Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening – Recommendations and What to expect
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread by sexual contact. Sexually transmitted infections can cause long term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Screening for STIs is important for detection and treatment. Test for STI can include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, trichomonas, herpes, HPV. The decision for testing is made based on history, symptoms, physical exam, or patient request.
- Genital sores or bumps which may also show up on the thighs or butt cheeks
- Abnormal discharge from the vagina
- A burning sensation during urination or frequent urination
- Feelings of itching, irritation, burning, or swelling in the vagina, vulva, or anus
- Fever, muscle aches, swollen glands, lethargy, or other flu-like symptoms
It is often difficult to distinguish these symptoms from other common sources like yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs), which is why getting tested is so important.
Visit ACOG’s website for additional resources regarding STIs.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening – What to Expect
STI screening, when appropriate, is a normal part of a comprehensive Well Woman visit, and it is important to establishing an overall portrait of general health and well-being. We do not want you to be afraid to mention STI testing to your doctor because sexual health is a normal and natural aspect of human health.
Your doctor can help you figure out the best available testing procedures suited to any symptoms you may be having or as an overall health measure. In other words, you don’t have to be manifesting STI symptoms to get tested.
STI testing is generally routine, fast and painless. A few examples of common STI tests include:
- Urine test
- Blood test
- Physical exam
- Taking samples from sores or lesions
- Taking samples from the vagina, cervix, or anus