Diseases or infections transmitted through sexual contact are widespread: Almost half of the sexually active population in the United States has some form of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Dr. Carrie Patterson, an OB/GYN who practices in Frisco, Texas, offers a full range of STD testing and screening and provides confidential counseling on an individual basis. To learn more, call Dr. Patterson’s office today to make an appointment.
A sexually transmitted disease, or STD, is more often than not now being referred to as a sexually transmitted infection, or STI. That emphasizes the fact that if you’re infected, you may not necessarily show any symptoms, but you’re still able to transmit the infection. Once you start showing any symptoms, it becomes a disease.
In either case, however, early detection and treatment are essential in alleviating and even preventing the effects a sexually transmitted infection can have on your future health.
Dr. Patterson offers STD testing and screening at her practice, and counsels you on which infections or diseases to test for, and how often, based on your medical and personal history.
As the name states, STDs are spread through sexual contact, making unprotected sex the primary cause behind contracting an infection. Certain behaviors, such as having multiple partners, unprotected oral sex, and drug use, increase your risk of contracting an STD.
Also, if you have an existing STD, you may be at a greater risk of being infected by another virus.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following testing and screening protocols for STDs:
You should be tested at least once between the age of 15 and 65, and more often if you’re an intravenous drug user, or have multiple partners.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
If you’re a sexually active woman under 25, or a sexually active woman over 25 who has multiple partners, you should be screened annually.
This test should be performed on anyone born between 1945 and 1965, and for those who are, or have been, an intravenous drug user.
You should be tested at least once between the age of 15 and 65, and more often if you fall into a high-risk category.
There is no test for herpes; it can only be diagnosed based on its symptoms.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is detected in a Pap test or HPV test, which women should have at least every three years.
Ultimately, Dr. Patterson reviews your history and recommends an appropriate testing schedule that goes a long way toward staying ahead of any potential problems an STD may present for you.