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

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

About one in five Americans has a sexually transmitted infection (STI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re reading this blog post, you probably suspect you're one of them. First of all, take a deep breath. While some STIs can have serious effects, many are mild, controllable, and treatable. 

Dr. Naima Cheema, Dr. Hina Abid, and our experienced Nexclin Medicine team take the fear out of STIs for men and women throughout Roswell, Georgia. If you think you might have an STI and wonder what to do about it, here’s a handy guide on STI basics and helpful next steps. 

Step 1: Get informed

If you don’t know the facts about STIs, you’re left to wonder and worry about the consequences. That’s why we’re getting accurate information into as many hands as possible. Let’s start with the basics.

Understand the definition of STIs

STIs are bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Some common examples include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HIV/AIDS.

Know the risk factors for STIs

Unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, and engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as sharing needles, all increase your chances of contracting an STI. Being aware of these risk factors empowers you to make safer choices.

Recognize the symptoms of STIs

STIs can manifest in various ways, and their symptoms can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include genital itching, burning during urination, unusual discharge, sores or bumps in the genital area, and flu-like symptoms.

However, it’s important to note that some STIs may not show any symptoms, so get tested regularly, even if you feel perfectly fine.

Step 2: Get tested

If you have STI symptoms, it’s time to take action. Getting tested is the first step toward an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

When you suspect you may have an STI, call us. We guide you through the testing process and provide expert support and advice. Be open and honest with us about your concerns, sexual history, and any symptoms you may be experiencing — we’re here to help you, not judge you.

Getting tested for an STI is quick and painless. Depending on your symptoms, we can check for STIs with a blood, urine, or swab test. 

Step 3: Get treated

Learning you have an STI can be overwhelming, but many are treatable, especially when caught early. We urge you to seek treatment not only for your own health, but also to prevent transmission to others.

If your STI test comes back positive, we discuss treatment options with you. It may involve medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. 

How to prevent STIs

If your STI tests come back negative, you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, just because you don’t have an STI this time doesn’t mean you won’t get one later. Use this experience as motivation to take charge of your sexual health. Here are some tips for preventing STIs. 

1. Practice safe sex

Using condoms during sexual activity is one of the most effective ways to prevent the transmission of STIs. Condoms act as a barrier that prevents direct skin-to-skin contact and the exchange of bodily fluids, reducing your risk of infection.

2. Get tested regularly

Many STIs show no signs or symptoms. By getting tested regularly, you can detect infections early and seek treatment. 

3. Limit sexual partners

The more sexual partners you have, the higher the likelihood of encountering someone with an infection. 

4. Have open and honest discussions

Discuss your sexual history with your partner and ask questions about theirs. 

5. Get vaccinated

Vaccines are available for diseases such as HPV and hepatitis B. Talk to Dr. Cheema or Dr. Abid about the recommended vaccinations based on your age, gender, and sexual activity.

6. Avoid risky behaviors

Avoid sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia that lead to the transmission of bloodborne infections. If you get body piercings or tattoos, ensure the facility and the practitioner follow proper sanitation and sterilization procedures.

If you suspect you have an STI, don’t wait — schedule an appointment online or call Nexclin Medicine today.

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