Sexually transmitted diseases are surging in California. An epidemic of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia (the most common STDs) has been particularly rampant in Southern California. Not getting regular STD tests is dangerous to your health. These diseases are easily spread and can be fatal if untreated. But there are more benefits of getting an STD check than just a clean bill of health. Read on to see how STD testing can benefit your wallet, your relationships, and even your unborn children.
Why You Need STD Testing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend individuals test for STDs at least once a year. You should get tested more frequently if you are sexually active with a new partner or pregnant. STDs affect quality of life and can be fatal if left untreated. It’s important to be aware of your sexual health – for the safety of your loved ones, just as much for your own sake.
The state of California as a whole has more than a quarter of a million residents infected with syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia – the second highest rates in the nation. Earlier this year, syphilis infection rates in Southern California were reported to have increased by 412 percent. Those numbers are predicted to be even higher due to the number of individuals who aren’t aware that they’re affected. Many cite the reason for avoiding testing is cost-related from lack of insurance but there’s much more at stake than money.
STDs Can Make Sex Painful
STDs can make what used to feel good, feel very painful instead. While some symptoms affect the skin and cause little more than discomfort, some STDs cause burning, itching and inflammation in the genitals. Bleeding, abnormal discharge and residual pain can cause sex to be painful both during and long afterward. If sex becomes difficult, it can have an adverse effect on you and your partner’s relationship in the long run.
STDs Affect Pregnancy
Not only can sexually transmitted diseases affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, but it can create complications, or affect the baby directly. Herpes, HPV, and HIV are all diseases that can be transferred to a newborn. Syphilis often leads to premature births. Chlamydia and gonorrhea damage the reproductive organs and in the case of pregnancy can cause miscarriage.
STDs Can Show No Signs
While symptoms can take months to appear after the initial contraction, for many, the symptoms never occur. Due to the lack of symptoms, many mistakenly think they are in the clear. They then go on to engage in sexual activity with others, causing the disease to spread even further. Perhaps what is most frightening is that some of these diseases can be transmitted without sex. Herpes can be spread through saliva and skin-contact, which means it’s potentially spreadable to those whom you haven’t even been sexually engaged with.
STDs Can Be Transmitted By Virgins
Even if you or your partner have never had sex before, an STD can still be spread between you. Many STDs are actually spread by simple skin-to-skin contact. Other sexually transmissible conditions, such as oral herpes, may even be passed by casual affection between friends or family with no romantic basis. A substantial fraction of people with cold sores get them from sharing eating utensils or food and then spread the disease during oral sex or kissing.
Getting A Test Shows You Care
Getting tested for an STD shows you care about honesty and communication with your partner, and about their sexual health, which allows you to have better conversations about what you need from each other. That alone should be reason enough to get tested.
Quick, confidential, and affordable testing are several of the many benefits of getting an STD check at any of the clinics in the UrgentMED Network. Take charge of your sexual and reproductive health, easily. Don’t let a lack of insurance stop you from being informed. All of our Southern California clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network offer affordable rates whether you have insurance or not. Avoid the hassle of hospitals and long waits of doctor offices and visit one of our 18 convenient, walk-in locations today.