STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) Screening
STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), also known as STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are infections that are spread through sexual contact.
Our OB/GYN & Midwifery providers we can help make sure you have appropriate age and risk related STI screenings. We can perform STI screenings at your annual exam or you can schedule a separate appointment to perform screenings as well as discuss potential implications of positive results. Screenings may include a vaginal or cervical culture or blood tests.
STIs are a serious public health problem worldwide. Many people who have STIs don’t have any symptoms, which increases not only the risk of complications but also spread of the disease in the community. If left undiagnosed and untreated, complications from STI's can lead to significant disease including upper genital tract infection, infertility and cervical cancer, and even death. Many of the most common STIs are easily curable when they are caught early, so it is important to make sure you are regularly screened, even if you don’t have symptoms.
We follow the STI screening recommendations set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, who publish guidelines for treatment and management of these diseases as well. The CDC recommends that anyone at risk of acquiring a STI should be screened. Risk factors include young age, unmarried status, urban residence, new sex partners, multiple sex partners, personal history of STIs and illicit drug use.
Screening of STIs can include testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, hepatitis (A,B and C), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papilloma virus (HPV). Appropriate and timely testing is imperative to control of the spread of these sexually transmitted infections. Which tests are recommended are based on an individual's personal history, age, their risk factors and their presenting symptoms.
Especially if you are not in a long term, mutually monogamous relationship, we recommend limiting exposure to potential STIs by using condoms every time you have sex, even if you are on birth control.
• STI information from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm
• CDC fact sheets on each STI: http://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/fact_sheets.htm
• STI Information from Before Play: http://beforeplay.org/stds/
Written by Michelle Manware, PA and Kara Govoni, CNM