I Think I Have an STD: What Should I Do?

Apr 16, 2024
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If you suspect you’re infected with an STD, it's important to seek testing, diagnosis, and treatment from a qualified healthcare provider as soon as possible. Read on to learn what you need to do to get the care you need.

You just found out a recent sexual partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Or, you’re experiencing symptoms yourself, like an unusual discharge or genital itching. All this leads you to think you may have an STD. 

Finding out that you may have an STD can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. You’re not alone. More than 2.5 million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis were reported in 2022. 

STDs are incredibly common, but you can help stop the spread of infection and any complications by getting care right away. Here at Women’s Care of Beverly Hills in South Bay, Redondo Beach, and Beverly Hills, the compassionate OB/GYN team provides expert care for STDs

Read on to find out what you need to do if you suspect you do have an STD.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms

You may suspect you have an STD when you notice specific symptoms. Common symptoms of STDs may include: 

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Genital itching or burning
  • Pain during urination or sexual intercourse
  • Genital sores or blisters
  • Pelvic pain

STDs don’t always show noticeable symptoms. You may find out a recent sexual partner is infected, which makes it likely you are too. Certain behaviors, like having multiple partners or engaging in risky behaviors, such as sharing drug paraphernalia, can also lead you to suspect you’ve been exposed to an STD.

Get tested

If you suspect you have an STD, the next step is to seek testing and diagnosis from our office. That being said, regular testing at yearly (or more frequent intervals if you’re at a higher risk) should be part of your general gynecological care.

At Women’s Care of Beverly Hills, we offer confidential and comprehensive STD testing services, including screenings for common infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, and HPV. 

Testing may involve a physical examination, laboratory tests on blood or urine samples, or swabs of genital areas or sores, depending on the suspected infection.

Treatment for an STD

If your STD test results come back positive, our experienced team works with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Treatment for STDs caused by a bacterial infection – gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia – involves a round of antibiotics. Refrain from sexual activity for the duration of treatment to prevent spreading of the STD. 

Viral STDs, like HIV or herpes, benefit from antiviral medications. These STDs are not curable but are quite manageable with modern medication. Do not have sexual intercourse during an outbreak of herpes to avoid spreading it. 

Our clinic provides counseling and support services to address any emotional or psychological concerns related to an STD diagnosis.

Avoiding future infection

After receiving treatment for an STD, it's essential to take steps to prevent future infections and protect your sexual health. This may include practicing safer sex by using condoms consistently and correctly, limiting your number of sexual partners, and communicating openly and honestly with your partners about STDs and sexual health. 

We provide education and resources on sexual health and prevention strategies to help you make informed choices and reduce your risk of future infections.

Don't hesitate to Women’s Care of Beverly Hills if you have questions about STDs, safe sex, and your risk. Call or use the online tool to book an appointment today.