An estimated 110 million Americans have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) at any given time, and many don’t even know they’re infected. At Capital Women’s Care - Bethesda, the team of compassionate and friendly doctors -- including Dr. Lewis Townsend, Dr. John Gschwend, Dr. Deena Kleinerman, and nurse-midwife Kimberly Severn -- can discuss your risk of infection and determine which STD test is best for you. If you live in or near Bethesda, Maryland, contact Capital Women’s Care today to schedule your initial consultation to book an appointment.
Anyone who has unprotected sexual intercourse is at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and should have regular STD testing.
Those who are active with multiple partners should be regularly tested since no precaution is effective all the time. With an estimated 19 million new cases each year -- nearly 10 million affecting people ages 15-24 -- STDs are one of the most pressing medical conditions today.
Some STDs have signs and symptoms, including:
Many STDs, including some of the most prevalent, may not manifest in noticeable symptoms, resulting in their being undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated. When certain STDs go untreated, serious consequences can occur.
Just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have an STD. The only way to be sure that you don’t have one is to remain abstinent or have regular STD testing.
Your OB/GYN can perform most STD testing. There are more than 20 types of STDs, each with a distinct test. Depending on your concerns, you may need a physical examination and more than one test, including:
Some STDs are curable, and some aren’t.
For bacterial STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, your gynecologist prescribes antibiotics. Viral STDs, such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV), are not curable, but your doctor may recommend treating symptoms and breakouts with antiviral medications. Genital warts, which are caused by HPV, may disappear on their own or your gynecologist may opt to remove them.
HIV/AIDS results from a virus and is incurable. The goal of treatment is to keep HIV levels in check and prevent, or at least postpone, the disease from ruining your immune system. A mix of antiretroviral medications is often recommended.
If you don’t have any STDs, it’s still important to focus on STD prevention. Vaccines can prevent some STDs, including HPV and hepatitis B, and you can avoid contracting most through safe sex practices such as using a latex condom and talking to your partner about testing.
If you’re in need of STD testing, call Capital Women’s Care - Bethesda today or go online to book your initial consultation.