Being proactive about your sexual health can prevent long-term complications. If you’re sexually active, regular STD/STI testing is crucial.

It’s important to get tested to understand your treatment options and begin treatment immediately if it’s available. We provide STD/STI information at our clinic to help you understand the next steps and your options. We’ll make referrals for where to go for affordable testing and treatment. In addition, we’ll answer any questions and concerns you may have.

What Are STD/STIs?

STDs and sexually transmitted infections are contagious. They’re usually transmitted through sexual contact and bodily fluids like semen or blood. And not all STIs are symptomatic, so you could unknowingly have one.

Having an STI, or sexually transmitted infection, means the person is infected but it has not yet turned into a disease (STD). For example, if a person has chlamydia or gonorrhea, they have an infection, but not a disease unless one of those turns into pelvic inflammatory disease.

You may be wondering what the difference is between an infection and disease. An infection happens before turning into a disease. This means, all STDs start out as STIs. This is why, generally, people use the two terms interchangeably.

Common Symptoms

Regular STD/STI testing can detect infections regardless of whether you have symptoms. If you do have an STD/STI, common signs include:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Unusual or odorous vaginal discharge
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Fever

Untreated STD/STIs can cause numerous complications, including:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Infertility
  • Heart disease
  • Eye inflammation
  • Certain cancers
  • Arthritis

Pregnancy does not exclude you from contracting an STD/STI. In fact, you could pass the infection to your baby during pregnancy or childbirth. 

If left untreated, STIs can cause pregnancy complications like eye infections, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Other problems may not appear until months or years after birth. Staying healthy is a responsible way to protect your and your child’s health.

Get Tested Today

If you haven’t been tested in awhile or have never been tested, you should plan to do so as soon as possible. Be informed as this is an important aspect of your health.

It’s also important for you to be tested for the sake of your partner’s health. If you do have an STI or STD, you’ll need to let them know so they can be tested as well.

If you are tested and the test comes back positive, the medical professional who administers the test will be able to provide information about treatment and next steps. Many STD/STIs are treatable, but not all sexual diseases are curable. The sooner you understand what you’re dealing with, the sooner you’ll be back on track to a healthier you.

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