Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) aren’t just uncomfortable – they can cause serious complications, including infertility and even death. If you have an active sex life, Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. of South Charleston, West Virginia, can help protect you and your partners from infection with regular STD screenings. OB/GYN Kiran Patel, MD, family medicine practitioner Leela Patel, MD, and their team offer comprehensive on-site testing and treatment for all STDs, so call Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today, or schedule a consultation using the online form.

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What are STDs?

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases. They’re infections you pick up during sexual contact with someone who already has the disease.

Some common STDs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital herpes
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

You don’t have to engage in full sexual intercourse to get an STD. Microorganisms like bacteria and viruses that cause these infections can survive on your partner’s skin. Therefore, any contact with their mouth, genitals, or rectum could pass the infection to you.

Why do I need STD screening?

STD screenings are important because some of these conditions can cause severe health problems, affect your fertility, and in some instances, they’re potentially life-threatening. They’re also very common across the United States, so your chances of contracting an STD are relatively high.

You can’t often tell if someone has an STD because many of them cause few or no noticeable symptoms. Others cause symptoms temporarily that disappear even though the infection is still present.

Therefore, you can’t be sure that a prospective sexual partner is free of STDs, and you might have an STD yourself without knowing it. The only way to be certain is to undergo STD screening.

What does STD screening involve?

STD screening is a straightforward procedure in which you submit a sample of blood, urine, or cells for testing. Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. has well-equipped, on-site lab testing facilities for patient convenience and fast results.

If you’re diagnosed with one of the STDs, your provider can prescribe the appropriate treatment for your condition. Some STDs are bacterial, so they’re treatable using antibiotics. Viral STDs aren’t curable, but there are many effective treatments available to help you manage them.

The earlier you begin treatment, the less risk there is of developing complications from STDs.

Can I prevent STDs?

The only sure way of preventing STDs is never to have sex. However, you can significantly reduce the risk by always having safe sex, which means using a condom every time.

Choosing your sexual partners carefully also helps reduce your risk. The more people you have sex with, the greater the risk of infection. You should be aware that anal sex poses a greater risk, too, because the delicate rectal tissues are more likely to get damaged than vaginal tissues.

Another important way to avoid STDs is to be up to date with your vaccinations. You should get shots for HPV (some strains can cause cervical cancer) and hepatitis B.

To find out more about safe sex or book your STD screening, call Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. today, or make an appointment online.