You Have an STD: Take these Steps

1.Having an STD means seeing your provider and really knowing that this is what is going on with your symptoms. What is most important for you to remember about STDs: you should get tested as you can be treated! So don’t not check because you dread the call after your test, just be prepared to deal with it calmly and responsibly.

2.Step 2 is get educated. Ask as many questions as you can, go for follow up test of cure visits if you are told to.If your PCP or gyno texts or calls and says that you have tested positive for the STD chlamydia (CT). First ask if you were tested for gonorrhea (GC) too, you probably were tested for both.

3. Most gynos will then treat you for both if you test positive for either GC or CT but it’s important to know if you did have that test, because you need it as well if you have chlamydia infection your gyno will check the CC published new gonorrhea treatment guidelines . Both these infections need to be treated effectively to both prevent spread to sexual partners and because they both are important causes of pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in women. For the best gonorrhea treatment you may to have a shot of antibiotics, and for chlamydia often just a few pills will be enough to treat the infection.

4. Tell your partner to get tested and also treated. About 10 to 15% of women will come back with positive tests again in the next year of a positive test for CT or GC . does that mean the antibiotics failed? Well, sometimes yes, but most times, probably you were re-exposed, and in fact your partner never got treated.

5. Because the treatments are so effective we don’t always recommend to test you right after the treatment, but in a few months, go and get checked again to make sure that you haven’t another infection. Generally we call this a ‘TOC’ or test of cure.

6. These infections are common. There are almost four million infections in the USA each year, so it’s not uncommon to be exposed, and if exposed, it’s highly contagious.

7. Don’t think you can’t catch these again. We don’t develop immunity to these conditions from infection, and repeat infections are common. Both GC and CT have a very negative impact on pregnancy increasing the chances of stillbirth. Unfortunately most people have no symptoms at all, so seeing your gyno for a test is important.

8. Testing doesn’t always require a pelvic exam. For girls and young ladies who are under 21, urine tests are possible, so it doesn’t always mean you are required to get a pelvic exam to be tested for the infection.

9. If you have acquired an HPV infection you likely will cure this on your own. About 80-90% of women will eliminate their HPV infection within 8-24 months. Although some who we think are clear have just reduced their virus amount by about 90% to undetectable levels.

10. Be sure to get appropriate testing for any STDs your doc thinks you should get tested for. Once you test positive for one, you might have another.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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