Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more common than you may think. The number of existing STD infections stands at about 110 million in the United States. They’re spread almost equally between men and women.
STDs don’t always present symptoms right away. By the time you’re diagnosed, you might already have a health complication. Our providers here at The Women’s Specialists of Fayette want you to know how important it is to have an STD test.
One of our skilled providers here in Fayetteville, Georgia, can recommend testing based on your sexual activity, number of sexual partners, and your risk for certain diseases. If testing reveals that you do have an STD, your doctor treats it right away.
Why STD testing is important
Undiagnosed STDs cause physical complications and may affect relationships. Not only can they negatively affect your life, but they can also affect that of your sexual partners.
STDs can spread to a partner
If you have an undiagnosed STD, you may unintentionally cause your partner to get it, too. Transferring an STD to a partner can have a serious impact on your relationship or even end it.
If you haven’t been tested, you may think you and your partner are protected if you use condoms. However, if you have the human papillomavirus (HPV), condoms don’t provide complete protection. This is also true of some other STDs as well. Untreated HPV can lead to cervical and anal cancer.
If you have cold sores, this is actually an oral herpes infection. If you have oral sex, oral herpes can be spread to your partner’s genitals. This type of herpes causes painful crusty red blisters filled with fluid on the genitals.
Getting tested provides you with information you need to protect yourself and your partner. It’s the responsible thing to do.
Results in infertility
Most adults look forward to having a loving relationship with a partner and beginning a family. Undiagnosed STDs can affect your reproductive health. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can proceed to pelvic inflammatory disease in women and cause infertility in both women and men. What you don’t know truly can affect you for the rest of your life.
Both chlamydia and gonorrhea can be cured with early treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends screening every year for these STDs in sexually active women 24 and younger as well as older women at increased risk.
The US Preventive Task Force recommends regular screening for syphilis in sexually active women.
Impacts pregnancy and your unborn baby
If you have untreated STDs and become pregnant, your pregnancy is at risk. If you have undiagnosed chlamydia, your risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and stillbirth increases. Why take the chance?
You may transmit an untreated STD to your unborn baby prior to or during the birthing process. You can pass gonorrhea to your baby during delivery, resulting in a severe eye infection in your newborn. What’s worse, herpes and syphilis can be fatal for a newborn baby.
If you’re pregnant, The Women’s Specialists of Fayette tests you for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and Hepatitis B in early pregnancy. The CDC also recommends a test for HIV at least once during your lifetime. New drugs have reduced the risk of transmitting HIV to your baby to one out of every 100,000 births in the US.
Causes life-altering complications
If STDs aren’t treated, they can remain in your body long after your first infection. You may not have symptoms for years.
But when symptoms do develop, they’re severe and life-changing. Syphilis can cause blindness and dementia. It also damages your bones and important organs such as your brain, eyes, and kidneys. Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis of the liver, which is not curable.
Know your status by getting tested
Call The Women’s Specialists of Fayette in Fayetteville, Georgia today or book an appointment online for all your obstetrics and gynecology needs. You’ll be in the hands of experienced, caring physicians who will help you get tested for STDs and provide the best in treatment services.