What Is an STI?
An STI is a sexually transmitted pathogenic infection that can be passed unknowingly from one person to another. STIs are typically spread through sexual contact but may also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy and birth or through shared needles. Receiving the appropriate testing, care, and treatment is necessary for continued good health and to avoid complications.
What Are the Symptoms of an STI?
STIs often don’t produce symptoms until they have progressed and caused health damage. However, depending on the pathogen present, the Mayo Clinic states STIs can cause:
- Sores or bumps on the genitals, oral or rectal areas
- Painful; burning urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Unusual or odorous vaginal discharge
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes
- Lower abdominal pain
- Rash over the trunk, hands, or feet
What Are Complications That Can Occur From STIs?
When an STI is not treated correctly, it can cause serious complications to your health. The Mayo Clinic states some of these complications can be:
- Pelvic pain
- Pregnancy complications
- Eye inflammation
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers, such as HPV-associated cervical and rectal cancers
Will I Know if Someone Has an STI?
Unfortunately, many STIs go unnoticed for long periods due to a lack of symptoms. Many people are unaware they or a partner have an STI until noticeable symptoms present. By this time, an infection may have progressed and already caused irreversible damage. If in doubt, it’s best to get tested and treated if needed so that you can rest assured.
Should I Get Tested for an STI?
If you’re worried if you may have been exposed to an STI for any reason, we recommend seeking STI testing immediately. This will help ensure you remain in control of your health and wellness.
Where Can I Go?
Reaching out to your local health department or trusted provider to receive testing is essential to safeguard your health.
We also offer free STI testing with a pre-abortion screening here at Options Care Center, in an effort to better serve you and assist you in remaining healthy.
Schedule your no-cost, confidential pre-abortion screening today for more answers and services.