If you have an abortion with an undiagnosed sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI), you put yourself at a higher risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID can lead to serious complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain. Many women with STD/STIs do not experience any symptoms and do not realize they are infected, so it’s vital to receive testing.
You may be eligible to receive free STD/STI testing at A Woman's Place Medical Clinic. If you think you may be at risk or are considering an abortion, please call us to schedule an appointment to be tested.
How to Know If You’re At Risk for An STD/STI
If you are sexually active, you may be at risk for an STD/STI, even if you are using protection. These infections are spread by sexual contact with skin, genitals, mouth, rectum, or body fluids. As your number of partners and sexual encounters increases, your risk of contracting an STD/STI increases dramatically.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, 1 out of 4 women between the ages of 14 and 19 are infected with at least one STD/STI. Because it is common for women not to experience any symptoms, many may be infected and not know it. However, if left untreated, STDs can lead to permanent severe health problems.
The CDC suggests, “A reliable way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from oral, vaginal, and anal sex or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”
What Are The Most Common STD/STI’s?
You can receive a free test and treatment plan through A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic to determine if you have an STD/STI. There are both curable and incurable STD/STI’s, but, once diagnosed, we help women manage them with proper treatment.
Chlamydia: Most people who have chlamydia have no symptoms. Sometimes the onset of symptoms can take several weeks to appear after being infected. Even when chlamydia causes no symptoms, it can damage your reproductive system. If left untreated, it can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. If you are pregnant and have chlamydia, you can pass the infection to your baby.
Chlamydia is curable; however, repeat infection is common. You can get chlamydia by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. The infection spreads both vaginally and rectally. The most common symptoms are vaginal and rectal discharge, rectal bleeding, and a burning sensation when urinating.
Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea can present mild or even no symptoms in women and can often be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms. Gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during delivery.
Gonorrhea is curable; however, strains of drug-resistant gonorrhea are on the rise. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems, including PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease).
Syphilis: Syphilis is an STD that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. People sometimes call it ‘the great imitator’ because it has so many possible symptoms, many of which look like symptoms from other diseases. You could also be infected with syphilis and have very mild symptoms or none at all.
Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. Stage 1 is painless syphilis sore that you get after you are first infected. This sore is often confused for an ingrown hair, zipper cut, or other seemingly harmless bumps. In stage 2, a non-itchy body rash develops on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, all over your body, or in just a few places.
You get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Sores can be found on the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, or lips and in the mouth. Syphilis can also be spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby.
Trichomoniasis: Trichomoniasis, commonly known as trich, is an STI caused by the parasite Trichomonas Vaginalis. Trichomoniasis is curable. However, you can become reinfected if you have sex with an infected person. Trich is an STI that transmits between a penis and vagina or vagina-to-vagina. The parasite does not generally infect the mouth or anus.
Most people do not realize they are infected with the parasite, so they do not get treated. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, trichomoniasis affects nearly 3.7 million people in the United States. Only around 30 percent of those individuals are symptomatic. Even without symptoms, you can spread the infection.
Pubic Lice/Crabs: Pubic lice, also known as crabs, are tiny insects that infest the genital area. Pubic lice are distinct from the body and head lice and are often smaller in size. Lice feed on human blood and cause intense itching in affected areas. Pubic lice usually live on pubic hair and are spread through sexual contact. In rare cases, they can live in eyelashes, armpit, and facial hair.
Herpes: Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus, herpes does not have a cure. This STD is transmitted through direct contact with infected secretions from vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There is no clinical proof that condoms are effective in reducing the risk of contraction. While many people have no symptoms, some may experience one or more blisters around the genitals or feel flu-like symptoms. Herpes blisters break open and heal in 2-4 weeks.
1 in 5 adolescents has genital herpes. Antiviral drugs have been shown to reduce the duration of lesions and viral shedding but do not eliminate the infection.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is a group of viruses that cause genital warts and cervical cancer. It is the most common STD and is spread by genital contact, skin-to-skin contact, and genital touching. High-risk types of HPV cause high-grade cervical cell changes and are associated with cervical and other genital cancers. Low-risk types cause genital warts.
Most women have no symptoms. Scheduling well-women exams are essential for many reasons, but HPV can be diagnosed with a Pap smear. There is no cure for HPV.
HIV/AIDS: AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is a syndrome caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The illness alters the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the syndrome progresses.
HIV is found in the body fluids–semen and vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk–of an infected person. The virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. Also, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies through pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
HIV can be transmitted in many ways, such as vaginal, oral sex, anal sex, blood transfusion, and contaminated hypodermic needles.
What If You Test Positive?
Unexpected results that can leave anyone feeling scared and confused. We stand by you by medically and professionally guiding you through your next steps. We provide you with the strength and support you need to move forward.
From the moment you step into one of our clinics, we aim to put your mind at ease. We know it’s hard to show up for an appointment for STD/STI testing. From the front desk to the medical doctor and registered nurses, we will treat you with dignity and respect and get you the medical treatment you deserve.
A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic doesn’t benefit financially from any decision our clients make, so you can rest assured that we have no financial interest in the outcome of your health results or pregnancy. Our focus is entirely on your best interest.
A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic has multiple convenient locations available, and we are here to serve you.