No one ever thinks it will happen to them. A sexually transmitted disease? Never. After all, you take showers, wear clean clothes, and only have sex with completely honest people. Unfortunately, none of that has anything to do with preventing or curing a sexually transmitted disease.
How Do People Get STDs?
Obviously, you get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) through sexual contact. But did you know it can be any type of sexual contact? Whether you have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse or even genital touching, you can get an STD.
Having unprotected sex, sexual contact with multiple partners, and sharing needles when doing drugs can all lead to an STD as well.
What Is An STD?
STDs can be caused by bacteria. Gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are examples of STDs you can get through bacterial infection. Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite, and viruses can cause HPV, genital herpes, HIV, and hepatitis.
The bacteria, viruses, or parasites pass from one person to another through blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.
Do You Know When You Have An STD?
STDs don’t always have recognizable symptoms. It’s possible to contract and transmit an STD and still look perfectly healthy. Sometimes STDs have no symptoms at all until they become serious health problems.
You could see some signs a few days after getting the disease, or it may take years. Complications could include heart disease, infertility, arthritis, and even certain cancers.
Can STDs Go Away On Their Own?
The answer is rarely. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), human papillomavirus (HPV) infections can go away on their own, but if not, HPV can cause genital warts or cancer.
Most other STDs do not go away on their own and in fact, some can never be cured. STDs like
chlamydia, trichomoniasis, syphilis, and gonorrhea can be treated with drugs such as antibiotics or penicillin. Other diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Herpes cannot be cured.
How Do I Find Out If I Have An STD?
The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to be tested. Waterleaf Women’s Center offers testing and treatment for both chlamydia and gonorrhea with a non-invasive urine test. The test and your results will remain strictly confidential.
We also offer community referrals for full-panel screening for other STDs. Contact Waterleaf Women’s Center today to schedule your free testing and, if necessary, treatment of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Your sexual health is important to us.