Common STDs and How To Prevent Them

Common STDs and How To Prevent Them

If you’re a sexually active woman, you need to understand sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), because any sexually active person can get an STD, regardless of your relationship status.

Board-certified OB/GYN Kelly Morales, MD, offers women in San Antonio, Texas, confidential STD testing and treatment to help you stay healthy and protect the health of your partner(s), too.

Different types of STDs

Over 1 million new STD cases are diagnosed every day, so it’s important to know what to look for and what to do about the most common infections. Keep reading to find out.

Human papillomavirus

The most common STD is the human papillomavirus (HPV). Almost every person who is sexually active gets HPV. 

There are over 40 different types of HPV. Some types increase your risk of cervical cancer. 

Testing is important because HPV rarely has symptoms until you have health complications. Dr. Morales tests you for HPV during your routine Pap smear. 

Some vaccines offer protection against the cancers caused by HPV. Be sure to talk to Dr. Morales about getting vaccinated.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is another common STD. This infection is caused by bacteria. You get chlamydia through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. 

Without treatment, chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility.

Only about 25% of women experience symptoms of chlamydia, such as:

Dr. Morales treats chlamydia with antibiotics. After treatment, you need to be retested for the infection in about three months.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection, but only about 20% experience symptoms, making STD testing essential.

This STD spreads through all forms of sexual contact. Like chlamydia, if left untreated, it can affect your fertility. Gonorrhea can also cause other damage to your reproductive health. 

If you test positive for gonorrhea, we can treat it with an antibiotic. Dr. Morales lets you know how long you need to take the medicine.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that has different symptoms in different in stages of the disease:

Only about 15% of Americans diagnosed with syphilis progress to stage four. 

The good news is that Dr. Morales can treat syphilis with a simple antibiotic. Early treatment is key since it means fewer antibiotics and more effective results. 

Preventing STDs

The only sure way to prevent STDs is to avoid sexual contact. Since that’s not practical for most people, here are some tips that can help:

You can also minimize your risk by getting vaccinated for hepatitis B and HPV. 

How STD testing can help

Dr. Morales may recommend STD testing if you or your partner have symptoms of an STD or if your partner tests positive for an STD. We also follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for women, which recommend: 

If you test positive for an STD, Dr. Morales creates a treatment plan based on the STD(s) you have. The sooner you start treatment, the more effective it is. 

To learn more about STDs or to get a confidential STD screening, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Morales in San Antonio, Texas.

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