STD testing is critical for both detecting infections in their earliest stages and for preventing the spread of disease to others. At her Newport Beach, California practice, top-ranked gynecologist Dr. Karen Taylor offers confidential STD testing for patients of all ages using state-of-the-art testing methods for accurate and dependable results.
Most testing uses blood samples and an examination of the external genitalia to look for signs of disease, but a pelvic exam, urinalysis and sometimes other methods may also be used depending on whether or not symptoms are present.
Anyone who is sexually active or who has been sexually active should be tested for STDs. Many STDs cause few or very subtle signs during their early stages, which means two things: First, the disease will have a chance to progress to more advanced stages before it’s diagnosed, and second, there’s a greater likelihood the disease will be unwittingly passed on to other people. STD testing can help “catch” diseases in their earliest stages when treatment is easier while also helping to prevent the spread of the disease to other people.
The federal government recommends STD screening at least once a year for most sexually active people, and more frequently – every three or six months – in people who engage in risky sexual behavior, including people who have had several partners or who do not use condoms during sex. STDs can be passed during vaginal and anal intercourse and during oral sex. Women who are pregnant should also be tested to protect the health of the unborn baby.
That depends on the type of STD, how far it’s progressed and other factors. Some STDs cause very few noticeable symptoms in their early stages. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
Most STDs can be cured with medication, but some diseases like genital warts, herpes and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cannot be cured and require long-term management to keep them under control and to maintain optimal health.