Approximately 1 in 5 Americans carry an STD. That said, since many people who have STDs don’t experience any symptoms, they never get tested or treated and can spread it to their partners.
A common myth about STDs is that if your partner gets diagnosed with one, it’s an indication that they had intercourse with another person. However, since some STDs can survive in the human body for years without any apparent signs, it could mean that your partner caught it before they met you.
Our experts at Casa de Salud understand how common STDs are. Below, they discuss ways you can prevent the spread of an STD and how you can get treatment if you suspect you have one.
How STDs spread
STDs can be spread via intercourse, sometimes even through skin-to-skin contact. However, there’s no evidence to show STDs can be spread via public toilets.
A common misconception is that once you are treated for an STD, you can’t get it again. You can get many STDs more than once, even if you’ve received treatment for them.
Preventing the spread of STDs
You can help prevent the spread of STDs by using condoms, having fewer partners, and encouraging partners to get tested. Although the use of condoms doesn’t offer complete protection against STDs, as some spread via skin contact, it can significantly lower your risk.
Health problems associated with untreated STDs
Left untreated, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can lead to decreased fertility in both men and women. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are also associated with pelvic inflammatory disease and miscarriages.
When STDs go undetected for months or even years at a time, life-endangering complications such as liver cirrhosis, certain types of cancer, and (in the case of syphilis) organ failure and death can occur.
Fortunately, early treatment can prevent all of these complications, even for incurable STDs such as syphilis and HIV.
Find out if you’re potentially spreading an STD
Although some STDs come with symptoms such as sores, rashes, fever, unusual discharge from the genital area, and painful urination, some STD carriers don’t experience any symptoms. However, that doesn’t mean that their partners who might get infected won’t have symptoms.
The best way to find out whether you or your partner are STD-free is to get tested. Anyone who is sexually active can benefit from getting tested, regardless of their age or the number of partners they have.
Get peace of mind by contacting us to schedule an appointment at one of our two offices in Los Angeles, California.