Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can sometimes cause symptoms such as itching, burning, abnormal discharge, or even genital sores. In some cases, though, you might not experience any symptoms. You could suspect you have an STD only because you found out that you were exposed to one.

So what should you do if you think you have an STD? Whether you have symptoms or not, it’s important to get tested.

In this guide, the team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group in Long Beach, California, walks you through the steps to take if you suspect you have an STD — from self-assessment to seeking medical advice and treatment.

Take note of your symptoms

Start by assessing any symptoms you might be experiencing. Common STD symptoms include genital itching, pain, burning during urination, unusual discharge, sores, or rashes. Some STDs 一 namely chlamydia and gonorrhea 一 can also contribute to pelvic pain.

To compound matters, some of these issues can be signs of other conditions, such as a yeast infection. Write down all of the symptoms you experience so you can review them with your provider.

It’s crucial to remember that many STDs can also be asymptomatic, meaning you might not experience any noticeable signs. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to an STD, regardless of symptoms, get tested.

Educate yourself on STDs

Knowledge is empowering. Research different types of STDs to understand their symptoms, transmission methods, and potential complications. This helps you make informed decisions about your health and understand the treatment options our team recommends.

Get tested ASAP

If you suspect you have an STD, the next step is to get tested. We offer various testing options, including blood tests, urine tests, and swabs. Depending on the specific STD you’re concerned about, Dr. Essam Taymour recommends the appropriate tests for you.

If your results are positive

If you test positive for an STD, Dr. Taymour discusses treatment options. Many STDs are treated with antibiotics, and it’s important to take the full dose, even if you start to feel better before you’ve finished it. Other types of STDs require antiviral medication. Our team discusses your specific treatment plan in depth with you.

If your results are negative

If your test results come back negative but you’re still experiencing symptoms, Dr. Taymour recommends the appropriate treatment for your symptoms. This may include suppositories for yeast infections, antibiotics for bacterial infections, or treatment for uterine fibroids if they’re what’s causing your pelvic pain.

Focus on your emotional health needs

Receiving an STD diagnosis can be emotionally challenging. It’s important to remember that having an STD doesn’t define you or your worth.

If you need emotional support, reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor for support. Many people have gone through similar situations and find that connecting with others provides reassurance.

Stick with the treatment plan

Depending on the STD, treatment options may include medications, lifestyle changes, and follow-up testing. It’s crucial to follow your treatment plan closely.

Additionally, discuss preventive measures to protect yourself and your partners from further transmission. Practice safe sex and use barrier methods to help reduce your risk of contracting additional infections.

Let your partner know

Talking about an STD isn’t always easy. Unless your partner was the one to inform you of an infection, you’ll have to let them know about yours.

Be sure to hold your conversation in a private space at a good time. Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Understand that some people may need time to process the news.

Taking control of your sexual health today

Discovering that you might have an STD can bring up a host of emotions from surprise to frustration, but it’s important to remember that there is help and support available. By following these steps, you’re taking proactive measures to address your sexual health concerns.

If you need to get tested, or if you have other concerns about your sexual health, call our office in Long Beach at 562-595-5331. You can also click here to schedule your next appointment.

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