Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), affect people of all ages and backgrounds. In the U.S. alone there are approximately 20 million new cases each year.
While anyone who is sexually active is at risk for getting an STD, young women are most likely to become infected. They can also face more serious medical complications. Some STDs can cause problems ranging from infertility to cancer. Getting the facts about STDs and sexual health is important. At Dr. Sullum’s office, you can learn more about STDs, get tested in a private practice setting and receive treatment if you test positive. Dr. Sullum will also provide counseling and advice to reduce the risk of recurrence and further spreading of infections.
How are STDs spread?
STDs usually are spread through sex – vaginal, oral or anal. STDs can be spread through any type of sex: from a male to a female, a female to a male, a male to another male or a female to another female.
Some STDs can be spread through any contact between the penis, vagina, mouth or anus – even if there is no penetration. For example, genital herpes is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact, and can be transmitted even if there is no penetration. Some STDs can be spread in other ways also.
How do I know if I have an STD?
Some STDs will cause very obvious symptoms. But many STDs cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms, so you may be unaware if you have an infection. In fact, most people who have an STD have no symptoms. Dr. Sullum offers a full panel of STD tests including herpes, hpv, genital warts, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, hepatitis, HIV, and syphilis. A test may be the only way to definitively diagnose an infection.
If you do have symptoms, they may appear right away, or they might not show up for weeks or even months. They might come and go. Even if the symptoms disappear, you may still have an STD.
Many women inquire about STD testing if they are concerned about a recent exposure, or want to get tested prior to starting a sexual relationship with a new partner. If you’ve had unprotected sex, have a new partner (or more than one partner), or for any reason are worried you have been exposed to an STD, schedule an appointment for a confidential consultation with Dr. Sullum for testing and treatment if necessary.