What Are the Most Common STDs?
HPV, human papillomavirus, is said to be the most common STD in existence today. Nearly every person who is sexually active will develop this infection at some point. Additional STDs that may occur include:
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of STDs?
Many STDs do not present symptoms. Some become symptomatic in later stages of infection. For this reason, it is important to be diligent about protection during sexual intercourse, and also to talk to your doctor about appropriate screenings for you and your partner. Some of the signs that may occur with an STD include the following:
- Vaginal discharge
- Bumps or sores, either in the vaginal area or elsewhere on the body
- Painful sex or bleeding during or after sexual intercourse
- Genital warts or growths
- Genital itching
Keep in mind that symptoms may vary based on the infection that has developed and that some symptoms may feel more like the flu than an STD.
How Would I Know if I Have an STD?
There are two ways to know if you have an STD. One is that you've developed symptoms such as a foul-smelling discharge or itching or burning in the genital area. The other is to get tested. STD screenings can be very important and also very reassuring! This is because so many people don't develop symptoms from their STD. So, if you've had unprotected sex, even oral sex, screening is an appropriate aspect of your routine wellness exams. Our medical team is very discreet and compassionate when discussing STDs. We understand that having this conversation can feel awkward and we do everything we can to make you comfortable. If you are a candidate for STD testing, your screening may involve giving a urine sample, having your blood drawn, or your provider swabbing cells from an area of your body.
If you're questioning whether you might have an STD or be at risk of developing a sexual infection, please don't hesitate to contact us! We can help you understand your risks and screening options.
How Often Should I Get Tested for STDs?
Your doctor will recommend screening frequency after consulting with you about your sexual habits. Generally, STD testing is recommended annually. However, in some cases, a doctor may advise more frequent screenings.
How Can I Prevent STDs?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of sexually transmitted infections occur every year. These types of infections are fully preventable with the following:
- Refrain from having unprotected sex. Always use a condom!
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have in your lifetime.
- Get the HPV vaccine.
- Have an open, honest conversation with your partner about sex, preferably before engaging in sexual intercourse together.
- Get STD screenings as recommended by your doctor.
What Are the Most Common Treatment Options for STDs?
Many of the most common sexually transmitted infections are caused by bacteria, allowing doctors to treat them with antibiotics. Viral STDs, such as HPV, HIV, and herpes, cannot be cured but can be managed with appropriate medication.
Get Informed | Get Help
Obstetrician/Gynecologists have a tradition of providing preventative care to women. An annual well-woman visit provides an excellent opportunity to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Your well-woman visit is the foundation of your gynecologic care.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are an unfortunate part of life. STDs are on the rise again as the fear of HIV has declined. Many sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, HPV, hepatitis, or HIV can cause no symptoms, and are found only by screening. All discussions are confidential.
Discuss any concerns you may have with your Woodlands OBGYN Associate physician by calling to schedule an appointment.
Call us today at 281.364.9898 to learn more or to schedule an appointment!