Sexually transmitted diseases describe infections that you transmit through sexual activity, including vaginal and anal intercourse and oral sex. There are a variety of STDs that can impact your existing health and put you at increased risk for long-term health complications.
As an experienced gynecologist, Dr. Heripisime Ohanian understands the importance of diagnosing STDs as early as possible, so you can receive the treatment you need to clear the infection. Early intervention is also vital for preventing the spread of STDs to sexual partners.
For these reasons, Dr. Ohanian offers in-office STD testing to confirm or rule out infections. She recommends that you schedule testing if you have unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners, or if you have new symptoms you can’t explain.
Common STDs and their symptoms
To identify underlying STDs, Dr. Ohanian offers testing for several common diseases that are transmitted through sex including syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and HIV.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that begins as a painless sore on your genitals, rectum, or mouth. The infection can remain in your body for years in a dormant stage and become active again at any time.
Without treatment, syphilis can lead to serious and even life-threatening health issues, including heart damage and brain damage.
Testing involves an evaluation of your blood or cerebrospinal fluids. Early-stage syphilis can be easily treated with penicillin. When the condition has progressed into later stages, you might need multiple penicillin injections.
Gonorrhea can infect both men and women, causing painful urination and abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina. Women might also experience unusual vaginal bleeding between periods, while men can have pain or swelling in their testicles.
If the infection is in the anus or rectum, it can cause itching, soreness, bleeding, and painful bowel movements.
Testing involves an evaluation of your urine or testing of fluid samples from the vagina or rectum. With medication, gonorrhea can be cured.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause abnormal vaginal discharge and burning during urination in women. Men with chlamydia might experience abnormal discharge from the penis, burning during urination, and testicular pain and swelling.
Without medications, untreated chlamydia can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system and interfere with a healthy pregnancy.
Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection that can cause genital itching, painful urination, and a foul-smelling yellow, green, or white-colored vaginal discharge in women. Men can have trichomoniasis without showing any symptoms.
Testing for trichomoniasis involves the collection of vaginal fluids for women and urine for men to identify the parasite under a microscope.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a common STD that can cause warts to develop on your genitals. In some cases, HPV can go away on its own without any health consequences. However, HPV can also increase your risk for cancer in your reproductive organs.
You can also have HPV without symptoms and transmit it to your sexual partners. Testing can involve an assessment of genital warts in men and women. Dr. Ohanian can also collect cervical cells to test for early stages of cervical cancer caused by HPV.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
HIV attacks your immune system and progresses to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if it’s not treated. AIDS can ultimately lead to premature death.
While some people experience flu-like symptoms soon after an infection, many have no symptoms and only discover they have the disease through a test. There is no cure for HIV, but medications can help you live a longer, healthier life.
If you have STD symptoms or concerns about your exposure to these infections, you can schedule testing by contacting us at Bergen Aesthetics. Just call our office or book an appointment online today.