Have You Been Tested For An STI?
If left untreated, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) become sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STIs are spread by having vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20 million people in the United States get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or disease (STD) each year. Half of all new infections are among young adults 15 to 24 years old.
Women are more likely than men to experience long-term health complications from untreated STIs, including infertility. In addition, a pregnant woman can pass an STI to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. The CDC recommends pregnant women get tested on their first prenatal visit for STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B.
How Do I Know If I Have An STI?
Most STIs do not have immediate symptoms. As a result, they can be contracted or spread without a person knowing they’re infected.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms that might indicate an STI include:
- Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area
- Painful or burning urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Unusual or odorous vaginal discharge
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the groin but sometimes more widespread
- Lower abdominal pain
- A rash over the trunk, hands, or feet
Abstaining from sex or intimate physical contact, including oral contact, is the only way to be 100% confident in avoiding STD/STI infection. To prevent contracting an STI/STD, always avoid sex with anyone who has genital sores, a rash, discharge, or other symptoms.
Condoms are not 100% effective at preventing disease or pregnancy. You and your sexual partner must use condoms consistently and correctly each time to reduce the risk of infection.
To determine your risk for an STI/STD, review the Sexual Exposure Chart.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are pregnant and suspect you may have an STI, make an appointment to discuss symptoms and treatment options with a Client Advocate at Desert Rose Women’s Resource Center. We can offer referrals for proper treatment if necessary.