Every year, health care providers across the United States diagnose around 20 million new STD cases. People of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations can get — and spread — STDs. Many STDs don’t cause symptoms in their early stages, making getting tested critical to protecting your sexual and overall health.
Here at American River Urgent Care in Orangevale, California, our team offers STD testing and treatment. We also focus on preventive health and offer advice to help you protect yourself from STDs.
Let’s review some facts about STDs, including when you should get tested.
Most STDs don’t cause symptoms in their early stages
It’s possible to have an STD and not know it. Like many health issues, STDs don’t always cause symptoms in their early stages. By the time you notice abnormal bumps, a foul odor, or abnormal discharge, your infection could be quite advanced.
There are more than 25 types of STDs
You’ve probably heard of the most common types of STDs, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS. But there are many more infections that spread through sexual activity.
Penetrative vaginal intercourse isn’t the only way to get an STD
You can spread STDs through oral and anal sex. You can protect yourself from STDs by always using condoms and dental dams. Your risk of picking up an STD also increases if you have multiple partners.
STDs are treatable, but some aren’t curable
Currently, there isn’t a cure for herpes or HIV/AIDS. However, with personalized treatment, including medication and lifestyle adjustments, you can protect your health and lead a long, healthy life. On the other hand, we can prescribe medicine to fight off and cure other STDs.
When should I get tested for an STD?
Our team provides personalized advice on how often you should be tested for STDs. We begin with an assessment of your risk level. You must be honest about your sexual activity, as these details are essential to evaluating your risk of STDs. If you have multiple partners or don’t use condoms, you have an increased risk and should have more frequent tests.
However, you should still have an occasional STD test, even if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
Protect yourself from STDs
While abstinence is the only way to guarantee that you won’t get an STD, that’s not always practical. In addition to getting tested for STDs, you can lower your risk of contracting an STD by:
- Use a condom or dental every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- Practice monogamy
- When you want to become sexually active with a new partner, you should both get tested
- Get vaccinated for HPV
If you’re concerned about STDs, schedule an appointment for testing here at American River Urgent Care. We provide compassionate and discreet STD tests and treatment. You can make an appointment by calling our office or booking online. We also accept walk-ins.