Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections that predominantly spread through bodily fluids during sexual activity. If you are sexually active, receiving regular STI testing is an essential way to protect your reproductive health.
Read on to learn more about STIs and how regular STI testing safeguards your health.
Why Do I Need STI Testing?
If you are sexually active, you’re at risk of getting an STI. Even if you use protective measures like condoms, no intervention is entirely foolproof.
Furthermore, many STIs are asymptomatic, which means they don’t present with physical symptoms—this means you can get an STI without knowing it. And your sexual partner(s) could unknowingly have an STI as well.
While some STIs are easy to cure, others are incurable or more complicated to treat. This is why, if you’re sexually active, it’s critical to receive regular STI testing so that you can receive prompt diagnosis and treatment. Testing will protect your health and help ensure that you don’t unknowingly spread an STI to your sexual partner(s).
What Are Common STI Symptoms?
While many STIs don’t usually cause physical symptoms, if you experience any of the following, it could indicate an STI:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Vaginal discharge or vaginal odor
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Thick, cloudy, or bloody discharge from the vagina
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
- Painful bowel movements
- Anal itching
This list isn’t complete, and these symptoms can also indicate other conditions. If you’re experiencing any of these or are concerned about your health, following up with a healthcare provider is vital.
Where Can I Get Free STI Testing?
We care about your health at Woman to Woman Health Center and believe every woman should have access to reproductive healthcare. This is why we offer STI testing for free. A nurse administers all STI testing, and your results are confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment—because you’re worth it.