• UTI or STD?

    You should always heed your body if you notice something strange going on. You might be experiencing symptoms that have you wondering – could it be a UTI or STD? Learn how to differentiate signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) vs. a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

    What is a UTI?

    The urinary tract is comprised of the urethra, bladder, ureter and kidneys. A UTI is when bacteria, especially E. coli, get into any of these body parts and multiply. E. coli is found naturally on the colon and around the anus, and because female urethras are much closer to the anus than in the male anatomy, UTIs are far more prominent in women. Common causes include:

    • Wiping from back to front after using the bathroom
    • Neglecting to urinate after having sex
    • “Holding it” for too long
    • Using a diaphragm for birth control
    • Wearing underwear or tight-fitting pants with a non-breathable fabric
    • Bathing rather than showering
    • Using feminine sprays or douching

    What is an STD?

    An STD is a condition most often transmitted through sexual intercourse. There are many types of STDs with a wide range of symptoms, including no symptoms at all. Because of the complications that can develop from untreated STDs, it’s important to be tested if you suspect you’re infected.

    There are many ways to contract an STD other than having unprotected sex. These include:

    • Eating food contaminated with infected fecal matter (transfers hepatitis A)
    • Skin-to-skin contact with an infected person (spreads HPV or herpes)
    • Kissing or sharing the same straw (passes on genital and oral herpes)
    • Sharing sheets, towels or underwear (transmits Trichomoniasis)
    • Sharing contaminated surfaces, such as a tanning bed (transfers molluscum contagiosum)
    • Sharing needles or razors, which can mix blood (spreads various STDs)

    Shared Symptoms of UTIs and STDs

    STDs are misdiagnosed as UTIs more often than you might think. After all, they share many of the same symptoms, including:

    • Painful or burning urination
    • Increased need and urgency to urinate
    • Foul urine odor
    • Cloudy or dark urine
    • Pelvic pain
    • Unusual discharge

    Other Symptoms of STDs

    Remember, some STDs are asymptomatic, but if you’re experiencing some of the shared symptoms above, watch for these additional signs that indicate the problem is with your reproductive organs, not your urinary tract:

    • Genital blisters or rash
    • Pain during sex
    • Spotting between menstrual cycles
    • Seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as fever, nausea, sore throat or joint swelling

    Get Tested!

    Perimeter Clinic offers anonymous STD testing for your privacy and peace of mind. Even if your doctor has already diagnosed you with a UTI, it’s wise to be tested for an STD if there’s a possibility that you have this condition. Doing so ensures you receive the proper treatment and helps you avoid complications of STDs, such as infertility, ectopic pregnancies, stillbirth and increased risk of HIV.

    To schedule STD testing in Atlanta, Georgia, contact Perimeter Clinic at 678-999-8263.

  • STD Stigma

    Some diseases carry a social stigma, causing society to judge or condemn people with certain conditions, perhaps none more strongly than sexually transmitted diseases. Sometimes, the shame is aimed directly at the infected individual through name-calling, shunning, or intimate partner violence. Other times, STD stigma is more general, such as when someone makes a joke about Chlamydia or equates having herpes to being immoral.

    Regardless of how it’s enacted, STD stigma can be very hurtful. And the truth is there’s no logical reason to shame someone with this disease. It’s counterproductive and serves no helpful purpose. Here’s why everyone should work together to de-stigmatize STDs.

    STDs are Surprisingly Common

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million new Americans are diagnosed with an STD every year. Keep in mind that these are the tested and documented cases, excluding HPV/genital warts and herpes, which are not required to be reported to the CDC.

    According to the American Sexual Health Association, half of sexually active Americans contract an STD by age 25. Then, more than half of all sexually active people will contract HPV in their lifetime – and most will never know it. Because of this, many undocumented cases exist, putting the estimate of Americans with STDs somewhere between 56 and 65 million.

    STDs and Promiscuity Aren’t Synonymous

    It only takes one sexual partner to contract an STD – and sometimes it takes none at all! STDs are transmitted through more than just direct genital contact – you can also get infected from blood and sometimes saliva. Sharing towels or underwear, using someone else’s needle or razor, or having a blood transfusion can spread some STIs and STDs. Then, simply kissing or sharing the same straw can spread genital and oral herpes.

