Free STI/STD Testing 

Taking control of your sexual health is essential, and getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) can help you seek treatment early – avoiding long-term consequences and stopping the spread of infection. Despite the benefits of routine STI/STD testing, many women avoid scheduling these services because they worry about being judged or they do not know what to expect.

Willow Womens Center is passionate about eliminating barriers by offering free STI testing in a judgment-free environment, so you can ask questions, get information, and leave empowered to make informed decisions about your own health and wellness.

STI & STD Symptoms

In many cases, a sexually transmitted infection is present without noticeable signs or symptoms. In other cases, STDs produce a range of symptoms in women, including:

  • unusual discharge
  • sores, blisters, or warts on your mouth, genital area, thighs, or bottom
  • redness, soreness, or itching in the genital area
  • pain with urination

In severe cases, sexually transmitted diseases can cause systemic symptoms, like fever, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, rash, and sore throat.

When To Get Tested

It is a common misconception that free STI testing is only recommended when symptoms are present, but many sexually transmitted diseases do not produce symptoms until they reach advanced stages, at which point they can cause serious damage to your body. We refer to testing in patients who do not have symptoms as ‘screening.’ Screening is recommended for:

  • Everyone at least once in their lives. All people should be screened for HIV between the ages of 15 and 65, and those at highest risk should be screened annually. Hepatitis B screening should be performed on everyone at least once as well. It is recommended more frequently for those with symptoms or risk factors for disease.
  • Women over 21. Women over 21 should be screened for HPV (a leading cause of cervical cancer) and cervical cancer at least every three years until age 30, at which point they can transition to a pap test in combination with an HPV test every five years.
  • Pregnant women. During your first prenatal visit, an STD screening for Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV is recommended. Women at high risk should also be screened for gonorrhea and hepatitis C during their pregnancy. Identifying these infections early can help your provider take steps to protect the fetus during pregnancy and delivery.
  • People with HIV. People who have HIV are at higher risk of catching other sexually transmitted diseases. Additional STI screening is typically recommended immediately following an HIV diagnosis and may be required more frequently going forward depending on risk factors.
  • Young women who are sexually active. If you are under 25 and sexually active, Chlamydia testing is recommended and can be done at the same time as other screenings.
  • People with a new partner. Any time you start a new relationship, it is important that both partners are tested for sexually transmitted infections before engaging in sexual activity with one another.
  • Anyone exposed or experiencing symptoms. If you believe you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or are experiencing the signs and symptoms of infection, it is important to refrain from unprotected sex and get tested as soon as possible.

Importance of Regular Testing

You can have a sexually transmitted infection without signs or symptoms for many years. During this time, you can pass the infection to your partner(s) or to an unborn child.

All STIs/STDs can be treated with the right medication, and many can be cured entirely. Routine screening is important to diagnose and treat sexually transmitted infections before they cause health problems, are spread to others, or impact the health of a fetus.

Can I be Pregnant and Have an STD or STI?

Yes, you can either become pregnant while you have an active or dormant infection or contract an infection while you are pregnant. In fact, in many cases, pregnancy increases the risk of infection as partners may stop using condoms or other barriers during pregnancy.

When left untreated, sexually transmitted diseases can be dangerous during pregnancy, causing premature labor, stillbirth, or health problems for the baby. However, it is possible for women living with an STI to get pregnant safely and have a healthy baby, as long as the STI is treated and managed well. For some STDs, like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, antibiotics can be prescribed – and they are safe to take during pregnancy. Other STIs, like genital herpes, hepatitis B, and HIV, can be treated but not cured. It is important to note that pregnant people with an STI may pass the infection along to the baby during pregnancy or delivery. For this reason, screening as soon as you find out you are expecting is important.

What to Expect

When you schedule an STI screening for chlamydia or gonorrhea at Willow Womens Center, you can expect to be treated with kindness and compassion. Your information – including the fact that you visited us at all – will remain strictly confidential. Our staff understands the dynamic challenges that lead to unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection and works to provide you with dignified, thorough care and guidance as you make pivotal decisions about your next steps.

During your STI screening appointment, you will check in at the front desk. Our nurse will then meet with you and explain the appointment process. She will also have a medical questionnaire to go through with you. You will be asked for a urine sample which will be sent to a lab for testing.  

