Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Questions and Answers
If you are exhibiting symptoms of an STD, or are sexually active and need STD screening, come to Get Well Urgent Care! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating STDs and can help you recover sooner. For more information schedule an appointment online, or call us, today!
Sexual health is important for every individual, to help them live a quality and fulfilling life. While intimate relationships provide us with much needed compassion and connection, it can also pose risks to our health. Sexually transmitted diseases, commonly referred to as STDs, are bacterial, viral or parasitic infections that can be passed from person to person through sexual contact, including oral, anal and vaginal sex. While bacterial STDs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics, viral infections, including herpes, HPV and HIV, are not curable, but are still highly treatable. However, some viral infections, including hepatitis B and HPV, can be prevented with the use of vaccinations.
What is an STD?
An STD, or sexually transmitted disease, is a type of illness passed from one person to another via sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Also commonly referred to as STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, STDs are very common, with over 20 million reported cases in the US every year. Almost half of these cases occur in individuals between the ages of 15 to 24.
How do you test for STDs?
Testing for STDs is quick and painless. It often involves a swab test, urine test or blood test, although the first step generally includes a patient-practitioner discussion about:
- Current symptoms
- History of STDs
- History of partner’s STDs
- Number of sexual partners
- Types of sexual contact, including oral, anal, or vaginal sex
- How often protection is used, including condoms
- Other risk factors for contracting STDs, like sharing needles and sharing personal hygiene devices
What do STD tests check for?
There are several types of STD tests, each one designed for a specific purpose. They may include:
Urine Test: Urine tests are the most common type of test used for diagnosing STDs and typically involve collecting a urine sample in a cup for lab analysis.
Swab Test: Swab tests are used to check open sores or discharge. There are also cheek swab tests that can test for HIV.
Blood Test: Blood tests are also common and can determine many types of STDs. They typically involve drawing blood from a vein in the forearm.
Physical Exam: A physical exam is, in many cases, a visual exam to confirm the presence of warts, sores, rashes, irritation, or discharge. If a sore is present, the examining professional will likely take a sample to confirm the diagnosis.
How soon do STDs Show Symptoms?
The time it takes for an STD to show symptoms, known as the incubation period, varies widely from person to person and also greatly depends upon the type of STD, as each infection has its own incubation period. Some people are asymptomatic, which means that they do not exhibit symptoms. This can make it difficult to determine how long the infection has been present. In many cases, symptoms generally appear after 2 to 3 weeks, but again, this varies significantly from one person to the next. In some cases, it can take only a few days to show symptoms, but in others, it can take years for symptoms to physically manifest.
Do STDs need to be treated?
Yes, STDs do need to be treated. If they are not, they can cause long term complications, including permanent damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, which may, in turn, result in paralysis and sterility (the inability to get pregnant). Although viral STDs cannot be cured, several can be prevented with vaccines, and all can be effectively treated and managed with different treatment options, including medications and lifestyle modifications.
At Get Well Urgent Care, we care about your health and wellbeing, which is why we offer confidential STD testing. Call us today to book an appointment for STD testing, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 350 E 12 Mile Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071. We serve patients from Madison Heights MI, Royal Oak MI, Hazel Park MI, Warren MI, and Berkley MI.