Spring Valley Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine located in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD
You may feel hesitant to talk about sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, with your doctor, but getting screened for possible infection is essential to your long-term health. The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland, discreetly handles your questions about STDs and offers STD testing if necessary. If you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to get screened. Call today for an appointment or book online.
STD Testing Q & A
What is a sexually transmitted disease?
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infectious conditions spread through sexual contact. Any sexual activity, not just vaginal intercourse, puts you at risk of contracting an STD; this includes oral sex, anal sex, and other forms of sexual contact.
If you’re sexually active, it’s possible to contract an STD. Your risk is far greater if you have multiple partners or your partner has multiple partners. Even if you practice safe sex, you can contract an STD.
Some STDs have no real outward symptoms, so even if you’ve been in a monogamous relationship for months, you or your partner may have a lingering infection from prior relationships.
What are the most common types of STDs?
The most common types of STDs include:
- Genital herpes
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
More than 20 types of STDs have been identified and can be tested for.
What symptoms suggest I have an STD?
Many STDs don’t present with symptoms until the condition has progressed and caused serious complications. When symptoms do appear, you may experience:
- Genital or anal itching
- Painful intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain during urination
- An off-smelling vaginal odor
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Sores or warts around the genitals
If you notice anything about your genitals that seems “off,” it’s a good idea to contact Spring Valley Internal Medicine for an STD test. Even if you don’t know you have an STD, you can spread it to a sexual partner.
What happens during STD testing?
Requesting STD testing can make you feel self-conscious, but the team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine helps you feel at ease during the process. Your doctor takes a swab of your vagina or penis and examines any visible sores. You may need urine and blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
The staff notifies you of the results as soon as they’re available. The process is quick and discreet.
What are the treatments for STDs?
Treatment depends on the type of STD you have. Antibiotic pills and/or creams clear up many STDs rather quickly. You should abstain from intercourse to avoid spreading the active infection until given the all-clear by your doctor.
Some STDs aren’t curable but can be controlled with prescription medication and safe sex practices. These include genital herpes and HIV. Always seek treatment because some STDs, if left alone, can lead to serious complications like infertility or pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you’re sexually active, call Spring Valley Internal Medicine to see if you need STD testing. Alternatively, you can schedule your appointment online.
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