Sexual Health Resources

Had sex? Get tested.

That’s the bottom line.  Any time you are sexually active there can be risk of getting an STD.  The only way to not be at risk is to have sex with only one other person for life and for the two of you to only have sex with each other.  Other than that, there is risk. We refer clients to the Springfield Health Department for STD testing.

What’s my risk?

Use this STD Wizard to find out your risk for an STD. Your answers will not be reviewed, saved or shared.

What about condoms?

Using condoms can reduce your risk of infection but doesn’t get rid of the risk completely.  Some STDs, such as herpes, only need skin-to-skin contact to spread. 

STD Facts

  • Oral sex, anal sex and intimate touching can transmit infection just like vaginal/penile intercourse.
  • There are 18.9 million new STD infections per year (51,780 per day).
  • At least 8 out of 10 women with chlamydia and gonorrhea infections are without symptoms. These infections are detected primarily through screening.
  • Each year, there are almost 3 million new cases of chlamydia.  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends that sexually active females 25 and under should be screened at least once a year for chlamydia, even if no symptoms are present.
  • As with other inflammatory STDs, chlamydia infection can increase your risk of contracting HIV infection.
  • Cervical cancer in women is linked to high-risk types of HPV.  However, regular testing and Pap smears significantly reduce your risk by early detection.
  • At least 15 percent of all American women who are infertile can attribute it to tubal damage caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), the result of an untreated STD.
  • Less than half of people who should be screened receive recommended STD screening services.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Social Health Association

Medical Institute of Sexual Health

Chlamydia

  • Bacterial: Curable with antibiotics. Can take 1-3 weeks to show a positive result. 75% of women have no symptoms at all, so proactive testing is a good idea.
  • Female signs and symptoms: Abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain/cramping, abnormal bleeding.  If left untreated, may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may cause chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, or infertility.
  • Male signs and symptoms: Burning with urination, discharge from penis, swollen genitals. If left untreated, may lead to epididymitis (which is the swelling of the tube inside the man’s genitals).
  • Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral or anal sex. Mother to child.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm

Gonorrhea

  • Bacterial: Curable with antibiotics. Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired. Complications: infection of the eye, gonorrhea of the throat and mouth, systemic infection, PID in women, epididymitis in men.
  • Female signs and symptoms: Often no symptoms, vaginal discharge, burning with urination, pain/bleeding with sex
  • Male signs and symptoms: Often no symptoms, burning/pain with urination, discharge, swollen genitals
  • Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral and anal sex. Mother to child.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/STDFact-gonorrhea.htm

Hepatitis

  • Several STDs can be effectively prevented through pre-exposure vaccination with widely available vaccines, including HAV, HBV, and HPV. Vaccines for other STDs (e.g., HIV and HSV) are under development or are undergoing clinical trials. This guidance focuses largely on integrating the use of available vaccines into STD prevention and treatment activities.
  • Every person being evaluated or treated for an STD should receive hepatitis B vaccination unless already vaccinated. In addition, some persons (e.g., MSM and IDUs) should receive hepatitis A vaccination.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/general/hepatitis.htm

HIV/AIDS

  • Viral: no cure. Most people will show positive within 3 months from infection.
  • Signs and symptoms: rapid weight loss, frequent fevers, night sweats, swollen lymph glands, pneumonia
  • Modes of transmission: Vaginal, oral and anal sex, blood, body fluids. Mother to child.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/STDFact-STD-HIV.htm

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

  • Viral: no cure. Most common infection-causing STD. Many different types of HPV. Some strains cause genital warts, and others can lead to cervical cancer or other kinds of cancer. Most people who have HPV don’t know they are infected.
  • Signs and Symptoms: Genital warts, cervical cancer (that may be detected by a routine pap test), other forms of cancer (may not have symptoms until they have advanced)
  • Modes of transmission: vaginal, anal, oral contact and genital-togenital contact.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm

Herpes

  • Viral: No cure. 1 in 5 adolescents and adults have genital HSV.
  • Two types of viral herpes infection:
    • HSV- type 1: often causes fever blisters on the mouth or face.
    • HSV-type 2: typically affects the genital area.
  • Signs and symptoms: Most individuals don’t know they are infected with HSV type 2. If symptoms occur, they may include: Painful skin lesions, vulvar irritation, swollen lymph glands, genital discharge, fatigue, body aches.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/Herpes/STDFact-Herpes.htm

Pelvic Inflamatory Disease (PID)

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to infection of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and other reproductive organs that causes symptoms such as lower abdominal pain. It is a serious complication of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially chlamydia and gonorrhea. PID can damage the fallopian tubes and tissues in and near the uterus and ovaries. PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility, ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tube or elsewhere outside of the womb), abscess formation, and chronic pelvic pain.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm

Syphilis

  • Bacterial: curable in the early stages. There are three stages of syphilis, so early treatment is important.
  • Signs and symptoms: sores and spots appear where the syphilis bacteria entered the body, red brown rash (in stage 2). If left untreated and in the third stage, death can occur.
  • Modes of transmission: point of contact disease passed through direct contact with syphilis sore-- vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Mother to child.

http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/STDFact-Syphilis.htm

Trichomoniasis

  • Bacterial parasite: curable with antibiotics. Most common curable STD.
  • Femaile signs and symptoms: Foul smelling, frothy discharge, vaginal irritation/redness, pain during sex, burning with urination.
  • Male signs and symptoms: Most men do not have symptoms but some have irritation inside the penis, mild discharge, burning with urination or ejaculation.
  • Modes of transmission: penis to vagina intercourse, or vulva to vulva

http://www.cdc.gov/std/trichomonas/STDFact-Trichomoniasis.htm

 

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