STI / STD Testing and Treatment

About


STI/STD Testing and Treatment

Woman’s New Life Clinic offers screening, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs, as well as education regarding prevention of STIs at its New Orleans location. STI screening, diagnosis, and treatment is offered by referral in Baton Rouge. Please call 504.496.0214 to schedule your appointment.

What is an STI?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that can be contracted by having sex (genital, oral or anal) with someone who already has an infection. Some STIs do not have any symptoms; therefore, many individuals do not even know that they have a STI. About 19 million individuals per year contract a STI in the United States. If you are sexually active, it is important to get tested for STIs.

Common STIs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Genital Warts (HPV)
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Genital Herpes (HSV)

STI Risks and Effects

Some of the more common STIs include chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. These are bacterial infections and can be cured if detected and treated in time. Unfortunately, they may go undetected because they often present with mild or no symptoms. STIs can cause serious, possibly permanent, problems for males and females. For instance, syphilis, if untreated, may go into a dormant stage and may reappear months or years later to cause serious complications: blindness, bone and/or heart damage, insanity, and possible death. If gonorrhea and chlamydia go, untreated they may cause females to develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can result in chronic pain, pregnancy problems, sterility, or death. In males, chlamydia may cause permanent damage to the male urinary tract.

The other common STIs are viral and incurable and present just as many problems. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes easily spread warts and possible genital cancers in both sexes. It is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. Genital herpes presents as painful genital blisters and can be transmitted even if the sore is not visible. Hepatitis B is an infectious viral liver disease, which is more infectious than HIV and can cause liver cancer. Most carriers are not aware they are infected. Similarly, HIV is very contagious, and carriers are often unaware of the disease. HIV can result in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can result in death.

It is especially important that STIs are properly diagnosed and treated during pregnancy as these infections can cause preterm delivery or other serious disease in the mother or the infant. Read more about STIs and pregnancy here.


Symptoms of an STI

Some general symptoms of STIs include any unusual discharge from the penis or vagina; burning discomfort when urinating or dark urine; warts, sores, or growths in genital or rectal area; unexplained skin rashes or sores; yellow eyes or skin; fever; nausea and lower abdominal pain; and joint pain and/or enlarged lymph nodes. This list is not complete but alerts you to some of the symptoms.

If you know or suspect you have had contact with someone with an STI, please obtain proper testing and follow-up treatment. Keep in mind that there are serious and long-term effects of STIs, such as chronic pelvic pain, cervical cancer, tubal pregnancy, infertility, damage to body organs, and death.

STIs can also affect you and your baby during pregnancy, and you should seek medical advice and be honest with your healthcare provider.

Remember, many sexual partners are not honest about their sexual history, and the more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk of becoming infected with an STI. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STIs are “to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

At Woman’s New Life Clinic, our mission includes empowering women (and their partners) with knowledge of the risks and consequences of the improper use of sexuality so that they are better able to make informed decisions. No matter what choice is made, we are here to help.


How is an STI Screen and Test Done?

STI testing is done by first collecting a specimen (blood, cervical/vaginal secretions, or urine). You and your provider will decide which testing is needed based on your risk factors and symptoms. Then your provider will send the specimen to the lab for testing. You will be told at the time of your visit when to expect the results. Once your provider reviews your results, you will be contacted and given your results. You may be asked to return to our office for counseling or treatment. Rest assured that your health and your privacy are very important to us.

If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment in New Orleans, call 504.496.0214.

REFERENCES:
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of health and Human Services, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention, June 12-13, 2000, found here (a review of 138 scientific studies concerning condom effectiveness published July 20, 2001, accessed 1-12-07).
– “The Silent Epidemic” Brochure,1994, California Nurses for Ethical Standards (revised 2006).
– Centers for Disease Control, Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, www.cdc.gov (accessed 1-21-2009)

Hope Woman’s Clinic has merged with Woman’s New Life Center to become Woman’s New Life Clinic. We’re thrilled to offer unplanned pregnancy and reproductive health services under one brand name that more effectively communicates all of what we have for women in our community.