Sexually transmitted diseases may not be something you like to think about, but if you are a sexually active individual, STD testing should be a part of your healthcare routine. There are many reasons to consider having an STD test, and just a handful of these are listed below. Regardless of your personal reasoning, you can rest assured knowing that most STD tests will have same-day results available with anonymous testing offered at your local medical clinic in Atlanta.
STDs can be transmitted from any skin-to-skin contact
Even with safe sex practices and the use of a condom, infections such as HPV and herpes can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. That means that you may be at risk for certain STDs even if you have never had intercourse.
You may not always know your partner’s history
Because you might not know if your partner is faithful or have the details of his or her sexual history, it is best to play it safe with STD testing. In fact, going to the clinic with your partner for an STD test may be helpful in building an honest, faithful relationship.
STD testing is quick and discreet
Most STD screenings are performed with blood or urine tests, which take only moments to complete. Your results will generally be ready within the same day, so you will not have to spend time worrying with uncertainty. In cases where test results indicate the presence of an STD, your treatment planning can begin quickly with the same privacy and discretion as your testing.
Untreated STDs have serious health risks
Diseases such as chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, and HIV will not typically show symptoms right away, but these conditions can have significant long-term consequences including cancer and infertility if they are left untreated. Therefore, there is little reason to wait on getting tested, since treatment may be as simple as taking an antibiotic for certain conditions.
Illnesses and injuries do not always wait for regular care hours, but not every ailment will require a costly visit to the ER. In cases when you need to see a doctor right away but you are not facing life-threatening conditions, walk-in primary care may provide a more cost-effective, convenient solution in Atlanta.
Walk-in primary care provides the same basic services as your primary doctor would offer during normal business hours. The difference is that you do not need an appointment, and you can find care with extended hours, seven days per week. If you are suffering from a sprain or strain, respiratory infection, or acute pain, walk-in primary care will be fit for your needs. You can also utilize walk-in primary care when you are trying to fit regular doctor’s services into a busy schedule. Treatments such as vaccines and STD testing can be performed on a walk-in basis so that you do not have to wait on the essential care you need to stay well.
Having a dedicated primary care doctor can help you maintain the most cost-effective medical care, since primary care physicians are able to provide a wide range of services with low insurance co-pays. Your Atlanta primary care physician will also get to know your unique healthcare needs so that you are able to make the right lifestyle choices, manage your medications, and keep existing conditions from causing complications. Keep reading to get to know more about primary care doctors and the services they provide.
The most common reason to visit your primary care doctor is for annual physicals, which are necessary for your preventive care. During these visits, your doctor will take a broad look at your health to identify any warning signs for conditions that may be present without symptoms. You primary physician may also perform regular screening such as well woman exams, pre-employment physicals, or diabetes screenings.
General treatment services
If you get sick with a minor acute condition such as flu, sinus infection, or bacterial infection, your primary physician can provide care for these conditions so that you may avoid costlier co-pays in the ER. Choosing a physician who offers walk-in primary care hours can help you get the right care when symptoms arise, rather than waiting days for an appointment. Your primary doctor might also help you manage existing conditions such as allergies, high blood pressure, or thyroid conditions.
Should the need for more specialized care arise, your primary physician can provide a referral to the appropriate doctor in your area. A physician referral is often necessary to clear specialized services with your insurance provider, so you will always want to see your primary doctor first, even if you know you will need additional care.
The bulk of the immunizations that you will need in life take place during childhood, but there are still some vaccinations that can be beneficial for adults. Some vaccines such as the tetanus shot will need periodic boosters, while others are recommended for adults who work or travel to environments where certain exposures are more likely.
This video provides an overview of the vaccines that adults may consider. The flu shot is one of the most common vaccines recommended for adults , and this immunization is given annually, since the flu virus evolves so rapidly. Some vaccines such as MMR or DTaP may be missed in childhood, but it is never too late to receive these immunizations as an adult.
If you are not sick, you may not think about going to the doctor, since you have no immediate symptoms to address. However, annual physicals are an essential component of good health for all adults, so you should schedule these appointments even if you feel completely well. Below you can get a look at the important aspects of annual adult physicals that you will not want to miss by only seeing the doctor when you are sick.
