More than nine million women are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD each year in the United States. STDs are passed from one person to another through sexual contact, typically in the form of vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Although most STDs can either be managed or cured, they can cause serious health complications, including infertility and cancer. At Life Care for Women in Gilbert, Arizona, Dr. Linda Sodoma provides comprehensive STD testing for patients in the Phoenix area. Call or book your appointment online today.
STDs, or STIs, are bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections that are most often contracted through sexual intercourse. Although almost 20 million Americans are diagnosed with STDs every year, roughly half of all new infections affect young people who are between 15 and 24 years old. Some of the most common STDs are:
The two most common STDs in the United States, chlamydia and gonorrhea, both have mild symptoms that are similar to that of a urinary tract infection, including painful or frequent urination and a yellow discharge. Left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancies, and infertility.
This STD, which first appears as a painless sore known as a chancre, can later appear in the form of a rash on the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands, and as flat warts on your vulva. You may also experience flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, syphilis can cause a variety of serious health issues, including heart problems and neurological damage.
Caused by the herpes simplex virus, genital herpes can result in painful sores or blisters around your genitals, anus, or lips. Because genital herpes doesn’t always cause sores or other symptoms, you can have — and transmit — the disease without knowing it. Approximately one in six adults has genital herpes.
HPV is a common infection that’s spread through sexual contact. It’s so common that nearly all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives; in fact, most people contract HPV for the first time shortly after they become sexually active.
Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts (small, contagious bumps that appear in the genital area). High-risk HPV can lead to several types of cancer, including cervical, vulvar, and vaginal in women, penile cancer in men, and anal and throat cancer in both sexes.
If you are sexually active, even if you only have one partner, STD screenings can be an important part of your preventive healthcare and overall wellness. Finding out that you have an STD is the first step in preventing its spread; it’s also the first step in resolving or managing the problem to prevent future health complications.
After performing a pelvic exam and going over your medical history, Dr. Sodoma can recommend how often you should be tested and which tests you should have.