We usually receive the test results within a day or two. Depending on the arrangements you made with our nurse,  we will call you with the test results and help you understand what they mean and what to do next.

How Willow Womens Center Can Help You

STI testing at Willow Womens Center is completely free and confidential for men and women. For your free, confidential screening for sexually transmitted diseases, schedule an appointment with Willow Womens Center today or give us a call at 608.312.2025 (Mon–Wed., 9 AM–4 PM). Our caring and compassionate team members are eager to help.

STD Testing in Janesville
STD Testing in Janesville

When you hear the word “epidemic,” you may automatically think of COVID-19. But did you know there is another epidemic in our midst?

One in every five people in the United States has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). That is the equivalent of 68 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). STDs are the silent epidemic.

Unfortunately, common STDs among women, chlamydia and gonorrhea, can also be silent. This means you can have an STD for years without knowing it, allowing time for damage to occur to your reproductive system.

STD testing is critical whether you have symptoms or not. Read on to learn more.

What Are the Risks of Untreated STDs?

Women might assume they don’t have an STD because they do not have symptoms, but an undiagnosed and untreated STD can lead to severe risks. Some of those risks include:

  • Spreading it to other people
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Long-term pelvic pain
  • Certain cancers, such as HPV-associated cervical and rectal cancers
  • Eye infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Complications duringfuture pregnancies
  • Lower life expectancy

The best way to avoid these risks if you are sexually active is to get regular STD testing.

Who Needs STD Testing?

Anyone who is sexually active needs routine STD testing. Sexual activity includes all forms, not just vaginal sex. Even if you are in a relationship with one partner, you cannot know your partner’s status for sure. The CDC has established guidelines for STD testing, which include:

  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. People under age 25 account for half of all new reported STDs each year.
  • Women 25 years and older with risk factors should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Risk factors include having multiple sex partners, a new partner, or a partner who tested positive for an STD.
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy.
  • At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy.

If any of these descriptions fit you, you need STD testing. Don’t let the fear of STD stigma stop you. The professionals who perform STD testing have heard it all, and they do the work they do to help women like you, not to judge you.

What Happens During STD Testing?

STD Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea is quick and easy.

  • You will provide a urine sample.
  • Your urine sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.
  • You receive your results within just a few days.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are treatable. If your STD results are positive, you will be provided with a prescription for  medication to treat chlamydia. For a positive result for gonorrhea, you will receive a referral for treatment. It is very important to take all of the medicine exactly as instructed.

Looking for free STD Testing in Janesville?

If you live in or near Janesville, Wisconsin, Willow Womens Center in Beloit is just a short drive away. We offer no-cost, judgment-free STD testing provided by compassionate, licensed healthcare professionals. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, we also offer pregnancy resources that empower you to make a confident and informed decision. Contact us by calling 608-312-2025 today. You can also schedule your confidential appointment online at

Looking for STI Screening Near Me? Take Control of Your Health Today
sti screening near me

Would it surprise you to hear that you can have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and not realize it? Many STIs don’t have symptoms, so most people who have an STI do not have a clue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This news can be frightening to hear, but knowledge is power, and it allows you an opportunity to protect yourself and get proper treatment if needed. All STIs are treatable, and most are curable with antibiotic medication.

Read on to learn how you can take control of your health with an STI screening.

What Is an STI Screening?

We understand that the thought of a STI screening can feel a little scary or embarrassing, but there is no reason to be worried. Infections passed through sexual contact are very common and easily contracted, and the only way to know for sure if you have been infected is to be tested — also known as STI screening.

STI screening is confidentially conducted at a physician’s office or clinic. The most common STIs screened for are gonorrhea and chlamydia because the number of cases keeps rising, and there are 2.3 million newly diagnosed cases each year in the United States.

Most STI testing can be done with a quick and simple urine sample. Sometimes a swab or blood test is needed. Home STI testing kits are also available, but drawbacks include cost and reliability in reading results.

Do You Need an STI Screening?

If you have never had sexual contact of any kind, you do not need an STI screening. If you have ever had sex, you do need an STI screening, even if:

  • You have only had sex one time.
  • You have never had vaginal sex, but you have had anal or oral sex.
  • You have only been with one partner.
  • You believe you are in a mutually monogamous relationship.
  • You used a barrier-type of protection.

