Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases and STD Testing
Thanks to movies, misconceptions and simply being misinformed, most people believe they would know if they had a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Medicine tells us otherwise. Many STDs have no visible symptoms, or such mild signs that those affected often ignore the warnings.
Another misconception about STDs is the testing process. Getting tested for an STD is quick and easy. Depending on what you’re being tested for, your healthcare provider may request a urine sample, offer a swab test, or take a blood sample. It’s natural to have questions about STD testing, so your trusted Reno Gynecology expert, Dr. Sam Chacon, is dispelling the myths and answering the most common questions.
When to go for STD Testing?
The simple answer for when to be tested for STDs is when you’re sexually active. HIV tests are recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all sexually active adults and expecting women.
If you feel you’ve been exposed to a disease or infection, contact your healthcare provider to schedule a test. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to get an annual screening if you remain sexually active, especially if you fall into one of the high risk categories – engaging in unprotected sex, have a new partner, or have multiple partners.
Most common STDs
Most Reno Gynecology offices will test for multiple sexually transmitted diseases or infections. The most common STD testing requests are for:
- Genital herpes: Swab or blood sample depending on symptoms. Be sure to ask for a blood test if the swab test is negative and you continue to have signs of an affected area.
- Gonorrhea: Swab or urine sample. Inform your healthcare provider of all possibly affected areas, based on your sexual activity. Most men will show symptoms of this bacterial STD, but only about 20 percent of affected females show signs.
- Chlamydia: Swab or urine sample. As with a gonorrhea test, inform your healthcare provider of all possibly affected areas, based on your sexual activity.
- HPV (genital warts): Swab or visual test. Men and women can be affected by this disease, so both are encouraged to visit an STD testing facility if there’s fear of exposure.
- HPV (cervical cancer): Routine Pap smear. If a pap smear comes back abnormal, your Reno Gynecology doctor may recommend an HPV DNA test or a biopsy to test for cancerous cells.
- Syphilis: Blood sample. It’s important to be tested for this STD if you are pregnant or plan to be, as syphilis can be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.
- HIV: Blood sample. The CDC reports most HIV is transmitted by the 25 percent of HIV positive people who don’t realize they have the disease.
- Hepatitis: Blood sample. Testing for hepatitis should be a part of your routine STD testing.
If you’re searching for a Reno Gynecology office that offers STD testing, contact us. Dr. Samuel Chacon and Kristie Essa, APRN Nurse Practitioner will be happy to talk about your options for testing and continued care.