Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections generally caused by sexual contact. The organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids.
Some of these infections can also be transmitted nonsexually, such as from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth, or through blood transfusions or shared needles.
It’s possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases from people who seem perfectly healthy — people who, in fact, aren’t even aware of being infected. Many of the infections transmitted through sex cause no symptoms or the symptoms may be confused with something else which is why STDs are sometimes hard to diagnosis.
SOGA offers same day or next day appointments for any woman who needs STD evaluation or treatment because of symptoms or a known exposure. Symptoms of an STD may include:
- Bumps, sore, or blisters in the vaginal, vulvar, oral or rectal areas
- A change in vaginal discharge
- Fever and pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Swollen glands in the groin area
At SOGA, your doctor or nurse practitioner will perform a history and physical exam. Sometimes blood, urine or fluid samples may be needed to help diagnosis an STD. Your provider will personally review all results with you and make recommendations for treatment and medication. We also offer counseling and education to patients on the prevention of STDs.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that certain groups of women get screened for STDs even if they do not have symptoms. All pregnant women should be screened for Hepatitis B, HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis. Women over 21 should begin pap smear screening to help prevent and diagnosis HPV (human papilloma virus). Any woman under 25 that is sexually active should have a yearly urine or cervical screen for chlamydia. Oftentimes chlamydia may not cause any symptoms but if left untreated can cause pelvic disease and scarring.
For more information, feel free to download the CDC Fact Sheets for each of these common STDs.