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Go Ask Tara is a service of the

Family Planning Clinic Hours

Tue, Thurs, Friday: 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM

Mon, Wed:   9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

CLOSED daily from 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Open late the 3rd Thursday each month. Latest appointment is at

5:00 PM.

719-583-4380

Schedule your appointment today.

STI: The New STD

Sexually Transmitted Infections 101

Symptoms

More than 70% of people with STIs have no signs or symptoms. The only way to know for sure if you have one is to get tested regularly.

  • Women

    • Unusual discharge and/or smell

    • Pelvic pain

    • Burning/itching

    • Bleeding

    • Pain in your vagina during sex

  • Men

    • Penile discharge

  • Both

    • Sores/bumps/blisters

    • Pain during urination

    • Swelling/redness in throat

    • Flu-like symptoms

How do you get an STI?

STIs are spread by having sexual or intimate contact with an infected person. If you are not certain whether your partner is infected or not, you should get tested.

  • Can get an STI by:

    • Oral Sex

    • Anal Sex

    • Vaginal Sex

    • Sharing needles

    • Unregulated tattoo parlors

  • Can not get an STI from:

    • Toilet seats

    • Mosquito bites

    • Hot tubs/pools

What happens if I do not get treated?

Not getting treated can lead to serious health complications. Viral STIs can lead to chronic, debilitating health issues. Bacterial STIs can cause permanent damage including infertility. Parasitic STIs can increase the chances of contracting other STIs. If you are pregnant and have an STI, it can lead to very serious complications for the baby including birth defects and miscarriage.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    • Caused by untreated chlamydia, gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis

    • Inflammation of the fallopian tubes and ovaries

    • Can lead to infertility

  • Epididymitis

    • Caused by untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea

    • Inflammation of the scrotum and vessels carrying sperm

    • Sometimes leads to infertility

Prevention and Testing

STIs are prevented by using barrier methods like condoms and dental dams every time you have sex.

Testing usually involves a pelvic exam and urine or blood tests, throat swabs, cervical/vaginal swabs, or samples of discharge. The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested regularly.

  • Viral STI tests

    • Pelvic exam

    • Blood test

    • Cervical or mouth swab

  • Parasitic STI tests

    • Pelvic exam

    • Visual identification

    • Cervical swab

    • Urine sample

Bacterial STIs

  • Can be treated and cured

  • Can get reinfected after you are treated

  • May not cause symptoms, but still can cause damage

Viral STIs

  • Can be treated but not cured

  • Once they are in your body, you have them for life

  • Often have few symptoms but serious consequences

Parasitic STIs

  • Can be treated and cured

  • Can be very painful

  • Trich can increase the likelyhood of getting HIV

 
 
 

The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested regularly. About 70% of people with an STI have no signs or symptoms. But, just because you have no symptoms does not mean you are not passing it on to other people or that it is not causing permanent damage.

 

Many people also believe that they would be able to tell if their partner had an STI. This is almost never true. Your partner may have no symptoms. They may also have had an infection for several years without knowing. It is important that both you and all of your sexual partners get tested and treated for any STIs.

If you've had unprotected sex and want to be tested for STIs, call us to make an appointment.