    STD Testing is Important

    Despite the high probability of contracting an STD, only about 12 percent of people age 15 to 25 are tested each year. Fear of the stigma associated with a positive result is the primary reason many people decide they would rather not know their status.

    However, if left untreated, some STDs can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancies, stillbirth and increased risk for HIV. With STDs at record-level highs, it’s more important than ever for sexually active people to know their STD status so they can receive treatment and help prevent spreading the disease.

    Do Your Part to Help Eradicate STD Stigma

    Pay attention to the way you talk about STDs, and think of people with this condition as a group facing discrimination. Don’t use metaphors like “dirty” or “damaged goods” to describe people with STDs. Become more educated about sex and the risks that come with it. And if you think you might have an STD, get tested!

    Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia offers discrete, anonymous STD testing so you can find out your status while maintaining your privacy. After all, it’s your decision who you tell about your diagnosis. To learn more about our testing process, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 678-999-8263.

  • STD Myths

    There’s a frightening amount of misinformation floating around regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Are you in the know, or do you fall for some of the most common misconceptions? Clear the air by learning the truth about STD myths.

    STD Myth: HIV is Fatal

    While the human immunodeficiency virus reduces your body’s ability to fight disease, this diagnosis is certainly not a death sentence. Proper treatment using today’s advanced technology can help you live a long and fulfilling life. It’s even possible for HIV patients to have children who are HIV-negative.

    STD Myth: Public Toilet Seats Pass on STDs

    No scientific study has ever concluded that sitting on a public toilet can give you a sexually transmitted disease. This is because bacteria and viruses that cause STDs don’t live outside the body very long, and remnants of urine and fecal matter on toilet seats don’t cause STDs.

    STD Myth: It’s Easy to Tell if Someone Has an STD

    While a lot of sexually transmitted diseases cause visible lesions, sores, swelling and other symptoms, many individuals with herpes, Chlamydia and human papillomavirus (HPV) are asymptomatic for long periods of time. You can still, in fact, contract these diseases from an infected individual who has no visible outbreak at the time. Therefore, it’s best to rely on test results and not assume someone is STD-free based on how clean or attractive they look.

    STD Myth: The Only Way to Contract an STD is by Having Sex

    STDs are transmitted through semen, blood, genital contact and sometimes saliva. This means activities such as sharing razors, getting a blood transfusion, having oral or anal sex, using unwashed sex toys and pulling out before ejaculation can all result in spreading STDs. Genital and oral herpes can even transmit just by kissing or sharing the same straw.

    STD Myth: Birth Control Pills Prevent STDs

    The pill is designed to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against STDs. However, condoms are another form of contraception that significantly reduces the risk of pregnancy and STDs. Just don’t fall for the myth that two condoms are better than one. The friction between them increases the risk of breaking or leaking, so just stick with one condom every time.

    STD Testing in Atlanta, GA

    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 from age 15 to 25 report being tested each year. If you or your partner is concerned about STDs, Perimeter Clinic is here to help. We offer same-day STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and our dedicated counselors will guide you each step of the way.

    Contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to make an appointment and help protect your health today.

  • STDs and Swimsuits

    The weather is warming up, and that means it’s time to lounge on the beach or by the pool! Before you do, you might want to snag a great deal on a new swimsuit that accentuates your body in all the right ways. This means trying on new swimwear to find the perfect look.

    Swimsuit shopping might have you wondering – “Can I get an STD from trying on swimsuits?” Not all sexually transmitted diseases can be spread to a new host this way – after all, the bacteria and viruses that cause many types of STDs don’t survive for long outside the human body and require direct contact to transfer from person to person.

    However, some STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are caused by protozoa, lice, bacteria and viruses that can survive on new swimsuits. This allows infections to transmit passively from one host to another.

    It’s a scary thought, but you can protect yourself by learning more about STDs and swimsuits.

    Examples of STIs Sometimes Found on Swimsuits

    The following STIs can spread passively by infecting swimsuit bottoms:

    • Trichomoniasis , or trich, is caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis protozoan parasite, which can live outside the body for several hours.
    • Pubic lice , or crabs, can spread if an infected person shares towels, bed sheets or swimsuits.
    • Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that spreads through direct contact and indirect contact with clothing an infected person has worn.
    • Bacterial vaginosis , or BV, is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. BV loves synthetic swimsuit fibers and can be difficult to wash out.
    • Urinary tract infections are caused when E. coli or other bacteria from the anal region enter the urethra.

