What Should I Know About STDs?

STD cases are steadily increasing. According to the CDC, reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased for the sixth consecutive year—reaching a new all-time high.

STDs carry a lot of stigma, but the fact of the matter is that these infections remain common, costly and challenge the health and wellness of millions of people across the United States. Learn more important info about STDs from our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team below.

What Are STDs?

STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that spread from one person to another during vaginal, anal and oral sex. They’re really common, and lots of people who have them don’t have any symptoms.

Without treatment, STDs can lead to serious health problems, which we’ve listed below.

Health Problems Caused By STDs

  • Male and female sterility
  • Blindness
  • Damage to major organs
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cancer of the vagina, penis, anus or throat
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage a woman’s fallopian tubes, leading to pelvic pain and sterility.
  • Pain during urination or intercourse

What About STD Tests?

Getting tested for STDs is one of the best things you can do for your sexual health. As long as you’re sexually active, you should be tested for STDs at least once a year. Additionally, if you have more than one partner or don’t always practice safer sex by using a condom each time you have intercourse, you should be tested every three to six months.

When caught early enough, most STDs are treatable and even curable. Those that aren’t curable can be managed once you know you have them. We’ve listed some effective and common ways to prevent STDs below.

Ways to Prevent STDs

  • Practice abstinence. The surest way to avoid getting STDs is to not have sex.
  • Use condoms. Condoms lessen the risk of infection for all STD, but you can still get certain STDs, like herpes or HPV, from contact with your partner’s skin even when using one.
  • Have fewer partners. First, make sure you know that neither of you has an STD, then have sex with one person who is only having sex with you. This will drastically lower your STD risk.

If you want to learn more about STDs or need to be tested for an STD, don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia center today!