I Think I Have an STD: What Should I Do?

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Experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can be scary, especially if you’re not sure what to do next.

At Bergen Aesthetics, STD testing is available for women who develop unusual symptoms after having unprotected sex. Heripsime Ohanian, PhD, MD, FACOG, also provides preventive screenings if you’re at risk for STDs but don’t yet have symptoms.

An overview of STDs

STDs describe infections that spread from person to person through sexual contact. This contact can include oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

Both men and women are at risk for STDs if they have sex without a condom with an infected person. STDs can cause symptoms that range from mild to severe that interfere with your physical, sexual, and reproductive health.

Women and adolescent girls have a special risk for complications like infertility and reproductive cancer if they have an undiagnosed and untreated STD.

What to do during an STD scare

If you think you have an STD, the first thing to do is stay calm. Many infections are easily treatable with early diagnosis.

Your next step is to call our office and schedule STD testing. We offer a range of on-site tests to confirm or rule out infections like:

Until you’re sure of your diagnosis, you should avoid having unprotected sex with anyone. If testing determines that you have an STD, you will also need to contact your sexual partners to let them know they need testing too.

Recognizing symptoms of an STD

You can have an STD for a while without knowing it because not all infections cause symptoms. You may also dismiss some STD symptoms as a side effect of another condition.

Potential warning signs of an STD can include:

  • Fever
  • Pelvic pain
  • Vaginal itching or pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Pain with sex
  • Bumps or sores on your genitals

Even if you don’t have symptoms, you shouldn’t put off STD testing if you knowingly have unprotected sex with an infected person or with a partner whose sexual and medical histories you don’t know.

How we test for STDs

Bergen Aesthetics offers comprehensive STD testing services in a comfortable, discreet environment. Your privacy is our first priority, so you can feel safe when you’re having your evaluation.

STD tests typically involve:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Vaginal swab
  • Cervical swab (Pap smear)

Once your test results are available, Dr. Ohanian discusses your options for treating active infections.

Bacterial STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea are treatable with prescription antibiotics. If you have a viral STD like herpes, you may need to take antivirals and make lifestyle changes to prevent spreading the disease to others.

After testing, we can provide resources that you can use to lower your risk for additional infections.  Dr. Ohanian can also recommend how often you should schedule preventive STD screenings to protect your reproductive health and long-term wellness.

Call Bergen Aesthetics in Paramus, New Jersey, to schedule STD testing or book an appointment online today.

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