One in five people in the United States has a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) on any given day. Many have no symptoms at all.
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STIs is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be a serious concern. Left untreated, infections can cause irreversible damage to your reproductive system. An infection called pelvic inflammatory disease, PID, can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus and issues surrounding the ovaries. PID can cause infertility or ectopic pregnancy. In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility in untreated.
All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Chlamydia is easily curable with the proper antibiotic. Gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. Antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhea is of increasing concern, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult. A test-of-cure – follow-up testing to be sure the infection was treated successfully. Because re-infection is common, men and women with gonorrhea should be retested three months after treatment of the initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Tricholmoniasis is an STI that is caused by a parasite. It is considered the most common curable STI. In the United States, an estimated 3.7 million people have the infection.
Everyone who is pregnant should be tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C starting early in pregnancy. In fact, getting STIs while pregnant can be much more serious. It can have serious consequences for both the woman and the baby. Those at risk for infection should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Repeat testing may be needed in some cases.
Many people with STIs/STDs have no symptoms at all. That’s why testing is so important!
Care Net Pregnancy Services of Northern Kentucky provides free STI testing in Florence, Cold Spring and Williamstown. We currently provide urine testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. All services are free and confidential. Referrals made for additional testing.
For more information and to make an appointment for a free STI test at a Care Net NKY Center, go to https://pregnantoptionsnky.com/sti-information-testing/