, chlamydia and gonorrhea, have mild symptoms that mimic those of a UTI, including frequent urination and pelvic pain. Left untreated, both of these STDs can cause ongoing pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancies, and even infertility.
Syphilis: This disease first appears as a painless sore known as a chancre. Later, it may appear in the form of a rash on the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands, or as flat warts on your genitals. Left untreated, syphilis can cause a wide range of serious health problems, including neurological damage.
What Should I Know About HPV?
HPV is a very common STI. It’s so common, in fact, that virtually all sexually active people will get it at some point in their lives. Researchers believe that most people contract HPV for the first time shortly after becoming sexually active.
There are two types of sexually-transmitted HPV. Low-risk HPV may cause small contagious bumps known as genital warts on or around your genitals.
High-risk HPV can cause several types of cancer, including cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer in women, penile cancer in men, and anal and throat cancer in both genders.