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Heading Back to College? 3 Things About STDs You Must Know 

With school back in session, there are some things you won’t learn in class.

One is how to protect yourself against sexually transmitted disease. Although there may be some mention of STDs, it’s not a subject that is talked about enough.

That’s why it’s very important to educate yourself about STDs so you can protect yourself and your sexual partners from getting diseases while attending college.

Here are three things you need to know about sexually transmitted diseases.

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What is Congenital Cytomegalovirus? The Basics for Expectant Parents

We have previously written about cytomegalovirus (CMV), a member of the herpes family, but not in enough depth to help future parents from understanding the dangers of the congenital form.

Here are the basics on what you should know about the disease, including symptoms, treatments, and preventative measures.

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How to Keep Your Cold Sores from Spreading

Has an unsightly cold sore kept you from leaving the house? Do you want to learn ways to prevent the virus from spreading? If you do, there are some easy options for you to try.

The herpes simplex virus — also known as cold sores and fever blisters — often appear on the face, normally around the lips, nose, cheeks, chin, and even the inside of a person’s mouth. The virus is easily spread to other parts of the body as well as other people because there is no known treatment.

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The Dangers of Neonatal Herpes

Neonatal herpes, although rare, infects 1500 babies in the United States each year. Caused by the HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection, it disables and kills infants.

One of the ways women can prevent neonatal herpes is by practicing safe sex and having STD testing done to alert them to any potential problems with their pregnancies.

Here’s what you should know about neonatal herpes and prevention methods.

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STDs You Can Get from Kissing

 Most people know that sexually transmitted diseases are passed on — well — sexually; but what many individuals fail to confront is that kissing is included as one of the sexual activities that can result in an infection.
We’re sharing some of the STDs that can be transmitted via one liplock.

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STDs & Birth Defects: What Every Expectant (or Hopeful) Mother Should Know

 

January is Birth Defects Prevention month — a good time for expecting parents to be reminded of the risks that sexually transmitted diseases pose to infants.

Read on to see what STDs pose risk of birth defects, and how you can prevent them.

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Do You Know the Differences Between Herpes I & II?

Chances are, most people get their information about STDs from sex ed classes taken long ago, or from quick Google searches when STD symptoms crop up.

As a result, there’s a very simple view of the herpes simplex viruses — and many people accidentally lump the two herpes viruses together when they are distinct infections.

Today, we’re explaining what differentiates herpes I and II.

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STDs & Pregnancy: How Your Sexual Health Affects Your Baby

When you’re pregnant, it’s important more than ever to take good care of your body. You’re providing the environment for your baby to develop, and it’s your responsibility to eat well, drink lots of water, abstain from drugs and alcohol, arm yourself against infections, and follow appropriate dietary restrictions.

One aspect of pregnant womens’ health that can sometimes get overlooked, however, is their sexual health. Pregnant women can get STDs or experience an inflammation of a previous STD, and the results can be life-threatening for both the pregnant mother and her child.

Continue reading “STDs & Pregnancy: How Your Sexual Health Affects Your Baby” »

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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 in Hiding: Genital Herpes

Many people today are unaware they have genital herpes because they are not familiar with the symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of genital herpes are basically the same for both women and men, and we will go into a more in depth discussion of these symptoms in this article.

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Common symptoms of genital herpes:

  • oblong sores around genital area
  • burning or itching sensation in the infected area
  • fever or flu-like symptoms
  • achy muscles

If you experience the above symptoms together, you should get tested and seek medical attention.

There currently is no cure for the genital herpes virus, however early detection and treatment can result in a better controlled and less painful experience. Different types of medication can alleviate the discomfort and swelling that accompanies this virus. The first outbreak is often the most painful, and as years pass the outbreaks  tend to get more bearable with the proper medication.

Living with genital herpes

Each person is affected by genital herpes is different ways. Some people experience outbreaks every single month, while others get it once a year or go years without any effects of the virus. Medications can help keep the outbreaks and pain to a minimum.

Anyone affected by genital herpes should always wear a condom during intercourse. Condoms can prevent the spreading of the virus but do not absolutely eliminate the chance of spreading the disease. The condom has tiny microscopic pores that can allow the virus to seep through and to an uninfected partner. Although it can help prevent the spread, do not rely on condoms to keep a partner from contracting herpes.

Testing for genital herpes

Testing is an important step if you think you may have a sexually transmitted disease. Without testing, you’ll be guessing at your condition. Before beginning treatment, you must know if you have genital herpes. For confidential and convenient genital herpes testing, visit the ARCpoint Labs facility near you.

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