    While uncommon, it’s also possible to transmit more serious STDs, including Hepatitis A, B and C, Chlamydia, HPV and even HIV in extremely rare cases.

    Prevent STD Infection While Trying on Swimsuits

    Protect yourself in the dressing room and once you get home by following these tips:

    • Don’t trust the hygienic liner – keep your underwear on while trying new swimsuits!
    • Wash your hands after trying on swimsuits.
    • After making your purchase, wash the swimsuit before wearing it to the pool.
    • Keep whatever you’ve got to yourself – don’t return used swimwear.

    STD Testing in Atlanta, GA

    The truth is there’s a slight chance of contracting an STD while trying on swimsuits, but only if you fail to follow the appropriate precautions. Just remember, this is merely one example of how STDs can be transmitted without having sex.

    If you or your partner is concerned you may have an STD, visit Perimeter Clinic for help. We offer STD testing in a clean, confidential setting. The entire process takes just 15 to 20 minutes, and most results are available within one to two days. To make an appointment and protect your health, please contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 today.

  • What to Know About Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that anonymous STD testing in Atlanta can check for. A simple STD test can confirm the presence of the bacterium that causes this disease, which is known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Both men and women can become infected with the bacteria during sexual intercourse. A baby may also become infected during childbirth if the mother has this STD. To protect your own health and the health of your sexual partners, see a family physician promptly if you suspect you might have chlamydia. std - chlamydia

    Symptoms

    Many patients with chlamydia do not experience any symptoms from it. This is unfortunate because it can delay STD testing. When symptoms do occur, they typically develop within five to 10 days after transmission. Women can experience painful sexual intercourse, a low-grade fever, pain during urination, frequent urges to urinate, abdominal pain, and an unusual vaginal discharge. Men are even less likely than women to develop symptoms of chlamydia. Generally, those who do notice symptoms will feel pain or burning during urination. Men might also experience penile discharge, burning or itching at the opening of the penis, and occasionally pain and swelling of the testicles.

    Complications

    Getting tested for chlamydia is important because it can lead to complications if left untreated. Women may experience an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Consequently, PID can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. It’s less common for men to experience complications, but male infertility can sometimes result. Reactive arthritis is a potential complication that can affect men and women. Infected babies may develop pneumonia or eye infections and they have a higher risk of premature birth.

    Tests

    Getting tested is a wise decision if you have a partner who has tested positive for an STD or if you develop possible symptoms of chlamydia. Pregnant women, regardless of risk factors, should be tested at the first prenatal care visit. This STD test may involve providing a urine sample. In female patients, the physician may use a sterile swab to collect samples of cells from the vagina.

    Treatments

    Antibiotics are the standard course of treatment for chlamydia. Follow the dosage instructions carefully and take the full course of medications; never stop taking an antibiotic unless your doctor instructs you to do so or you have taken all of the pills. Avoid sex until the infection is completely cleared up.

  • Preventing STDs

    Prevention is always preferable when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). However, if you think that there is a possibility that you have been exposed to STDs , it’s important to promptly visit a health clinic in Atlanta to have an STD test. Anonymous STD testing is available. At the clinic, you can also learn ways of reducing your risk of contracting another STD in the future. For more information, watch this video and consult a primary care doctor.

    The expert featured here explains that abstinence is the only foolproof way to prevent all STDs and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but abstinence isn’t always practical or desirable. Using a condom for all types of sexual activity is the second-most effective way of protecting your health. It’s also a good idea to limit the total number of sexual partners you have and to choose sexual partners wisely.

  • Who Can Find Out if You Are Diagnosed with an STD?

    Your medical information is of a highly personal and sensitive nature. This is why STD testing clinics in Atlanta are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of patient confidentiality . If you have an STD test, only you and your doctor will know the results. An even higher level of confidentiality is available with anonymous STD testing. With anonymous STD testing, you will remain entirely anonymous.

