STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are more prevalent than you probably imagine. It’s estimated there are 20 million new diagnoses of STDs in the United States each year, and half of those sexually active contract an STD, including the various types of herpes, by age 25. Fortunately, the team at Commonwealth OB-GYN in Brookline Village, Brookline, Massachusetts, offers reliable STD testing, treatment and advice to help you protect yourself and your partners. Call to schedule an appointment today to get tested.
Herpes is an STD caused by either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and transmitted through any type of sexual contact: oral, vaginal or anal.
Women may either have few, if any, symptoms or may experience flu-like symptoms and painful blisters on the labia.
Herpes is quite common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every six people between the ages of 14 and 49 has herpes. A herpes diagnosis typically involves an examination of the sores and taking a sample to test for the virus. If you are symptom-free, a blood test can sometimes determine if you have antibodies against HSV.
Antiviral medications can treat the symptoms of a herpes outbreak, help you feel better, and reduce the duration of the outbreak. Medication does not cure herpes and the virus remains dormant in your body for life.
If you notice early symptoms of an outbreak, taking the antiviral medication may prevent a full outbreak. To try and control frequent outbreaks or to lower the risk of passing herpes to others, talk with your doctor about the newest and most effective medications available.
You can transmit herpes to your baby. To keep you and your baby safe, tell the team at Commonwealth OB-GYN if you have herpes or think you might. They check for outbreaks during your pregnancy.
For an outbreak during pregnancy, the team may prescribe antiviral medications and, if sores may be present during delivery, perform a cesarean section.
STDs are infections and diseases that spread through sexual contact. The most frequently diagnosed STDs include certain types of the human papillomavirus and the following:
Most STDs don’t cause symptoms in their early stages, and some, like herpes, can remain dormant in your system for years.
STDs are caused by bacteria (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis), viruses (e.g., HIV and herpes), and parasites (e.g., trichomoniasis).
The viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause STDs pass into your body through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and — in some cases — saliva. STDs typically spread through oral, vaginal or anal sex but STDs like HPV and herpes are transmissible through skin contact, even without having sex.
Your risk of contracting an STD is higher if you have more than one sexual partner, your partner has multiple partners, or you don’t use condoms.
The team at Commonwealth OB-GYN provide comprehensive STD testing. They take urine samples, blood samples, and genital swabs and test these samples for the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause STDs to make their diagnosis.
You should never feel embarrassed about STD testing.
The treatment you receive depends on the type of STD. For example, antibiotics are the go-to treatment for bacterial STDs. Some STDs, like herpes and HIV, don’t have cures. In this case, your doctor helps manage your health and illness to reduce the risk of outbreaks and complications.
Reduce your risk of contracting STDs by practicing safer sex — use condoms and dental dams for oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse. You should talk with new sexual partners about coming in for couples’ testing. Sexually active people should get regular STD screenings, even monogamous relationships.
Schedule STD testing with the team at Commonwealth OB-GYN by calling the practice.