Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases is one of the most proactive health choices women can make today. The specialists and staff at Woman's First Choice in Arcadia, California, offer STD testing in a safe and comfortable environment because it is such a critical component of living a healthy life. This is especially true for patients that are sexually active and may have more than one partner. It is possible to have an STD without even knowing it, which is why Woman’s First Choice recommends STD testing.
Many forms of sexually transmitted diseases come with few or no symptoms. This means that you or a sexual partner may have an infection and pass it on without knowing it. How can you protect yourself against a practically invisible disease? By practicing safe sex, getting tested, learning about potential risk factors.
There are a variety of tests, but most patients will not need them all. The physicians at Woman's First Choice will sit down and talk with you and then make a recommendation based on their assessment. Some common tests include:
Each one of these tests has guidelines that suggest whether this screening is right for each patient. For example, most sexually active women under the age of 25 should have a test for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Women over 25 who have a new partner or who have multiple partners will also need this test to rule out infection.
It's recommended that each person has at least one HIV test in their lifetime. Younger women that are at high risk should have more than one test done. Anyone born between the years 1945 and 1965 should have a hepatitis C test, too. For some reason, hepatitis C is more prevalent within this age group. The physicians at Woman's First Choice will also suggest you have a test for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis if you test positive for another STD or if you are considering having a baby.
HPV or human papillomavirus is getting a lot of attention these days because of its link to certain cancers. The test for this is usually part of a yearly gynecological exam for women. Pap tests are done at least every three years to check for cervical cancer — which can be caused by HPV — and the HPV tests are offered every five years or so. The physicians at Woman's First Choice may want to do the test more often if there is a history of positives or other risk factors such as multiple partners.