    When you arrive at the clinic, you can inform the receptionist that you would like anonymous testing. A physician will escort you into the exam room promptly and the testing process will be fairly quick. Anonymous testing may involve assigning you an alias name or an identifying number. This allows you to access your test results when they are available. With anonymous testing, not even your insurance company will know that you were tested and only you can access the results. You should bear in mind; however, that if you are diagnosed with an STD, it’s advisable to inform your sexual partner that he or she should be tested.

    Anonymous STD Testing

  • A Closer Look at the Birth Control Ring

    There are many birth control options, which you can learn about when you visit a family physician serving Atlanta. At a clinic, your family physician can answer any questions you may have about the birth control ring. Unlike the popular birth control pill, the ring is not taken orally. Rather, it is inserted directly into the vagina. The ring must be taken out and a new one inserted every month for continued protection against unintentional pregnancies.

    You can learn more about the birth control ring by watching this video and visiting your clinic. This video explains the medications the ring releases and briefly touches on the potential side effects. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss the potential side effects with a family physician. The video also emphasizes that the ring does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A barrier method of birth control, such as the condom, is still necessary for protection from STDs.

  • STD Protection for Men

    Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDS, are a significant health risk for men, who tend to avoid seeking medical care for STD symptoms when they occur. This decision means that men could risk spreading the disease to new partners and suffering from serious consequences from their infections, including infertility. Fortunately, anonymous STD testing in Atlanta is available at Perimeter Clinic , so men and women alike can take control of their sexual health without any privacy concerns. Men in particular can protect themselves from STDs with these steps.

    Understand the Risk

    Men STD Info Knowing your risk of contracting an STD can help you make informed decisions about your health. Although anyone can get an STD, there are some behaviors that increase the risk. Having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected sex, and sharing drug needles can all increase your chances of contracting an STD. If your risk is high, consider visiting a walk-in clinic for anonymous STD testing on a regular basis to know your status so you can reduce your chances of exposing a new partner and so you can get treatment to prevent complications associated with the infection.

    Use Condoms

    Condoms are one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from STDs. Using them every time you have sex is an important step in protecting yourself and your partner from STDs. If you are in a monogamous relationship, you and your partner should get tested before you consider having unprotected sex. Both male and female condoms can protect you during vaginal and anal intercourse. For oral sex, dental dams are effective. When you visit a clinic for STD testing, ask the doctors for advice selecting the right barrier-style protection for you. Keep in mind that condoms and other barrier methods do not protect against all STD. For instance, herpes can still be transmitted even with condom use.

    Talk to Your Partner

    Honest conversations with your sexual partners are essential to your health. Before becoming intimate, talk to your partner about past sexual history, STD testing, and what methods you plan to use to protect each other. Consider having STD testing together with new partners before becoming intimate.

  • Understanding the Screening Methods for Common STDs

    If you’re concerned that you have a sexually transmitted disease, you should visit a walk-in clinic for STD testing near Atlanta . The test that your STD testing clinic uses will depend upon the type of STD that your doctor or primary care physician suspects that you have. Here’s a look at the testing methods for the most common STDs.

    STD Testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

    STD Testing You should visit a walk-in clinic or your primary care physician annually for STD tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea if you are under 25 and sexually active, over 25 and at high risk for STDs, a man who has sex with men, or have HIV. The doctor at your walk-in clinic or STD testing clinic will perform an STD test by either taking a urine sample, or a penile or cervical swab. The sample will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

    STD Tests for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis

    If you’re between 15 and 65 years old, you should visit a walk-in clinic at least once for HIV testing. If you’re at high risk for HIV, you should ask your doctor for annual STD tests. You should request syphilis and hepatitis testing if a previous STD test came back positive, you use IV drugs, you’ve had more than one sexual partner since your last STD test, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or are a man who has sex with other men. Your doctor will take a blood sample to perform an STD test for HIV and hepatitis, and a blood sample or genital swab to test for syphilis.

    STD Testing for HPV

    Women between the ages of 21 and 30 should be tested for HPV if they have an abnormal Pap test, while women over 30 should be tested for HPV every five years. STD testing for HPV is only available for women. To test for HPV, your doctor will either perform a Pap smear, or administer an HPV test. Doctors can diagnose men with HPV after performing a visual inspection of the genitals to check for genital warts.