Since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, education efforts surrounding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been ramped up in an effort to prevent the spread of potentially dangerous infections. Unfortunately, these efforts have only garnered moderate success, as half of young men and women under the age of 25 are still affected by STDs.
At Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery Practice, our her team want to be part of the solution, which is why they provide the tools women need to protect their sexual health. And one of the best tools is preventive action, which we can take through screening and education, helping women stay one step ahead of STDs.
Here’s a quick look at why you should be tested for STDs, and how often.
The common three: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
Despite awareness efforts, the incidents of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea have reached all-time highs in recent years, with syphilis doubling and gonorrhea up by 67%. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to health complications in women, including pelvic inflammatory disease as well as fertility and/or pregnancy issues.
To avoid these consequences, we recommend that sexually active women under the age of 25 be tested annually for chlamydia and gonorrhea and pregnant women of all ages be tested for all three STDs.
For women over the age of 25, you should still undergo regular testing if you meet certain risk factors, including:
- Multiple sexual partners
- Unprotected sex
- New sexual partners
We want to underscore that our testing is nonjudgmental and discrete, so we encourage you to be honest with us about your sexual habits so we can guide you in the right direction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all men and women ages 13-64 be tested for HIV at least once in their lives. If you fall into certain risk groups, however, we urge you to have us test you more frequently. Some of these risk factors include:
- Intravenous drug use
- Unprotected sex
- Known partners with HIV
The HIV test is a simple blood test that provides you with valuable peace of mind.
Hepatitis B and C
While these infections share the same name, the testing recommended for each is different. The CDC recommends that all pregnant women should be tested for hepatitis B as a matter of course because of its potential effects on your unborn child.
Women with HIV or those who use needles should be tested for both hepatitis B and C.
While keeping track of testing schedules for STDs may seem confusing, rest assured our compassionate and efficient team is with you every step of the way. All you need to do is come in and sit down with one of our caring health care providers and they will help you come up with the best testing schedule for your unique situation. Just call or use the online scheduling tool to get started.