Did you know that humans can transmit over 25 different diseases through sex? With that many diseases, it’s crucial to ensure that you are routinely testing for STDs. After all, approximately 50% of sexually active people will contract an STD by the age of 25, and STDs among older adults are on the rise as well. If you are nervous or unsure of how to start, here’s an overview of what you need to know about STD testing.
What Types of STD Tests Are There?
Some STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, don’t have symptoms, but they can still impact health and fertility. Luckily, there are tests available for some of the most common STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, herpes, HIV, and syphilis. STDs often have symptoms that mirror other diseases, which makes it difficult to diagnose if you’re not looking for it specifically.
The best way to find out which types of STD tests you might need is to discuss your symptoms and sexual history with your health care practitioner. Based on this information, they’ll be able to recommend the STD tests that make the most sense for you. Don’t worry, because it’s a judgment-free zone!
How Does STD Testing Work?
The type of diagnostic testing depends on the STD in question. For some STDs, such as gonorrhea, a urine sample is all that specialists need. Meanwhile, for other STDs, such as HIV and syphilis, they might require a blood sample. Certain STDs require a physical exam or a swabbing of your genitals for identification. A reputable healthcare facility or urgent care center will help you feel safe and comfortable during any testing.
STD Tests Can Prevent Long-Term Health Issues
While STD testing will not prevent you from getting a disease, it will help you avoid complications associated with STDs, as well as keep you from spreading it to future sexual partners. Untreated STDs can have serious health consequences, and sometimes waiting too long to get tested means that the damage from the untreated infection may already be irreversible. Some health issues that could be faced by untreated STDs include infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, liver disease or liver failure, and heart and blood vessel damage. For women who are pregnant, an untreated STD causes a higher risk for ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and premature delivery, along with the possibility of passing the STD to their baby.
Does Urgent Care Give STD Tests?
Fortunately, with consistent STD testing, doctors can identify the STD and often treat it with minimal side effects. Keep in mind that STD testing is not a routine part of wellness checkups, so you must request it specifically. Also, most doctors recommend that you establish a routine with a yearly STD test for the most common diseases. For the most convenient way to get tested for an STD, visit an urgent care center. Urgent care STD testing is fast and convenient, and it preserves your privacy and anonymity throughout the entire process.
Get Your STD Test at UrgentMED
UrgentMED Network features numerous locations throughout Los Angeles, and we can test you for most common STDs in less than an hour. STD testing is the best way to safeguard your health and protect your sexual partners. If you need safe, fast, anonymous STD testing, visit your closest UrgentMED Network facility in Southern California today. Come visit one of our 18 convenient locations throughout Southern California to ensure you are free of STDs.
June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. While HIV is only one of several sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), this seems like a good time to review the importance of STD testing. For anyone sexually active, getting tested regularly for STDs is essential to long term health. In Los Angeles, STD rates are skyrocketing, and many people spread diseases because they are unaware of their status. People should realize their sexual behavior does not have to fall into a category referred to as “high risk” for you to contract an STD. Anyone sexually active should know the importance of regular testing.
Getting Tested Regularly
The practice of safe sex includes periodic STD testing. This testing allows a person to not only prevent the spread of a disease to their sexual partners but also to protect themselves from something that could lead to a permanent illness and a shorter lifespan. Some STDs produce symptoms that can resemble an allergy or the flu, leaving the infected person unaware of the problem. Others do not present any symptoms at all. These are the most dangerous as they could be allowed to progress for years with the infected person again unaware of the illness. Some diseases can be easily treated and resolved if found early, but if left untreated can cause severe problems, including death. Regular STD testing is the best way to avoid those risks.
Benefits of Knowing Your Status
You can’t tell if someone has an STD by merely looking at them. As noted above, some of these diseases do not present with symptoms. Without testing, a person can pass on an STD to their partner without either of them becoming aware of the problem. Contracting a disease through casual sex can be devastating long-term to not only both consenting parties but also their future sexual partners. Regular testing can avoid this outcome.
For example, syphilis is a disease that is easily treated and cured if detected early. A simple antibiotic like penicillin is all it takes. If left untreated, syphilis will worsen over the years, eventually resulting in severe brain and heart damage, leading to dementia and then death. All of this could be avoided, only by getting tested for STDs annually. Despite that, the number of syphilis cases in Los Angeles increases every year.
STD Testing Near Me
For everyone who understands the advantages and benefits of periodic STD testing, the last question may be, “Where can I go for STD testing near me?” The answer is simple: the nearest UrgentMED walk-in clinic. At UrgentMED, our skilled, compassionate, and discreet staff is ready to assist with your STD testing needs. We pride ourselves on our convenience, efficiency, and cost. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we provide fast, professional service without a long wait. We also offer weekday, weeknight, and weekend hours for health care on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your diagnostic testing needs. Visit the location nearest to you today.
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.