STD - Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Washington, DC

STD testing uses diagnostic tests to screen for sexually transmitted diseases, such as Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). When left untreated, STDs can lead to serious complications, such as infertility.

What are the symptoms of an STD?

You might not experience any symptoms at all if you have an STD, which is why routine screening is important. If you do have symptoms, you may notice:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods or heavy menstrual periods
  • Genital or anal itching
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Small red bumps, blisters, or warts near the genitals

Early signs of HIV include fever, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph glands, fatigue, and a rash. If you contract hepatitis A, B, or C, you might experience fatigue, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, muscle or joint pain, and yellowing of your skin or eyes.

What are the risk factors for STD'S?

STDs are spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse and through blood. Your risk of developing an STD increases if you:

  • Have unprotected sexual intercourse with at-risk partners
  • Use intravenous (IV) drugs
  • Have been forced to have sexual intercourse against your will
  • Misuse recreational drugs or alcohol

The best way to avoid STDs is to abstain from sexual intercourse, use a condom every time you have sex, or have a monogamous sexual partner who’s been tested for STDs.

What does STD testing involve?

STD testing involves various diagnostic exams, including urine tests, blood tests, and swabs from a genital sore or cervical cells during a pelvic exam. The type of test you require depends on your symptoms and the STDs you’re at risk for.