23 Feb Are STDS Contagious?
Did you recently discover your partner has been diagnosed with an STD? Perhaps you are worried that you may now also have contracted the disease or infection.
Or maybe you just learned that you have an STD and wonder if it will be passed to your baby once you give birth.
The reality is that there is some validity to your fears. STDs can be transmitted to others. According to Mayo Clinic,
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — are generally acquired by sexual contact. The bacteria, viruses or parasites that cause sexually transmitted diseases may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.
Sometimes these infections can be transmitted nonsexually, such as from mothers to their infants during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles.
How Can You Know For Sure if You Have an STD?
Some sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms, so you may not know for sure if you have one until you get tested.
At our center, we offer no-cost and confidential STD screenings for Chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common bacterial infections.
Your doctor can also test you for viral STDs like HIV and Hepatitis.
What Are the Symptoms of STDs?
Mayo Clinic reports that symptoms of an STD can include:
- Sores or bumps on the genitals or in the oral or rectal area
- Painful or burning urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Unusual or odorous vaginal discharge
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the groin but sometimes more widespread
- Lower abdominal pain
- Rash over the trunk, hands or feet
How is an STD Treated?
If you are diagnosed with a bacterial STD like Chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, you can get treated with antibiotics. Eventually, this will kill off the bacterial infection and it will go away. It won’t, however, prevent you from getting it again.
If you have many sexual partners or continue having sex with someone who has an STD, it is very important to continually get tested for an STD to make sure that it does not return. And once you discover a positive screening, you should not ignore it.
According to the CDC, “an untreated infection can lead to serious and permanent health problems, even if you never have symptoms…left untreated, Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause serious health problems like PID, infertility, and potential deadly ectopic pregnancy.”
If you have a viral STD like Herpes, HIV or Aids, there is no cure. However, doctors may be able to help you manage symptoms with antiviral medications.
If you are concerned about an STD, don’t wait to get tested. Call us today to schedule a no-cost and confidential screening. We can also answer your further questions and provide helpful resources.