Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Testing
What does “STD” stand for?
STD is an acronym that means “sexually transmitted disease.” “STI” is also used for “sexually transmitted infection”; both mean the same thing. That does not mean that you must have sexual intercourse to get the infection. Herpes or HSV herpes simplex virus, for example, is considered an STD that can be spread by kissing or oral sex. Women who contract an STD while pregnant may develop complications and some STDs affect the baby. STDs include viral infections such as herpes (HSV) and human papillomavirus (genital warts or HPV) and bacterial infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Fungal infections (yeast) such as Candida are not considered STDs but can also be spread by sexual intercourse.
How do our doctors test for STDs?
STD testing depends on the person being tested. In some cases, such as with genital warts, a Pap test and physical examination provide enough information to make a diagnosis. Other STD tests, including the test for herpes and syphilis, require a blood sample. HIV/AIDS tests can be performed with a blood sample or oral secretions collected on a swab. Microscopic examinations of vaginal discharge are used for STDs such as chlamydia or yeast infections. Urine can be used to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
How are STDs treated?
Like the diagnosis, treatment for an STD depends on what’s causing the problem. In some cases, such as with herpes, no treatment exists that will eradicate the problem, though antivirals can be given to alleviate symptoms. Yeast infections are treated with antifungals, while syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics. It’s important to remember that STDs occur in both partners, and both may need to be treated.
What are my risks of getting an STD?
If you are sexually active, you are at risk. The only way to completely avoid the risk of an STD is not to engage in any sexual activity (including kissing). Using condoms should be always the first protective step. In many cases but not all, people in mutually monogamous sexual relationships may be protected if they are both tested at the onset of sexual intimacy. If you have multiple sex partners, always use a condom and be careful. Don’t use drugs or alcohol that may affect your judgment when your risk of contracting an STD is higher.
Sexually transmitted disease testing for women in Northern California
To get tested, schedule now to request an appointment. Our providers will be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. If you have concerns about sex or sexual activity we want you to feel comfortable discussing that with us. We serve patients in Northern California, including Marin & Sonoma Counties, San Francisco & the East Bay, Napa and the surrounding areas.
*We do not quote aesthetic prices over the phone, and pricing is talked about at your initial consultation. An initial consultation is $250 that can be applied to treatments.