STD testing is important for various reasons, and everyone should be tested at least once in their lives if they have had sex. Depending on a patient’s choices or lifestyle habits, they may need to get tested more frequently than others. That being said, in most healthy adults, annual STD testing is recommended, or every time you have unprotected sex with a new partner. AFC Urgent Care Dedham provides STD testing to all patients. Testing is discrete and confidential, and you do not need an appointment.
STDs can Spread
STDs are very easy to spread to other partners through unprotected sex. Having an STD, such as herpes, can also make you more likely to contract other STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HIV. If you are unaware that you have an STD, you can unknowingly spread it to your partner.
Getting tested can help you and your partner know what to do moving forward. It can be difficult and awkward to have a conversation with your partner, but it is important for both of your overall health. STDs that are left untreated may cause serious health issues.
Impacts on Pregnancy
If a patient becomes pregnant and has untreated chlamydia, they increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or stillborn. Additionally, untreated gonorrhea can result in severe eye infections for your infant. Herpes and syphilis can also be fatal for newborns. These can all be passed to a baby during childbirth.
STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea can also impact infertility in women. Thankfully, both of these illnesses can be treated before they cause pelvic inflammatory disease. It’s important to get tested whenever you are experiencing symptoms or after having unprotected sex with a new partner. Many STDs live dormant or are asymptomatic. The only way to truly know is by getting tested.
In addition to potential infertility and impacting pregnancy, STDs can cause other severe complications. Do not wait until you begin experiencing symptoms to get tested. By the time symptoms show up, they may have already caused severe damage. For example, HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. This can be prevented through vaccinations, but it is always important to know if you have HPV.
Syphilis can cause blindness or dementia. It can also cause severe damage to a patient’s bones or important organs, such as the kidneys. Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis of the liver. HIV is another extremely serious STD that can be transmitted through sharing needles.