Susanne Ramos, MD
OB/GYNs located in Santa Barbara, CA
More than a million people contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) around the world every day. Many sexually transmitted diseases can threaten your health, wellness, reproduction, and even your life if untreated. STD testing at Susanne Ramos, MD, in Santa Barbara, California, is the best way to get early diagnosis and treatment before an STD results in complications. Book your appointment with the online scheduler or call the office to arrange an STD test.
STD Testing Q & A
What is a sexually transmitted disease?
A sexually transmitted disease or STD is an infection acquired mainly through oral, vaginal, or anal sexual contact. There are more than 30 different forms of infection passed through sexual contact. The most common STDs are:
- Hepatitis B
- Genital herpes
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Certain STDs also pass through blood contact, including syphilis and hepatitis B. Other STDs, including HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis, and HPV, may be transferred during pregnancy and birth.
What are the symptoms of an STD?
Many STDs don’t have obvious symptoms, especially in the earlier stages. As the disease progresses, you could experience some of the following issues:
- Vaginal pain
- Itchy genitals
- Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Bumps, warts, or other new genital area growths
If you have any STD symptoms, or if you have sexual contact with a partner who tests positive for an STD, schedule an STD test as soon as possible.
Who needs STD testing?
All women need STD testing if they suspect an infection, but some also need scheduled STD testing. For example, every woman needs an HIV test at least once between the ages of 13-64.
Sexually active women under 25 need annual gonorrhea and chlamydia tests, and may need to continue those yearly tests after 25 if they have multiple or new partners. Pregnant women need syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV tests at least once during pregnancy.
Your annual well-woman exam is often the ideal time to schedule STD testing. If you regularly have unprotected sex, particularly with multiple partners, or have other risk factors, your OB/GYN may recommend more frequent STD testing.
How does STD testing work?
STD testing is a simple process. Depending on which infections you need a test for, your OB/GYN obtains a small blood sample, urine sample, vaginal swab, throat swab, cervical tissue sample (during a Pap smear), or rectum swab.
STD testing is generally a completely painless process that takes only a few minutes. After your OB/GYN takes your sample, they send it to a laboratory for analysis. As soon as your results are ready, they contact you with results.
If you test positive, your OB/GYN tailors an STD treatment plan for the infection to get you healthy again. Many STDs are treatable with antibiotics or antiviral medication, so there’s no reason to delay testing and treatment.
For STD testing from a private and professional OB/GYN who specializes in women’s unique health needs, call Susanne Ramos, MD, or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment.
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