STD Testing and Treatment
What is an STD?
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease which can be contracted through any type of sexual activity. It is commonly referred as an STI or sexually transmitted infection. For the purposes of common vernacular we will use the term STD.
Many women and men never get tested because they have no symptoms or don’t realize how common they are. Infected people without symptoms can still pass the infection on to others. The infection statistics are staggering. Over 65 million Americans are now infected with an incurable STD. Each year, 29 million more become infected with STDs, and almost 4 million of these are teenagers.
There are more than 25 major STDs, including many that have no cure. Some of the more common STDs are:
- Bacterial Vaginosis
STI / STD Symptoms
- unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
- a burning feeling when urinating
- growths, sores or itching in the genital area
- lower abdominal pain
- dark urine
- skin rashes or sores
- yellow eyes
- joint inflammation and enlarged lymph nodes
It is important to understand that many STDs have no obvious symptoms, or only very mild symptoms, but still may affect your reproductive health and ability to have a pregnancy in the future. It is critical to treat them as early as possible to avoid permanent damage.
The Importance of STI / STD Testing
If you ever have been sexually active it is important to get tested. This means vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Any sexual activity puts you at risk, especially unprotected sex. Many Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Sexually Transmitted Infections do not have symptoms until damage to your body has already been done.
See the section below about how to get tested and the process.
STDs and Abortion
For women preparing for an abortion or who receive a negative pregnancy test, untreated STDs can have implications on your future reproductive and sexual health. For this reason we will make sure you have appropriate education and referrals available. Some testing can even be done in the privacy of your home. Women who plan to continue their pregnancy will receive STD testing as part of their prenatal care.
STDs and Men
STD testing for men is essential to your future reproductive and sexual health. We will make sure you have the appropriate education and referrals available. STD symptoms in men may be different than symptoms in women. Some common symptoms are pain or swelling, bleeding, or a fever.
How to protect yourself – condoms and safe sex
The safest form of birth control – The only way to be 100% sure you won’t get STDs or get pregnant is to not have sex!
Unprotected sex is extremely risky. Condoms make sex safer, but not completely safe. There is a significant risk of picking up an STD even with condom use. There’s a 20% risk of becoming pregnant using condoms only. Condoms are most effective for blocking the transmission of HIV- about 85% effective if used consistently and correctly. For other STDs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and HPV, the rate of effectiveness is much lower.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has recommendations for protecting yourself from STDs. Here are a few:
- The surest way to protect yourself is to not have sex. This includes any vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- Practice mutual monogamy. This means you and your partner have no other partners while together. Marriage is an example of mutual monogamy.
- Be tested and make sure your partner has been tested before you have sex.
- Make sure you get the healthcare you need. Ask your doctor or nurse about STD testing and well-woman healthcare.
- Remember that condom use must be from start to finish every time you have sexual contact. It provides safer sex, not completely safe sex. It is unsafe to have sex if you do not know your partner is STD free.
STI / STD Testing
Reasons for STI / STD Testing
The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested.
Most women and men never get tested because they have no symptoms or don’t realize how common STDs are. For women considering abortion or who receive a negative pregnancy test, untreated STDs can affect your future reproductive health.
You or your partner might not even know you have an STD. You can get an STD from having sex with someone who has no symptoms.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are two of the most common STDs. A consultation with our nurse and a simple urine test we will send to be tested can provide the answers you.
Free (limited) STI / STD Testing
Alternatives Medical Clinic offers Free testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea if you are sexually active and you are concerned you might be exposed. We also provide STI / STD treatment resources.
STI / STD Testing Process
You must be symptom free (see list below) to obtain these Free STI / STD tests. If you have symptoms we can help with resources where you can be checked and treated as needed.
STI / STD Symptoms
- Anal pain or itching (butthole hurts or itches)
- Itching in your pubic area (privates), more than 2 weeks
- Lice or lice eggs seen in your pubic area (privates)
- Sore or bump on genitals (privates) in past 12 months
- Widespread rash, both sides body, past 12 months
- Female with abnormal vaginal discharge (odd smell or color), over 5 days
- Female with bleeding after sex
- Female with daily lower abdominal pain, not during period
- Male with discharge from penis or burning during urination
- Male with severe testicular pain.
Which STDs are stopped by using condoms?
- Condoms provide the best (though not complete) protection against HIV.
- They are less effective protecting against herpes type 2, trichomonas, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Condoms provide little protection against bacterial vaginosis and HPV (the most common STD).
Source: Cates, W. Jr. & Stone, K.M. (1992, March/April). Family Planning, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Contraceptive Choice: A Literature Update-Part I. Family Planning Perspectives, 24(2), 75-84
How we can help!
Free and Confidential Services
Alternatives Medical Clinic is committed to providing the evidence-based medical care and education you need to decide with confidence your unique situation. We provide Free (limited) STI / STD Testing. We also provide STI / STD treatment resources.
We do not make any money based on your decision and are committed to providing our Free, confidential services in a friendly, safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Questions or Concerns? – Make an Appointment
Request an appointment or call 760-741-9796 for a confidential consultation. We are here to help.