Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very common, especially in teens and young adults. About 50% of cases of STDs are in those 15-24 years old. These diseases include different types of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are spread through sexual contact.
Anyone of any age, gender, or sexual orientation can develop an STD. Many of the most common STDs don’t have noticeable symptoms, but they can contribute to a range of serious health complications if left untreated. That’s why regular STD testing is so important to your health care routine.
At Vibrant Woman Health Center, Patricia Nevils, MD, and our team offer preventive screenings and STD tests to help you maintain your best health. Your risk for different STDs and how often you should be tested will vary, so ask about STD testing at your next well-woman exam.
STDs are common …
Nearly 20 million Americans are diagnosed with STDs each year. What makes them so common is that they can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, or sexual habits.
You’re at risk for contracting an STD if you’re sexually active. However, certain factors may heighten your risk of developing one of these diseases. Younger people or those who have multiple sexual partners are at greatest risk of STDs.
If left untreated, common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can contribute to fertility issues, while human papillomavirus (HPV) is linked to increased risk of cervical cancer and other cancers.
There’s no reason to be embarrassed when you’re talking to your doctor about STDs. Dr. Nevils and our team are here to provide STD testing recommendations and treatment options that fit your lifestyle.
… and STDs may not exhibit symptoms
Getting tested for STDs is important because they usually don’t have noticeable symptoms. Most people don’t know they’ve contracted an STD, and without symptoms, it’s easy for the disease to go undetected and continue to spread.
Although most STDs don’t cause noticeable changes in the body, symptoms can develop in some cases. These symptoms may include:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Flu-like symptoms
- Genital sores
- Itching, irritation, or burning sensation in genital area
Symptoms of an STD can be unpleasant, but don’t wait to see these or other changes in your body to determine whether you need to talk to Dr. Nevils about getting tested.
Get tested to maintain your health
The only way to know for sure whether you have an STD is to get tested. Dr. Nevils works with you to determine the best STD testing for you based on your age, lifestyle, and other risk factors.
Depending on your needs, you can get on-demand testing or make it a part of your regular wellness appointments. Identifying and treating STDs early on gives you the opportunity to avoid health complications.
You have the responsibility of ensuring you don’t let STDs go undetected if you’re sexually active. Call our office in Lafayette, Louisiana, at (337) 234-6838 or request an appointment online to take control of your wellness.
You can also send a message to Dr. Nevils and the team here on our website.