No one wants to think about, much less admit, having a sexually transmitted infection or disease. You just can’t imagine it happening to you.

But every year, there are millions of new cases, and each one is highly contagious. If you are sexually active, it’s vital you get tested regularly for STIs/STDs.

What is an STI/STD?

The terms sexually transmitted infection (STI) and sexually transmitted disease (STD) are interchangeable. Healthcare providers use both to describe a condition that you can get from any kind of sexual activity involving your mouth, anus, vagina, or penis. STI is the more accurate term.

The Cleveland Clinic lists the following as the most common STIs:

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Genital warts
  • Gonorrhea (clap)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Pubic lice (crabs)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis (trick)
  • Vaginitis

How Do I Know If I Have an STI?

It is possible to have an STI and not know it. Many STIs don’t have immediate symptoms, but left untreated, can lead to serious health concerns.

Some health complications include:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility
  • Tubal or ectopic pregnancy
  • Cervical cancer
  • Perinatal or congenital infections in infants born to infected mothers

If you do have symptoms, they can include any of the following:

  • Sores or warts on the genital area
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Itching and redness in the genital area
  • Blisters or sores in or around the mouth
  • Anal itching, soreness, or bleeding

How Can PCS Health Help Me?

The CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. You should be tested more frequently if you have multiple or anonymous partners.

At PCS Health, we care about your physical and sexual safety. Schedule a free and confidential STI testing appointment for chlamydia and gonorrhea. If your test is positive, we will provide treatment on the same day.

We know it’s awkward to discuss, but we promise to provide non-judgmental, confidential testing to protect your privacy. We’re here for you.

*PCS Health does not perform or refer for abortions.