6 STDS to Be Aware Of

It may be hard to believe, but every day adults worldwide acquire over one million sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). What’s more? Each year in America, over 20 million new STD cases get reported — and more than half of those occur in teens and young adults under age 25.

At Signature Women’s Healthcare, our board-certified OB/GYNs, Jacquline Hayles-Patterson, MD, and Tyndal M. Jones, MD, help women in Lawrenceville and Lithonia, Georgia, protect their health and the health of their partners with confidential STD screenings and treatment.

Here’s a look at six STDs you need to be aware of and the steps you can take to maintain your health. 

1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia, a bacterial infection transmitted during vaginal, oral, and anal sex, is a very common STD. When left untreated, women may develop pelvic inflammatory disease, a serious medical condition that can lead to infertility. 

Women often don’t experience noticeable symptoms of chlamydia. When symptoms do appear, they usually take 2-3 weeks after infection to become noticeable and include:

Some women also develop rectal pain, bleeding, or discharge.   

2. Gonorrhea

This bacterial infection spreads like chlamydia, can seriously impact your ability to have children, and can cause other damage to your reproductive health. Gonorrhea rarely has any symptoms, making a routine screening with the team at Signature Women’s Healthcare essential. 

When symptoms of gonorrhea become noticeable, may women confuse them with other issues like bladder infections. They include:

Some women with gonorrhea also experience painful intercourse or bleeding and spotting after sex. 

3. Herpes

The herpes simplex virus is a viral infection that causes sores to appear, either around the genitals or the mouth. Herpes is transmitted through sexual contact and kissing. 

You can go months or even years before you notice symptoms of herpes, but when the virus causes symptoms in women, they include:

Like other viral infections, herpes can also cause your lymph nodes to swell and become painful.  

4. Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is another viral infection, like herpes. HPV is much more common than herpes, however, and typically has no symptoms until the virus causes complications.

Your provider at Signature Women’s Healthcare screens for HPV during your routine Pap smear. It’s essential to maintain your regular appointments, as some strains of HPV can increase your risk of cervical cancer. 

5. Trichomoniasis

A small parasite causes trichomoniasis, and less than one-third of women with trichomoniasis develop symptoms, which include:

The symptoms may come and go throughout the infection, which can be treated with a simple antibiotic. 

6. Syphilis

In women, the symptoms of this bacterial infection are often misdiagnosed as ingrown hairs or small, harmless bumps. Symptoms of syphilis in women include:

In later stages, syphilis can cause mental confusion, hearing loss, and blindness, as well as cause organ failure, paralysis, and eventually death. 

Put your health first with an STD screening

An STD screening is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and the health of your partner, since early treatment reduces your risk of developing serious complications. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following schedule of STD screenings for women:

The team at Signature Women’s Healthcare recommends different treatment protocols depending on the STD(s) diagnosed. Dr. Hayles-Patterson and Dr. Jones take time to help you learn about your risk factors and provide treatment when necessary. 

Learn more about STDs and our comprehensive, confidential testing by calling the Signature Women’s Healthcare office nearest you, or booking an appointment online today.

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