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Ten STD Facts to be Aware Of

More than 65 million Americans have an incurable STD and each year 20 million new cases are reported.  Half of these infections are among people ages 15 to 24 resulting in long-term consequences for them. Continue reading “Ten STD Facts to be Aware Of” »

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The Importance of STD Testing

For sexually active people, STDs can compromise their general health and result in a lifetime long medical issue to deal with. Being tested for STDs is the only way for a person to be sure of their STD status and stop the spread of STDs among any sexual partners they will have. Continue reading “The Importance of STD Testing” »

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Three Conditions Regularly Misdiagnosed as STDs

STDs

Whether you’re feeling a burning sensation when you urinate or a general itching in the genitals, when you experience symptoms “down there,” you probably book it to the doctor ASAP.

The problem is that many times, physicians misdiagnose genital problems, particularly if you are not fully forthcoming about your sexual practices. STDs may be misdiagnosed for several conditions due to symptom similarities.

Here are some of the medical problems that STDs are commonly mistaken for.

Continue reading “Three Conditions Regularly Misdiagnosed as STDs” »

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Can Stress Cause STD Symptoms?

Although stress usually arises for mental and emotional reasons, its impacts move far beyond just the brain. Our bodies are designed to experience and react to stress, which means that prolonged periods of stress can manifest as physical symptoms.

The physical signs of stress include headaches, high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, chest pains, and stomach issues. And you might be surprised to know that it can even exacerbate or trigger STD symptoms.

In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we’re exploring how stress and STD symptoms related and giving a few tips for reducing anxiety.

Continue reading “Can Stress Cause STD Symptoms?” »

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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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Syphilis: What is it?

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a bacterial infection. It is usually contracted during sexual intercourse. If not treated, this STD can cause long-term complications. In its early stages, syphilis can be treated easily.

This infection progresses through several stages. When syphilis gets to its later stages, it becomes hard to treat it and it can be very dangerous to the body. The syphilis infection can be passed during unprotected sex with an infected person, which can be sexual oral or anal. The infection can also be passed from mother to the fetus during pregnancy.

Learn more about syphilis from the CDC.

Signs and symptoms of syphilis

The first sign of syphilis is the appearance of a single sore. One or more sores may appear at the location where syphilis entered the body. These sores are usually firm, round and painless, so it is easy for them to go unnoticed. The sore will heal — whether or not the person is treated.

If the person infected is not treated at this point, the infection will progress to the next stage.

During the secondary stage, the common symptoms include skin rashes and sores. Rashes may begin appearing at the same time as the sores, or several weeks after the sores have healed. Rashes may be noticeable or very faint. Some people also experience headaches, weight loss, muscle aches or fever, among other symptoms.

If the disease is still untreated, it will progress into the late and latent stages. People can show signs of late syphilis up to 30 years after infection. Symptoms of the late stage include numbness, gradual blindness, difficulty coordinating muscle movements and dementia. The disease damages the internal organs and can result in death.

Preventing syphilis

You can help prevent being infected with syphilis by using condoms to reduce the risk. There is still a risk of contraction. Abstaining from sexual contact is the safest way to prevent being infected. If you have one partner, make sure that both of you are tested for syphilis and other STDs. Talk to your partner about testing to make sure each of you are protected. If you’re ready to get tested with your partner, find an ARCpoint Labs location near you.

sexually transmitted disease syphilis

 

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Discussing STDs with your partner

Discussing STDs with a partner is difficult for most couples. This is especially true when one partner has to ask the other partner if there are chances that he or she could be infected.

However, discussing STDs doesn’t have to be as complicated as most people assume.

Why do you need to talk about STDs with your partner?

Since many STDs have no noticeable symptoms, you and your partner may be unaware of any infections. That’s why the discussion is so important — when you feel comfortable talking about STDs, both of you can get tested and communicate freely about your health. Starting the conversation is the first step toward each partner being tested for STDs. This prepares you for a healthy relationship.

How do you navigate the STD conversation?couple discussing on couch

The partner starting the discussion about STDs should carefully approach the conversation. This is a sensitive topic for many couples, so it deserves your thought and preparation.When you’re ready to discuss STDs with a partner, think about the questions you will ask and the best time for the discussion.

