Silent Symptoms – How Do You Know If You Have These STDs?
Most of us don’t want to think about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) any time of the year – and especially not now. But during this season, as we’re thinking about health and happiness, it’s a good time to think about your health.
Did you know that many STDs have silent symptoms – that is, no noticeable symptoms at all? And the CDC estimates 20 million new STD infections each year. If many of those infections aren’t showing any symptoms, then the only way to know you have an STD is to be tested.
What STDs have silent (no) symptoms?
According to the CDC, these STDs often have no symptoms:
Chlamydia – Most people have no noticeable symptoms for this STD.
Genital herpes – Most people have no symptoms but even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to other sex partners.
Gonorrhea – Some men have no symptoms, and most women have no symptoms at all.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – Most men and women have no symptoms of this very common infection.
Are you at risk for any of these STDs? If you are sexually active, you are at risk for an STD. That means – if you have any kind of sexual activity: oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, or even if you have skin to skin contact in the genital area, you are at risk for getting an STD.
How can you know for sure if you have an STD? The only way to know for sure is to be tested.
Why is it important to get tested? Many STDs are curable with antibiotics. Some others aren’t curable, but they’re definitely treatable – which means you can control the symptoms even though you can’t cure the infection. But if you don’t get treatment, some STDs can become life-threatening. Others can be dangerous to a baby if you get pregnant. So it’s important that you get treatment, but you can’t get treatment if you don’t get tested.
How can you prevent STDs? Though using a condom reduces the chance of spreading STDs, the only sure way to prevent an STD is to not have sex or to have sex in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who doesn’t have an STD (that means you both only ever have any kind of sex with each other).
Even though it isn’t any fun to think about STDs, it’s important to be informed. We care about you and we want you to have all the information you need to take good care of yourself. Maybe during this season, you can give yourself the gift of good health and peace of mind. At Collage, we can test for and treat some STDs at no cost to you. And for others, we can refer you to medical professionals who can help you. Call us today and let’s schedule a time for you to come in so we can answer your questions about STDs and your risks.