Your first visit to the OBGYN can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have certain concerns about STD’s. We were all teenager’s once, and your AOA physicians are sensitive that the fact that these discussions might not be the most comfortable. However, being able to talk about STD’s with your AOA provider is extremely important. Whether you are or are not sexually active, it is best to know the signs of certain STD’s and how to avoid them.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STD’s, spread from person to person through intimate contact, can affect anyone, and need to be dealt with immediately. Many teenagers cringe just at the word ‘STD,’ but while it might not be fun to talk about and more fun to gawk about, the reality is that STD’s are a serious health threat. Throughout the years in conversations with our younger patients, we’ve put together a list of some important aspects to remember about STD’s.
STD’s include just some of the following:
- Chlamydia – One of the most common STD’s, Chlamydia is hard to detect without testing. Chlamydia can cause an infection of the urethra in both guys and girls, and can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in girls.
- Genital Herpes – There are many versions of genital herpes, some as harmless as HSV-1 that creates cold sores around the mouth, others more dangerous such as HSV-2 which creates sores in uncomfortable areas.
- Genital Warts – Caused by the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, Genital Warts can be extremely uncomfortable.
- Gonorrhea – Symptoms of Gonorrhea include burning during urination in both men and women, and discharge. This STD can be dangerous if left untreated, so talk to your AOA provider for more information.
Even if you’re not sexually active, you can still obtain a sexually transmitted disease. This seems to be a major sticking point for many young patients. Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has herpes or genital warts can transfer the disease. And while sexual activity might never take place, though it is rare, some STD’s can be transferred.
Signs of an STD
Many of our younger patients believe that the signs of an STD are obvious. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You cannot always tell whether someone has an STD. Many times the person with the STD doesn’t even realize they are infected.
The only way to be sure that you, or anyone else, does not have an STD is to get tested.
Birth control cannot protect you from STD’s.
When you come in to talk to your AOA provider about sexually transmitted diseases, do not be ashamed or embarrassed. It’s important that you are comfortable talking about these issues with your provider, so that if a situation does arise you can handle it together.