Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), come in a variety of types. What all STIs have in common is that they can be passed from person to person due to sexual contact, and that it’s important to know your STI status in order to protect your health and the health of others.
At Longoria OBGYN, Dr. Leonardo A. Longoria offers comprehensive and compassionate STI screening services as part of a total commitment to women’s health and wellness. Dr. Longoria helps you learn more about your sexual health, examining concerning symptoms and testing for STIs from his office in El Paso, Texas.
Dr. Longoria recommends that if you’re concerned about a possible STI, you should get tested and never ignore potential symptoms.
Understanding more about STIs
STIs can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic. There are more than 20 types of individual STIs that you risk exposure to with unprotected oral, anal, and genital sexual activity. Common STIs include:
- Genital herpes
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Pubic lice
Some STIs can be treated with simple methods like medications. Others, like genital herpes, become something you need to learn to live with going forward. Either way, early detection gives you the best outcomes.
How STIs impact your and others’ health
Untreated STIs can cause health complications, including potentially serious problems. You can also potentially pass an STI on to other partners, negatively impacting the lives of those people, as well. Some untreated STIs can affect your fertility, pregnancy outcomes, or even the health of your future children.
For all of these reasons, it’s important to seek help if you notice potential signs of an STI. It’s also a good idea to get tested if you’ve recently become sexually active with a new partner, or had unprotected sex. And, if you frequently have sex with new partners, you should get screened on a regular basis.
Symptoms to watch for
Signs and symptoms of STIs can vary, but here are some of the most common signs of potential STIs in women:
Vaginal itching is often an indicator of the early stages of bacterial and viral STIs, as well as a potential symptom of allergic reactions, yeast infections, pubic lice, and scabies.
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Thick, white discharge may be indicative of a yeast infection. Green or yellow discharge can be a sign of trichomoniasis or gonorrhea.
Changes in urination
Burning sensations while urinating, a frequent urge to pee, and blood in your urine can all be signs of a possible STI.
Rashes and sores
Rashes, sores, or tiny pimples around your mouth or vagina can be a symptom of syphilis, herpes, or HPV.
Pain during sex
Pain felt in your pelvis or abdomen during sex could be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), potentially related to chlamydia or gonorrhea.
You should also know that many STIs can remain asymptomatic. If you’re concerned about potential STIs, get in touch with Dr. Longoria for screening right away. Contact our office by phone or request an appointment online today.