Sexually transmitted diseases are common, but that doesn’t make them less scary or overwhelming.
If you test positive for human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, or another type of STD, Monique Petteys, FNP-C, at The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical can help you understand your diagnosis and customize a treatment plan moving forward to protect your sexual health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 5 Americans has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
These infections spread from person to person through sexual contact. They can be bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic, and you can transmit them through unprotected oral, vaginal, and anal sex with an infected person.
More than 20 different types of STDS exist, but some of the most common include:
- Genital herpes
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Depending on the infection, STD symptoms can vary from mild to severe. However, some conditions cause no symptoms at all. That means you may not know you have an infection unless you get tested, which increases your risk of spreading the STD to others.
How STD testing and treatment works
STD testing can diagnose the root cause of genital sores, vaginal or penile discharge, or other common symptoms of an STD.
However, Monique also recommends regular STD testing, especially if you have unprotected sex with someone who could have an infection. Being proactive with testing can identify an infection before symptoms occur and reduce your chances of spreading it to someone else without knowing.
Testing for STDs typically involves a genital exam to check for sores, blisters, warts, or other physical symptoms. Monique can also perform blood tests and a Pap smear to confirm the presence of an STD and identify its type.
Treating many STDs involves medications. For example, if you have an infection caused by bacteria or parasites, you may need a course of antibiotics to clear it. However, viral infections don’t respond to antibiotics. Instead, medication can help manage your symptoms and reduce your chances of spreading the infection to others.
There are also STDs, like HIV and herpes, that require lifelong treatment plans to prevent additional health complications.
Life after a positive STD test
Without treatment, some STDs can cause serious health complications, like infertility, cancer, and the spread of infection to other areas of your body. Fortunately, many STDS clear up soon after you begin treatment.
After diagnosing your STD, Monique can create a customized treatment plan that protects your reproductive and physical health. You should also use condoms to avoid transmitting the disease to others.
After discussing your lifestyle and sexual partners and assessing your general health, Monique can determine when you should get tested for STDs. She can also provide personalized recommendations for managing your condition if you have an STD that requires lifelong management.
Have you been tested lately? To schedule an STD test or to learn more about your treatment options, request a consultation online or call The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia.