Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Understanding Sexual Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections acquired by sexual contact with a partner who is already infected. Sexually transmitted diseases may pass between partners through blood, semen or vaginal fluids.
Different STDs often exhibit the same or similar symptoms. If you have any of the following symptoms or believe you may have an STD or may have been exposed to an STD, see your physician, who will work with the WellStar pathology lab to confirm a diagnosis:
- A sore or bumps, with or without pain, on the genitals or in the mouth or rectal area, that may come and go.
- Painful or burning urination.
- Discharge from the penis.
- Vaginal discharge.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding.
- Sore, swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the groin.
- Fever and other flu-like symptoms.
- Sores or bumps anywhere on the body.
- Generalized skin rash.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Scrotal pain, redness and swelling.
- Pelvic pain.
- Groin abscess.
- Infections associated with HIV.
Testing for STDs
Your Wellstar physician will visually examine any sores, then collect fluid from the cervix or urethra with a swab and/or get a blood or urine sample.
Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis of most viral STDs, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes and hepatitis B.
If you have active herpes sores, a pathologist can also test fluid and scrapings from the sores, which is simpler and less expensive than testing blood.
Laboratory tests of scrapings from a genital sore or discharge are used to diagnose bacterial STDs, including gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia. Samples will be sent to the pathology lab for analysis, and to confirm a diagnosis.
After the procedure your physician will report the results of your test to you and recommend treatment.
Bacterial STDs are curable with antibiotics. Viral STDs are not curable, however, treatment of the symptoms is available.