If You’re Sexually Active, Here’s What You Need to Know About STDs

If you were paying attention during sex ed, you know that you can pick up and spread a wide range of STDs through sexual contact. Since sex ed was a long time ago for most of us, let’s review some STD facts that you need to know if you’re sexually active. 

There are 25 different types of STDs

The most common STDs include:

However, many more less common STDs are just as potentially dangerous when left untreated. 

At Apple Hill Gynecology, in York, Pennsylvania, Marsha D. Bornt, MD, and Donna Lamson, CRNP, MSN, WHNP-BC, and our all-women team educate and empower women to make safe, healthy choices. We provide information about sexual health and STDs so that you can protect yourself. 

STDs don’t usually cause symptoms in their early stages

As with many health problems, STDs don’t always cause symptoms in their early stages, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be spread. Even if you don’t have symptoms, the illness takes root in your body. Depending on the specific condition, you can sustain permanent damage to your reproductive system and develop infertility. 

Every year, doctors diagnose 20 million new STD cases

STDs are also extremely widespread. Nationwide, most new cases are diagnosed in people aged 15-24, but cases are also increasing in patients over the age of 60. These figures just include diagnosed cases. As STDs are often asymptomatic, many cases go undiagnosed, which means that there are people out there who could be unknowingly spreading disease. 

Vaginal intercourse isn’t the only way to get an STD

Although vaginal intercourse can transmit STDs, it isn’t the only way you can get one. STDs also spread through oral and anal sex, and in some cases, mutual fondling. You can protect yourself by always using condoms and dental dams during sexual activities. 

STDs are treatable, but they aren’t all curable

We can treat most STDs with medication. However, some STDs, such as herpes and HIV/AIDS, don’t have a cure. Nonetheless, we can treat these conditions to help you stay healthy despite your diagnosis.

If you’re sexually active, you should have an STD test from time-to-time

You should have regular STD tests if you have multiple partners or unprotected sex, which increases your risk of contracting an STD. We recommend that everyone has STD screenings occasionally, even if you’re in a monogamous relationship. 

We often ask about your sex life during your annual exam to evaluate your risk levels. However, if you’re concerned about STDs and want a test, you can contact us at any time to schedule an appointment. 

If you want an STD test or are due for an annual exam, call us, or make an appointment online today. 

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