STD Testing: Is it Really Necessary?

No one likes to go to the doctor for tests, especially for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). That definitely crosses over into the None-of-Your-Business territory. The thing is, there are no home tests for it, so is STD testing really necessary?

In a word, yes. Yes, yes yes!

Women are less likely to get tested for STDs than men are. And, in case you wondered, STDs don’t discriminate. They don’t care who you are, where you live, how old you are, what color your skin is, or if you’re not currently having sex. If you have had sex once, you’re at risk.

Before you say, “That person didn’t look sick,” you should know that is normal. People with STDs look just like you, like your neighbor, your mom, dad, sister, best friend and anyone else you can think of. The near invisibility of STDs contributes to its spread and less overall concern than if it caused a big rash across your face or stomach. It’s much easier to deny something you can’t see.

Here are the top reasons why women put off STD testing.

You’re In Denial: Thinking there is no way possible you could have an STD is only an option if you’ve never, ever had sex. If you have, then snap out of it. Denial is not your friend and can only lead to chronic pain and infertility problems down the road.

You Have No Symptoms: Saying you have no symptoms is great on one hand, because who wants any? On the other hand, it’s like the perfect way for STDs to lie to you—give you a disease but don’t tell you about it. The thing is, it’s possible to have no symptoms and still have an STD. You can look and feel fine while inside nasty bacteria are doing untold damage. It’s better to know for sure and get treatment if you need it!

You’re Embarrassed: Too embarrassed to get tested? Why? Smart people don’t worry what others think and get tested because staying healthy is important to them.

You Don’t Think It’s Important: Some STDs are not a big deal, but others are and can cause you a lot of trouble—if not now, certainly later. Some STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can result in chronic abdominal pain and infertility–the CDC says 24,000 women with undiagnosed STDs become infertile each year.

You Don’t Know What to Do: We know things can become confusing. To make it easy for you, follow the CDC’s recommendation and get tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. They are the most common, and we can offer you testing for these at Willow Womens Center.

You Don’t Have Insurance: This won’t be a problem for you because we test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea free of charge.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment to come into Willow Womens Center today and one of our advocates will determine the need for an STD test! Yes, STD testing really is necessary, but we’ve got you covered and provide the testing for you confidentially and for free. We are committed to making sure women facing an unexpected pregnancy have access to all of the information and resources they need.

Make an Appointment

 

 


STI Screenings: Why It’s Important

If you just found out you are unexpectedly pregnant, a lot of things will be going through your mind, right along with fear, panic and a feeling that nothing will be the same again. That is understandable and knowing you have some decisions to make may only add to the anxiety.

If you decided to get an abortion, or are thinking about it, you need to know about STI screenings and why they are important. Before you brush it off, thinking you can’t possibly have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you should know that there are a lot of women out there who have said the same thing and still ended up with positive test results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions, “Many STIs are ‘silent,’ or have no symptoms, so you may not know if you are infected.”

Consider the Statistics

According to the American Sexual Health Association, “One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in this country, half of those among young people aged 15–24. Even though young people account for half of new STI cases, a recent survey showed only about 12 percent were tested for STIs in the last year. The CDC estimates that undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year.”

“In 2015, rates of the three most common reportable STIs — chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — reached a record high level. The approximately 1.5 million reported cases of chlamydia represent the highest number of annual cases of any condition ever reported to CDC…In women, undiagnosed and untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). According to the CDC, one in eight women with a history of PID experience difficulties getting pregnant.”

In addition, PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, a condition that increases the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies cannot proceed normally and may cause life-threatening complications.

Pre-Abortion Screening

Women seeking abortions are not routinely tested for STIs. At Willow Womens Center, we offer this testing to help women avoid serious health problems in the future.

The process is simple and straightforward. Make an appointment to come in for testing. During your visit one of our licensed medical staff members will administer a no-cost pregnancy test. Some home tests are not reliable and this will confirm if you are pregnant.

If the test is positive, an ultrasound is done at no cost to you. This test uses sound waves to form an image and will tell you if the pregnancy is viable, if it’s ectopic, and will determine how far along your pregnancy is. This is an important step because 20 percent of pregnancies result in miscarriage and 80 percent of miscarriages happen in the first 13 weeks.

Once the ultrasound is completed, we will test for two STIs, chlamydia and gonorrhea, at no charge to you. If test results are positive, we do provide a prescription for the treatment of chlamydia and we give referrals for treatment of gonorrhea.

Our patient care team consists of licensed medical professionals and advocates specializing in serving women who face unplanned pregnancies and understand the personal nature of pregnancy and abortion decisions. We will carefully listen to your needs and help you walk through all of your options, so you can be confident in your decision. Contact us today.

 

Make an Appointment