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Why STD Testing is Important for Women

ARCpoint Labs | Why STD Testing is Important for WomenIf you’re a woman who has never contracted an STD, you might wonder why STD testing is important for you. Even if you’ve only slept with a few trusted partners or one person, you can catch an STD without knowing it — even from something so innocent as receiving a kiss on the cheek. Many people are unaware how easy it is to contract an STD, especially from someone who hasn’t completed STD testing and isn’t aware that they have the STD in the first place.

When you consider that more than 110 million Americans have an STD and an estimated 19 million more are infected per year, STD testing doesn’t seem like an unnecessary step. The likelihood that you know someone who currently has an STD constantly rises.

Still, many women think that STDs can’t or won’t happen to them. Wondering why you should consider STD testing? Here’s why.

STD Testing: Why It’s Necessary for Women

Unknowing Carriers

You might think that STD testing isn’t needed because your sexual partner(s) will let you know if they have or have had an STD. But just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean that they know it — only STD testing will reveal the truth. Many STDs have few symptoms or symptoms that are easily confused with other infections, including:

  • GonorrheaGonorrhea symptoms include pain and burning in urination, yellow or bloody discharge, abdominal pain, or heavy menstrual flow. Without STD testing, symptoms of this STD are often confused with bladder infection.
  • Chlamydia: 3/4 of women who have chlamydia exhibit and experience no symptoms, which is why STD testing is vital. Those who do have symptoms may also confuse them with symptoms of a bladder infection — including abnormal discharge from the vaginal, a burning sensation during urination, and spotting between menstruation.
  • Herpes: Symptoms of this STD, including  sores or rashes on your vagina or back, vaginal discharge, headaches, fever, muscle aches, and pain while urinating, may come and go as the years pass. Still, even when you do not exhibit signs of herpes, the virus remains in your nerve cells and can ultimately increase your risk of contracting HIV — which shows why STD testing is so important.
  • HIV: Research has shown that 21% of people in the US who are infected with HIV haven’t undergone STD testing and are thus undiagnosed. HIV symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion, rapid weight loss, fevers, night swears, diarrhea, coughing, and yeast infections, may not appear for years. This means that HIV-positive people could be unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

With STD testing, you will know if you or your sexual partner(s) have contracted any diseases in the past, which will prevent you from further spreading the infection.

Affects of STDs

STD testing does more than prevent the spread of diseases — it can also help you get treatment more quickly, which can prevent your STD from resulting in a very serious health problem. From infertility to cervical cancer to death, there are many long-term medical affects of STDs that can be avoided with simple STD testing. These affects include:

  • Chlamydia: If chlamydia spreads to your uterus or fallopian tubes, it may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. This disease is not easily cured and can permanently damage your fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to infertility, chronic pelvic pain, or even fatal ectopic pregnancy. After a positive diagnosis through STD testing, you can treat your chlamydia and prevent these outcomes.
  • Herpes: If you give birth vaginally when you have unknowingly carried the herpes virus, your baby could suffer blindness. STD testing is key when it comes to identifying and treating herpes.
  • Genital HPV: Some strains of HPV are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and anal cancer, all of which have the potential to be fatal. When you and your partner receive STD testing, you can seek treatment for HPV if necessary.
  • HIV: When you contract HIV, your immune system weakens and makes you prone to contracting infections. HIV can lead to AIDS, a severe and often fatal autoimmune disorder. STD testing will help diagnose your HIV — and though there is currently no known cure for the disease, you can seek treatment to slow its progression.

These are just a few of the conditions that can result from STDs — there are countless other affects that could be treated or avoided by STD testing.

Get STD Testing Today

Ready to take charge of your health? ARCpoint Labs offers comprehensive STD testing at many of its facilities nationwide. Click here to see if STD testing is available at the ARCpoint location near you.

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STDs & Infertility

So it’s pretty common knowledge that STDs are bad news. For one, they can be uncomfortable. Two, they’re a major turn-off. But did you know that a third reason they are bad news is because of how they impact your future family plans? And even if you’re not thinking of that now – it may come into play in the future. And if you have an STD that goes untreated, one of the first places it will hit is your fertility. (And guys – this goes for you, too.)

STDs & Fertility

According to the Center for Disease Control, two STDs cause the most cases of infertility:  chlamydia and gonorrhea. These are some of the most common STDs, and two that can impact the reproductive organs and either cause complications in pregnancy or total infertility down the line. Luckily, they’re also very treatable diseases that if caught early, can have the damaging effects reversed.

About Chlamydia & Fertility

The Wall Street Journal called chlamydia the “silent STD” that said that this tiny bacterium is resulting in a baby crisis later on. Their “Chlamydia, the Silent STD…” article states,

Left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility or potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies. But many women aren’t even aware that they were exposed to it—possibly years ago—until they try to have a baby and can’t.

Chlamydia can be detected through a urine test and treated by a physician if caught early.

About Gonorrhea & Fertility

Gonorrhea is also a bacteria that can grow anywhere in the body, but it especially hangs out in areas of the reproductive tract in men and women. Gonorrhea also has symptoms that often go undetected. Women’s Health Resource says,

When Gonorrhea is untreated, one of the most serious repercussions for women is an infection in the upper reproductive tract known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can cause abdominal pain and fever, internal abscesses, and can spread to and damage the fallopian tubes, which then become blocked. Ultimately these problems can result in infertility or in an ectopic or tubal pregnancy.

While these are the most common STDs, Herpes and Trichomoniasis have also been known to cause fertility problems.

Treating STDs

Luckily, chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily treated. Antibiotics and even anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed. A health practitioner will probably recommend avoidance of sexual intercourse for 7 days. Also, anyone who may be effected needs to be tested and treated. It’s when these STDs go untreated that major reproductive issues can occur.

If think you might have an STD, get tested today. Find a walk-in lab to perform your simple STD test with accurate, confidential, speedy results.

Read More:

[Will Having Had an STD Put My Future Fertility at Risk]

[Can STDs affect my ability to have children?]

[STDs & Infertility]

 

 

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