Annual physicals will include screenings to assess your cardiac function, reproductive health, respiratory function, and skin health. These screenings may indicate the presence of potentially harmful conditions before more serious symptoms come up, making treatment much simpler and often more successful. With the right Atlanta medical clinic , you will find all the screenings you need under one roof for the most convenient care possible.
After childhood, you will not need many regular immunizations to stay healthy, but there are still some vaccines that might need to be updated in adulthood. By seeing your physician at least once per year, you can be sure that you are up to date on vaccines like the tetanus booster and the flu shot.
You can personalize your annual visits to the doctor by setting goals that will improve your health. For example, your doctor may be able to recommend an appropriate diet to help you lose weight or a program for smoking cessation. Even without specific goals in mind, your doctor may have recommendations for your daily lifestyle that can help you take charge of your health from a preventive angle.
If it has been more than one year since your last visit to the doctor, you will want to schedule an annual physical as soon as possible.
When you are traveling, the last thing you will want to deal with is travel-related illnesses that can disrupt your adventures. Finding medical care in foreign places is not always an easy task, so you will want to take measures to prevent travel maladies—especially if you are traveling to developing areas that may lack the amenities you are used to.
Before you travel, it may be helpful to visit your doctor to discuss any vaccinations that may be necessary when traveling to certain areas. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that can ease conditions like traveler’s diarrhea or sea sickness. To prevent gastrointestinal illnesses while you travel, it may be best to stick to simple food choices rather than eating adventurously. You will want to avoid drinking tap water in developing regions, as there are many diseases transmittable through under-regulated water sources. Finally, you should take measures to prevent mosquito bites so that you can steer clear of infections transmitted through these insects.
If you love to spend time in the great outdoors, then you’re at risk for Lyme disease. This bacterial infection, which is transmitted through tick bites, can cause long-term complications if not treated early. When medical doctors start patients on antibiotics within a few weeks of the infection, most patients recovery fully.
However, when treatment is delayed, sufferers have an increased risk of having long-term symptoms, such as arthritis and chronic neurological issues, including numbness and memory loss. In this infographic, Perimeter Clinic , a medical clinic near Atlanta, discusses the symptoms of Lyme disease and why early care in a medical center is so important. If you experience any of the signs listed here, see your primary care physician for treatment right away, particularly if you’ve recently spent time outdoors. Help your family and friends understand their own risks and when to go to a medical center by sharing this information with them.
Gonorrhea is a common STD caused by a bacterial infection, which is highly treatable with antibiotics. As this video explains, gonorrhea often has no symptoms, so STD testing is essential for treatment. When gonorrhea is left untreated, it can lead to infertility in both men and women.
In cases where there are symptoms for gonorrhea, signs of this infection may include a burning sensation during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, or itching and discomfort in the genital area. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should not hesitate to see your doctor for an STD test.
Traveling abroad requires extra planning that may not be necessary with domestic travel, and part of this planning may include a special visit to the doctor for travel medicine services. If you are planning to travel to developing countries or areas that are not common for tourist travel, it is particularly important to visit your primary care clinic for the right care prior to your departure. Generally, you will want to schedule an appointment about 6-8 weeks before you plan to leave, as this will allow time to fill any necessary prescriptions and let vaccinations take effect.
Before traveling to Africa, Latin America, or Asia, it may be necessary to have vaccinations for typhoid, yellow fever, and hepatitis A. While these conditions are very rare in the U.S., they are highly common in developing countries, so vaccination is recommended. You may also need an annual flu shot or Tdap booster, depending on your immunization history and the time of year during which you travel.
Travel health considerations
If you have a preexisting chronic condition that may be affected by travel, your doctor can help you take measures for preventing any complications and seeking medical care abroad. You might also discuss ways to avoid common travel maladies such as traveler’s diarrhea or mosquito-transmitted diseases.
Medications for travel
Should you regularly take prescription medications, you may need to refill these ahead of time and keep all of these medications in their original packaging to reduce any holdups in getting through customs. You might also bring along some non-prescription medications such as allergy pills, anti-diarrheal medication, or anti-nausea medication to account for symptoms that you might experience in your travels.
When it comes to travel medicine, it is always best to over-prepare rather than arrive in a foreign country without the medication and resources you need to stay healthy.
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