You started dating someone recently, and he or she told you that the latest STD test gave the all clear, so you slept together. You trusted this person, but now you think you notice signs of a sexually transmitted disease. The problem is some symptoms associated with STDs could also be something totally benign. So how do you know when you should get STD testing? Just watch for these signs.
Many conditions can make it hurt to pee, including a relatively harmless urinary tract infection. However, STDs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can also cause this symptom. If you’re experiencing painful urination, start by talking to your doctor, and pursue STD testing if necessary.
Pain During or Immediately After Sex
The same STDs that make urination painful can also make sex uncomfortable. Human papillomavirus (HPV) can also cause this symptom. Of course, so can non-STD conditions that affect women, such as endometriosis and vulvodynia.
Unusual Vaginal or Penile Discharge
Chlamydia and HPV may cause increased genital discharge, while gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can make the discharge look, feel or smell abnormal. Yellow, grayish-green, frothy, foamy or smelly discharge is definitely a cause for concern, as is bleeding from the vagina other than during a menstrual cycle.
Itchiness or irritation in the genital region is a sign that something’s wrong. There are many possible causes, and sexually transmitted diseases are among them, so if the itching doesn’t subside within a few days, you may want to get STD testing.
Sores, Blisters, Warts or Rashes
Syphilis and herpes cause sores or blisters. HPV causes genital warts. Scabies causes a rash. Some of these abnormalities are painful while others may go unnoticed for some time. Either way, sores, blisters, warts and rashes are signs of STDs that demand your attention.
Aches, Pains, Chills and Fever
These flu-like symptoms could indicate your body is fighting off a new sexually transmitted infection, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C or pubic lice. If you feel like you’re getting the flu a couple weeks after a sexual encounter, STD testing could be worthwhile.
You and/or Your Partner are Sexually Active
According to the American Sexual Health Association, about half of sexually active people contract an STD by age 25, yet only about 12 percent of people between ages 15 and 25 report being tested each year. One reason is that some people are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms of STDs. Therefore, if you and/or your partner are sexually active, it’s wise to be tested once a year just in case.
STD Testing in Atlanta, GA
If you’re concerned about STDs, visit Perimeter Clinic to set your mind at ease. We offer a wide variety of STD testing options in a clean, confidential setting. We may administer tests individually or within a panel to best meet your specific situation.
To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia by calling 678-999-8263 today.
You’ve taken a big step by deciding to go on a mission trip to another part of the world. Your purpose is probably to provide help to residents of a developing country and spread a spiritual message. What you don’t want is for communicable diseases to spread to you.
To protect yourself, start looking into which mission trip vaccinations you’ll need several weeks before you leave. The exact ones you should get depend on where you’re going. Fortunately, your doctor can make knowledgeable recommendations based on where your mission trip is located and in what season you’re traveling.
NOTE: Some vaccines require multiple shots a few weeks apart to maximize their effectiveness. Begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they have plenty of time to start working. Most vaccines last for several years, so there’s no need to worry about them wearing off before your trip.
Recommended Mission Trip Vaccines
- Routine vaccinations: You probably already have all the routine vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as polio, measles, tetanus and Double check your immunization records, and schedule a flu shot and tetanus booster if needed.
- Hepatitis A: This vaccine is recommended no matter where you’re traveling. It protects you from months of sickness and nausea that could result from ingesting contaminated food and water on your mission trip.
- Hepatitis B: Since this disease spreads through contact with infected blood, working at a medical clinic or performing manual labor on your mission trip could put you at risk. A vaccine provides the protection you need.
- Typhoid: Plan to get this vaccination for travels anywhere outside the US, unless you’re headed to Australia. It prevents a potentially life-threatening fever that can occur if you eat contaminated food and water.
- Yellow fever: If your mission trip is located in South America or Africa, plan to get a yellow fever vaccine to protect you from infected mosquitoes.
- Malaria: This disease is a risk everywhere besides Australia and Europe. However, there is no vaccine for malaria. Instead, your doctor can prescribe medication, which you’ll need to take before, during and after your mission trip for optimal protection.
- Meningitis: While this disease is found throughout the world, you probably only need a vaccination for meningitis if your mission trip takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, known as the “meningitis belt,” between December and June when the disease is most common.
- Japanese encephalitis: Mission trips to Australia and Asia present an increased risk for this rare disease spread by mosquitoes. Your doctor may recommend a vaccine to ensure your protection.
Check the CDC
The CDC website has useful travel information for your mission trip. Check the Travelers’ Health page for the latest health notices and updates you should know to safeguard your health before your leave.
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