The statistics surrounding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States are nothing short of eye-opening. To start, one in two people will contract an STD by age 25, and there are 20 million new diagnoses of STDs each year in the US.
At Physicians Medical Urgent Care, our team believes that awareness, prevention, and screening are the keys to managing these potentially harmful infections.
To tackle the awareness end, we’ve pulled together the following five reasons why you should make STD testing a regular part of your health care program.
As we mentioned, the statistics on STDs in the US are very much cause for alarm. Not only are half of all sexually active Americans infected by age 25, overall STD numbers are at an all-time high according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As examples, the incidence of chlamydia was 1.8 million in 2018, which represents a 19% increase since 2014. There were nearly 600,000 cases of gonorrhea in 2018, which is a whopping 63% increase over 2014. Rounding out the picture, there were more than 115,000 new diagnoses of syphilis in 2018, which is an increase of 71% since 2014.
What these numbers say is that your chances for infection are fairly high, which makes testing a very good idea.
The medical community is increasingly replacing the term “disease” with “infection,” because of the fact that some STDs (or STIs) don’t cause any outward symptoms, yet you may still be infected. Or, the symptoms may be so mild that you don’t pay much attention to them.
Not only do you run the risk of spreading the infection, but an untreated infection can also lead to potential problems down the road.
One of the more serious consequences of untreated STDs is infertility. The CDC estimates that 24,000 women in the US become infertile each year thanks to undiagnosed STIs.
Outside of infertility, women may also struggle with pregnancy complications or ongoing problems with pelvic pain if they have untreated STIs.
Putting aside the numbers for a moment, a very good reason to test for sexually transmitted disease is simply because it’s quick and easy. We urge you to talk honestly with us about your sexual habits so we have a clear idea of what to test for, and how often. In most cases, we can screen for an STD with a simple swab, blood test, or urine test.
Another reason you should make STD testing a part of your health care program is that most STDs are highly treatable, especially in their earlier stages. If we find that you test positive for an STD, we can act quickly to eradicate the infection, which could be as simple as taking a course of antibiotics.
The bottom line is that STD testing provides you with valuable peace of mind and gives you the opportunity to stay one step ahead with your sexual health and avoid some potentially serious complications. To learn more about STD testing and the right schedule for you, please contact our office in San Jose, California to set up an appointment.