According to the CDC, up to 20% of Americans will have an STI at some point in their life, although they may not display symptoms (asymptomatic).
STD testing allows you to determine your status, seek appropriate care if needed, and take steps to protect your partner(s). Read this article for common symptoms to watch for and where you can find no-cost, confidential testing in your area.
What are Common STD Symptoms?
STDs can be highly contagious and are typically transmitted through various sexual activities. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the signs and symptoms of the most common STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, may include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse in women
- Bleeding between periods in women
- Testicular pain in men
- Thick, cloudy, or bloody discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
- Painful, swollen testicles
- Painful bowel movements
- Anal itching
Earlier stages have fewer symptoms, so they are harder to detect.
Will STDs Go Away on Their Own?
If left untreated, most STDs will not go away on their own. According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated, having one STD may increase your likelihood of acquiring a second STD.
Untended STDs may also cause serious long-term health issues like infertility, organ damage, cancer, and occasionally life-threatening conditions.
While sexual activity alone does not guarantee having an STD, practicing safe sex through protection and getting routine screening is essential for your health and the well-being of your current or future partners.
Regular testing allows for early detection and treatment if needed, helping to prevent transmission and avoid potentially serious health complications.
How Do I Know If I Should Get Tested?
If you’re sexually active, the only way to confirm if you have an STD is through testing. Leaving an STD untreated can increase your health risks. If you ever undergo an abortion procedure, this could increase your risk for complications.
The encouraging news is that most STDs can be effectively treated once confirmed through screening. At Pregnancy Help Center, we provide judgment free STD testing referrals.
We connect you with where to get testing and help you learn about treatment options in a kind, judgment-free environment. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!