Talk about STDs: Advice you need

  1. Use language that fits your personality. Don’t try to use complicated or professional language. Being comfortable discussing STDS will show your partner you are expressing yourself with confidence and assurance.

  2. Be yourself during the discussion. Use the conversation to show your partner that you care about the relationship. Stress how you care about your partner’s STDs status and proceed to assure him or her that the discussion is vital for your relationship.

  3. Inquire about the health of your partner. Ask if he or she has ever been tested for STDs before.

  4. Pick a time and place that makes sense for the conversation. Make sure you can talk about your sexual health freely and that you have enough time to do so.

Are you ready to talk about STDs with your partner?

Start the discussion with a testing location in mind. ARCpoint Labs offers confidential and affordable STD testing at locations across the country.

Come to the table prepared. Talk to your doctor about concerns and educate yourself on the different STDs and symptoms. You can find information about STDs on our blog. Here are some helpful articles to read and share as you talk about STDs together:

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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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STD Prevention: The Basic Facts

If you’ve looked at our blog at all, you know what STD stands for. You probably also know that sexually transmitted diseases denote those health conditions dealing with one’s genital and reproductive organs and biological systems. They can make a partner vulnerable for possible infection.

You knew all that. But, did you know that in the USA, nearly 19 million people get infected with sexually transmitted diseases every year? These diseases spread quickly. It is important to take preventive measures.

STD Prevention Basic Facts for Preventing STDs

To prevent STDs you do not need to give up having sex forever. You do, however, need to be aware of your sexual health and take precautions.

Have a look at the basic preventive measures below:

Vaccinations

Make sure to get Hepatitis B and HPV vaccinations as they are highly effective methods of prevention.

Single Partner Commitment

Learning to stay committed to a single partner will reduce your risk of STDs. Having sexual contact with multiple partners makes your more vulnerable to STDs. So, being sexually active with one partner will reduce your risk of infection. Mutual monogamy is important since an uninfected partner can ensure zero infection of sexually transmitted diseases. Staying honest with your partner is helpful in preventing STD.

Protection

Using contraceptives and other forms of birth control are often helpful in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Use condoms every time you have sex to reduce STD transmission.

If you notice symptoms

If you notice symptoms, it is time to consult with your doctor. If you or your partner develops any symptom of an STD or are concerned with potential symptoms, it is best to refrain from having sex until you consult a doctor.

Symptoms And The Importance Of Prevention:

STDs not only cause health symptoms, but they also can be life threatening. Take preventive measures seriously. When you notice any of the following symptoms, it is time to get tested and consult with a doctor. Remember that some STDs don’t have noticeable symptoms. You should be tested regularly.

  • irregular discharge
  • sores in genital area
  • burning or itching sensation
  • bleeding or redness in genital area

 

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“Invisible” STDs

When you think about having an STD, what do you think of? Bumpy skin? Red spots? Itchiness? It’s true, these types of symptoms do exist. However, not all STDs are visible to the naked eye. You may be infected with a sexually transmitted disease and not even realize you have it. Here are some of the most common “invisible” diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact. worried about invisible STDs - ARCpoint Labs

Chlamydia

This is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, and it can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of chlamydia may not show up until weeks after exposure— or not at all. WebMD says that 75% of women and 50% of men do not show symptoms, which means it can easily be passed from partner to partner without either person realizing it. Chlamydia can cause health problems if left untreated, so get checked regularly.

Trichomoniasis

This sexually transmitted infection is spread during intercourse and usually affects the urinary tract in men, who often don’t show any symptoms. Women may also contract trichomoniasis may experience irritations and inflammation.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)

Most people infected with HSV go through life never knowing they have it, since there are often no symptoms. It’s contracted through small breaks in the skin. If symptoms do occur, there is often only one episode.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

While HPV will cause genital warts on some people, others may never know they have it. A vaccination is available to fight some strains in women, but there is no vaccine for men. HPV can only be treated, not cured.

Many other sexually transmitted diseases don’t always show symptoms, and they don’t always affect people in the same ways. That’s why it’s so important to get tested regularly if you’re sexually active. Find an ARCpoint Labs location near you to get tested so you may receive the proper treatment if necessary.

 

 

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