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Why It’s Best to Test for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Why It’s Best to Test for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Guidelines from a number of leading health organizations recommend routine chlamydia and gonorrhea testing for all sexually active female patients under the age of 25.Chances are, you’ve heard of these sexually transmitted infections. But here’s some info you might not be aware of:
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  • Each year, there are nearly 3.7 million new chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in the United States. And more than half of those cases occur in people ages 15 to 24.

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    Most of the time, women can’t tell if they have an infection. In fact, up to 9 out of 10 women with chlamydia and up to 8 out of 10 women with gonorrhea don’t have any symptoms. The few who do show signs of infection may experience pain or burning during urination, as well as vaginal/rectal discharge and bleeding.

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    While women with chlamydia or gonorrhea often don’t have symptoms, each of the infections can cause something called pelvic inflammatory disease when left untreated. This condition can cause you to have an unhealthy pregnancy, or even make it impossible for you to get pregnant in the future.
Common QuestionsWhat are chlamydia and gonorrhea? Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that are spread through sexual contact (vaginal, oral, or anal) with an infected person. They are easily treated with antibiotics.How much does testing cost? For many female patients, testing is covered by the Affordable Care Act. So you may not have to pay an co-pay, deductible, or out-of-pocket costs. You can check with your insurance company (or ask your doctor’s office to check for you) to see if this benefit is available to you.What if I test positive? If it turns out that you have chlamydia or gonorrhea, you are not alone. Millions of people test positive every year. And just because you have an infection, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your partner have had sex with someone else. Most women—and many men—don’t show any signs of infection. So it is possible that either of you could have been infected for a while without knowing it.The good news is that the infections are easily treated and cured. And you’ve taken the right step toward staying healthy by getting tested and finding out your results.It's best to test. Ask your doctor.


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