If you have had sexual contact with a partner, you could have an STI (sexually transmitted infection), even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms yet. If you aren’t experiencing symptoms, but think you could have an STI, you owe it to yourself to get tested. At Dakota Hope Clinic, we care about your sexual health. That is why we provide free and confidential testing for a few of the most common STIs, including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea
While it’s possible to contract any STI/STD through sexual contact, there are certain STDs/STIs that are more prevalent than others. Below, you will find a list of common sexually transmitted infections.
Almost two-thirds of new chlamydia infections occur in individuals between the ages of 15 and 24. That makes Chlamydia one of the most common STDs among young adults. In women, Chlamydia rarely causes symptoms but, once identified, can be treated through antibiotics.
According to the CDC, Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported notifiable disease in the US and is one of the major causes of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) in women. PID can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancies and severe pelvic pain if left untreated. Gonorrhea may not show symptoms initially, but can be treated with antibiotics once identified.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is an infection that breaks down your immune system and may eventually lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS is caused by the damage that HIV does to your body. An individual with HIV could go months or even years without knowing he or she is infected, which is why it’s so important to get tested. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for either HIV or AIDS, but there are treatments that can help infected individuals stay healthy.
Herpes is a common STD that can infect an individual’s mouth and genitals. It causes blisters and open sores that can be easily spread through skin-to-skin contact. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for Herpes, however, there are treatments to manage some of the symptoms.
HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus and affects approximately 79 million Americans. There are over 200 types of HPV and about 40 of those affect the genital region. Some forms of HPV go away on their own, but some can lead to certain types of cancers or genital warts.
Syphilis is an infection that is spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It is extremely easy to spread Syphilis when first infected through open sores on the body. While it can be treated with antibiotics, if left untreated, it can cause serious harm to an individual including paralysis, blindness or even death.
As mentioned above, it’s possible to have an STI and not know it because there are no symptoms or symptoms go unnoticed. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t harming your body, which is why you should get tested if you’ve had sexual contact with another person. Once an STI starts exhibiting symptoms, it’s referred to as an STD. If you’re unsure of whether you have an STD, you can use this list to check your symptoms:
- No symptoms
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Blisters in the genital area (anything covered by underwear)
- Burning/painful urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic or lower back pain
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or think you might have an STI/STD, don’t wait to get tested. Make your sexual health a top priority; schedule a free STI testing appointment at Dakota Hope Clinic today.