Undiagnosed and untreated STIs can lead to severe consequences for your reproductive health. It can cause you to suffer from future chronic pain, infertility, increased cancer risk, and more. The CDC provides STI screening guidelines for women to help protect you. The recommendations include:

  • All sexually active women under age 25 should be tested yearly for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • Women aged 25 and older should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia yearly if they have changed sexual partners, have multiple partners, or a partner diagnosed with an STI.
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy to prevent complications.

Take Control of Your Health With an STI Screening Today

At Willow Womens Center, we can help you get answers to protect your health with a no-cost, confidential STI screening. Our licensed healthcare professionals offer STI testing services for chlamydia and gonorrhea. We will review your test results with you, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions. If your test is positive for chlamydia, you will be given a prescription. We can also provide you with referrals for the treatment of gonorrhea and/or for additional testing if needed. Contact us today for a confidential appointment.

Can Chlamydia and Other STIs Make You Miss Your Period?
Can Chlamydia and Other STIs Make You Miss Your Period

Most women miss their periods due to pregnancy; however, other underlying health conditions can also cause menstrual irregularities. If you have missed your period, but you know you are not pregnant, you might wonder if a sexually transmitted infection (STI) could be the cause.

The most common STIs do not typically cause noticeable symptoms. Because of STIs’ prevalence and their symptomless nature, they are often called the “silent epidemic,” and millions of people are unknowingly infected with them.

So how would you know if you have contracted an STI? Can chlamydia and other STIs make you miss your period? STIs usually do not cause missed periods until they have progressed to a severe infection called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which we will discuss in this article.

We will also examine the most common STIs, symptoms, and how they can impact your period.

Sexually Transmitted Infections Are Common

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incidence of STIs is at an all-time high. There are 20 million new STI cases in the United States each year. Half of those new cases are in sexually active people between the ages of 15-24, even though that age group only makes up one-quarter of the population.

You have probably heard about chlamydia and gonorrhea, but did you know that there are other STIs that are much more common? In fact, human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI, with over 79 million infected Americans, most of them in their teens or early twenties.

The second most common STI is genital herpes, followed by trichomoniasis. Among the STIs required to be reported to the CDC, chlamydia is the most commonly reported, and gonorrhea is the second most reported. The CDC does not require that HPV, genital herpes, or trichomoniases cases be reported, but some states might still require reporting.

It is essential to understand that any sexually active person can contract an STI. It is impossible to really know another person’s sexual history, so even if you have been committed to one partner, STI screening is crucial for your health. It can help you detect an STI before it leads to PID or other life-threatening health problems.

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)?

PID is a serious infection of a woman’s reproductive system that can be caused by an untreated STI. It happens when sexually transmitted bacteria travel up your reproductive tract from your vagina on to your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Long-term complications from PID can include:

  • Scarring in fallopian tubes
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in a fallopian tube)
  • Infertility (inability to conceive a child)
  • Chronic pelvic pain

PID is treatable with antibiotics, but the damage it caused can remain. If the PID infection is not treated and spreads to the bloodstream, it becomes life-threatening, so it is critical to accurately diagnose PID and STIs before they progress further.

STI Screening and Symptoms

The insidious thing about STIs is that they usually do not cause noticeable symptoms, so STI screening is critical. The CDC recommends that all sexually active women under age 25 be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea every year. Women aged 25 and older should also get tested yearly if they have risk factors such as new or multiple partners.

Chlamydia is called the “silent disease” because most people do not experience symptoms. Less than 25 percent of women notice an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when they urinate. Chlamydia typically does not make you miss your period.

Unfortunately, when chlamydia is left untreated, it can cause serious and permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system. Untreated chlamydia can travel up the reproductive tract and progress to PID, which sometimes makes women miss their periods.

The good news is you can test for chlamydia simply with a quick urine sample. If the infection is caught early, a course of antibiotics will cure it. Having chlamydia does not make you immune; you can catch it again.

  • Gonorrhea: Like chlamydia, gonorrhea can be cured with prescription medication. It is also easy to test for with a urine sample. Gonorrhea is also spread through sexual contact, and the only way to prevent it is not to have sexual contact with another person.

