Finding out you might have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can be distressing. But you're not alone — about one in five Americans has a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and there are steps you can take to protect your health even after exposure.
Our team at Medical Associates Of North Texas offers STD testing in Fort Worth, Texas, and we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about the common symptoms of STDs, why STD testing matters, and what to expect when you get tested.
Recognizing the common symptoms of STDs
First, it’s important to note that many STDs don’t have obvious symptoms. STDs encompass a wide range of infections, and the symptoms can vary significantly from one condition to another.
However, some signs that might indicate an STD are:
Pain, burning, or swelling
STDs can cause pain or burning sensations during urination, sexual intercourse, or bowel movements. Sometimes, infection can cause swelling in or around your genitals, testicles, or lymph nodes.
Itching or irritation
Another common sign of some STDs is itching or irritation. Pay attention to symptoms like persistent itching, redness, or irritation in your genital or anal regions.
Sores or bumps
A possible visual symptom of an STD is sores, bumps, or warts. Watch for the appearance of new or changing sores, ulcers, or growths in your genital, anal, or mouth areas.
Make note of any changes in vaginal, penile, or rectal discharge. Increased volume or odor, color, or consistency changes could indicate an STD.
Certain STDs can cause flu-like symptoms, including fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches.
The importance of STD testing
Whether you have noticeable symptoms or not, STD testing is essential if you think you have an STD. If you’re negative, you can continue practicing safe sex. If you’re positive, you can start treatment and take control of your health.
STDs are often asymptomatic or have mild symptoms in the initial stages. Testing helps us detect the infection early, allowing prompt and effective treatment.
Proactive treatment matters because some STDs can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Depending on the type of STD you have, you could be at increased risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, or HIV transmission.
Finally, knowing your STD status allows you to take precautions to prevent STD transmission to your sexual partners. It's a responsible and ethical choice to help protect others.
What to expect with STD testing
STD testing is a straightforward and confidential process. Getting tested can provide peace of mind — whether your results are negative or positive — and we’re here to guide you through the process.
We begin by discussing your health history, symptoms, and concerns. Depending on the type of STD you're being tested for, we may collect a blood sample, urine sample, a swab from your genital or rectal area, or a combination.
We send the sample(s) to a laboratory for analysis. Some tests provide rapid results, while others may take a few days to process. Once we have your results, we contact you to inform you about the next steps.
If your test results are positive, we will review treatment options with you. Many STDs can be effectively treated with medications, and we’ll advise you on the best course of action to protect your health.
Think you have an STD? Getting tested is a responsible and proactive step to safeguard your health and the health of your sexual partners. Contact Medical Associates Of North Texas online or call us at 972-433-7178 to schedule your appointment today.