Sexually transmitted diseases, more commonly referred to as STDs, represents one of those “less talked about” or taboo topics. However, it is not one that should be misunderstood. An STD is a disease or infection, and your body will suffer the effects. If not detected early or left untreated, an STD can lead to serious consequences within your overall health.
If you are sexually active, it is important that you know what is myth and what is fact when it comes to STDs:
Myth: If you or your partner have an STD, you’ll also have symptoms or signs:
Fact: Many STDs have no warning signs at all or only mild symptoms. This is especially true for women. In addition, some types of STDs may present symptoms that come and go. Regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms from an STD, it can still be transmitted to your partner during sexual activity. It is imperative that you schedule a simple STD lab test to confirm or deny an STD instead of relying on the presence of symptoms.
Myth: Some STDs are a nuisance but overall harmless.
Fact: No STD is completely harmless. In fact, many STDs can lead to serious conditions if not treated promptly and appropriately. Consequences include infertility, urinary tract problems, and cancers of the vulva, cervix, vagina, penis, and anus. STDs such as syphilis and AIDS can cause fatality!
Myth: STDs can be transmitted from a toilet seat
Fact: Most STDS are only transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex. If you are a woman, you may also spread your STD to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Herpes can additionally be transmitted by kissing and Hepatitis B, syphilis and the AIDS virus can spread with the sharing of needles. Hugs, toilet seats, towels, and telephones are not a means of transmission!
Myth: You have had an STD once, so you can’t get it again.
Fact: Hepatitis B is the only STD that your body can build immunity towards. Otherwise, you can pass the same STD back and forth until you receive proper treatment to eliminate the disease or infection. Also, if you have had a previous STD, it only makes you more likely to contract another one in the future.
Know the Signs and Schedule Confidential Testing
As mentioned before, many STDs have no symptoms. Therefore, while it is important to know the warning signs of an STD, it is best to schedule an appointment with your physician if you suspect you have one.
Common Symptoms of an STD:
- Anal or genital changes, such as sores, rash, warts, unusual discharge, swelling, redness, or pain
- Painful urination
- Vaginal bleeding (excluding menstruation)
- Pelvic pain
- Mouth sore
- Persistent, unexplained flu-like symptoms or swollen lymph glands
At North Pointe OB/GYN, you can trust that STD testing is kept strictly confidential at our office. Federal law prohibits doctors from sharing any information about a patient’s STD testing results, or even that they had STD testing done unless the patient has given the doctor permission to do so. We always respect your privacy, especially on such a delicate matter. To schedule STD testing at our Cumming or Dawsonville location, please call today!