STI & STD:  What You Need to Know

What are STI’s & STD’s

Anyone is at risk of contracting or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) during every sexual encounter.  There are dozens of STIs. Some STIs, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are spread mainly by sexual contact.  Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are passed from one person to another through intimate physical contact (even heavy petting) and from sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex.

Last year The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2016 more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States, the highest number on record. Almost half of all chlamydia infections are reported in young women.  STDs often have few or no symptoms, so the only way you’ll know is through testing.

What is Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. It can spread during vaginal, oral, and/or anal sexual contact and can affect women and men. Many people have no symptoms. Some women might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning when urinating. If not treated, the infection can cause a more severe infection called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women. PID can cause permanent damage to the Fallopian tubes, uterus, and tissues surrounding the ovaries leaving a woman at risk for ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus) or sterility. Men infected with Chlamydia may also have no symptoms, may carry the infection, and unknowingly infect their partners. Men may have a discharge of pus from the penis and a burning sensation with urination as symptoms of this infection. The more sex partners a person has, the higher the risk of a Chlamydia infection. Chlamydia can be treated and cured with antibiotics.

What is Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a common STI caused by bacteria. Gonorrhea is spread through vaginal, oral, and/or anal sex. Any sexually active person can be infected with Gonorrhea. In women, the symptoms are absent or mild, but untreated Gonorrhea can cause permanent health problems like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, and long-lasting pelvic pain. It can cause infertility or ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies outside of the uterus). In men, symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. It can also cause a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility if untreated. Antibiotics are given to treat gonorrhea.

Testing & Treatment

Many STIs have no symptoms. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STI. It is very important to get tested because some can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Also, having an STI makes you more likely to get other STIs, like HIV. It is best to find out as soon as possible so that you can take care of yourself and avoid infecting other people.

We offer no-cost STI urine testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.  Please make an appointment by clicking the button at the top of this page or call us at 513-321-3100. Please do not urinate 1 hour before the test.

If you are diagnosed with an STI, know that most can be treated with medicine and some can be cured entirely.         

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Resources: cdc.gov

 

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