Most women do not have symptoms with gonorrhea. If they do, they are mild and often mistaken for a bladder or mild yeast infection and do not usually cause missed periods, unless the STI progresses to PID.

If you have gonorrhea, it is dangerous to leave it untreated because it can spread to your blood or joints. It can also cause permanent pain and damage to your reproductive system and increase your risk of contracting HIV. It can also lead to heart valve damage.

  • HPV: HPV is so common that over 80% of women will get at least one of the more than 100 types of HPV viruses. There are 14 million new cases of HPV each year.

HPV typically does not cause any symptoms and goes away on its own. It does not make you miss your period, but it can cause spotting between periods. It can cause cervical cancer, genital warts, and other health problems if it does not go away. Pap tests can detect HPV because they identify cellular changes on the cervix.

The way to prevent HPV is not to have sexual contact with another person or consider getting the HPV vaccine.

Can Chlamydia and Other STIs Make You Miss Your Period?

Hopefully, the information we presented here has helped you understand STIs, symptoms, and how they can impact your period. To summarize, STIs usually won’t make you miss your period, but it is more likely if an untreated STI has progressed to PID. In addition to missed periods, PID can also cause spotting between periods.

Reach Out to Willow Womens Center

If you have missed your period, Willow Womens Center can help. We care about your health and are committed to providing quality medical services at no cost. We understand that the thought of pregnancy or STI testing can be scary, but you can rest assured that we will compassionately guide you each step of the way. Get the answers you deserve by making a confidential appointment today.

The Importance of STI Testing: 4 Reasons Why You Should Get Screened
Importance of STI Testing - 4 reasons why you should get tested

You may have heard the terms STI and STD and wondered what the difference is between them. Simply stated, an STD (sexually transmitted disease) is a later stage of an STI (sexually transmitted infection). A person has symptoms with an STD, but STIs are often symptomless. Here, we’ll cover the importance of STI testing, and 4 important reasons you should get regularly screened.

Who Needs STI Screening?

If you are considering abortion for an unexpected pregnancy, STI screening is crucial. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following testing guidelines for chlamydia and gonorrhea:

  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested every year.
  • Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested every year.
  • At-risk pregnant women should be tested starting early in pregnancy.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year.

Now that you know who needs STI screening, let’s examine why it is important.

4 Reasons Why STI Screening Is Important

1. STIs are common.

If you are sexually active, it is possible to contract an STI, even if you have only had one partner and use a condom. The CDC reports 20 million new STIs each year.

2. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are usually symptomless.

You can’t count on symptoms to alert you that you might have an STI because the most common STIs are often symptomless. Chlamydia is known as the “silent infection.” Most women do not have symptoms with gonorrhea either, and if they do, they often mistake them for a bladder or vaginal infection.

3. STI screening is easy, accessible, and quick.

STI screening only requires a urine sample. At Willow Womens Center, we offer the only free STI screening for women and men in Rock County.

What happens at an STI screening appointment at Willow Womens Center?

We provide STI services because we care for you and your health. When you come to Willow Womens Center for STI screening, you will be treated with respect and never judged for your sexual history. Your appointment is confidential.

  • Arrive at your appointment, and do not urinate (pee) for about an hour beforehand.
  • After a brief intake, you will be asked to provide a urine sample.
  • A licensed, registered nurse will provide you education about gonorrhea and chlamydia, the two STIs that are screened.
  • We will offer you an appointment in about one week for your test results.
  • If your test result is positive for chlamydia, we will give you a prescription to fill. Be sure to take the medication as directed until it is gone — even if your symptoms go away.
  • If your test result is positive for gonorrhea, we will give you a referral for treatment.
  • The state requires the testing company to report all positive test results to the public health department.
  • If your test result is positive, we recommend you get retested in three months to ensure that your treatment was effective.
  • The entire appointment is quick, lasting less than thirty minutes.

4. Early STI detection and treatment can preserve future fertility.

Untreated STIs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), scarring, and cause infertility (inability to get pregnant) for men and women.  

Free Testing Is Available to Women and Men

Willow Womens Center is here for you. Take charge of your health and make your confidential STI screening appointment today by calling 608-312-2025 or use our online scheduler.