Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Diagnosis and Treatment in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be a concerning topic for anyone. However, STIs can be particularly distressing for women, given their potential to cause long-term reproductive health issues, such as infertility or chronic pain. In the US, roughly half of the 20 million new STI cases each year occur among people between 15 to 24 years of age, making STI awareness an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Here, the experienced team of providers at AllSafe Medical Group aims to guide you through the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of STIs that particularly affect women. If you, a partner, or a loved one are faced with an STI, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at (562) 904-6031 to discuss testing and treatment options.
What STIs Are Most Common Among US Women in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA?
Various STIs disproportionately impact women, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, genital herpes, and syphilis.
Chlamydia is often asymptomatic, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), that can cause chronic pain and infertility.
Gonorrhea is similar to chlamydia, in that it is also often asymptomatic but can escalate to far more serious health and fertility issues, such as PID.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a viral infection that can either cause benign non-cancerous genital warts, or the more aggressive HPV strains can be linked to cervical cancer. A preventive vaccine is available to help inoculate against many common benign HPV strains as well as the more aggressive strains that are linked to cervical cancer.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. In extreme cases, genital herpes appears as painful blisters. While there’s no cure, medications can help manage and outbreaks.
Syphilis often starts with painless sores and can progress to severe complications affecting multiple organs if untreated.
What Can Happen If STIs Go Untreated?
Ignoring any symptoms or irregular sensations around the pubic area, or failing to take screening tests for STIs, can lead to STIs becoming a larger problem than necessary and potentially lead to long-term health issues.
As mentioned above, untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can develop into PID, which often results in chronic pain, ectopic pregnancies, and even infertility.
Moreover, pregnant women risk transmitting these infections to their newborns, leading to severe complications like low birth weight, stillbirth, or neonatal death. It’s important to note here that most of these potentially devastating impacts of STIs are easily mitigated through testing and screening, which help catch the STI in its early stages.
How Are STIs Diagnosed?
Diagnosing an STI typically involves a physical examination and laboratory tests at a sexual health clinic or an obstetrician’s clinic like AllSafe Medical Group.
AllSafe Medical Group offers a range of diagnostic tests, including blood tests, urine tests, and swabs. The choice of test is dependent on the suspected infection.
Regular screenings are vital for preventive healthcare for women. Since many STIs are asymptomatic, early detection is crucial to avoid long-term health issues.
What Treatments Are Available for the Various STIs?
Antibiotics can effectively treat bacterial infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea. For viral infections such as HPV and herpes, antiviral medications can help manage symptoms. Always consult with your AllSafe Medical Group healthcare provider for a tailored treatment plan.
What to Do If You Have an STI
Receiving an STI diagnosis can be a startling and emotional experience. However, proactive steps can significantly influence your health outcome and help contain the spread of the infection. Below are some action points recommended by the AllSafe Medical Group team.
Notify Your Partners and Take Preventative Action
Once you have been diagnosed with an STI, one of the first steps you should take is informing your sexual partners. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s essential for their health and the overall prevention of further spread.
Find Support If You’re Struggling—Reach Out
If you find yourself struggling with an STI, there are support and management options available. Consider the following:
- Counseling. Some people find it helpful to speak with a counselor or therapist to process the emotional toll.
- Support groups. Online or local support groups can provide shared experiences and coping strategies.
- Family and friends. Don’t underestimate the power of a strong support network. Trusted friends and family can provide emotional support and practical help, like accompanying you to medical appointments.
Taking these steps not only helps you manage your physical health but also provides emotional relief and a pathway to regaining control of your life.
What to Expect from an STI Screening/Treatment Appointment at AllSafe Medical Group in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
If you suspect you have an STI or are simply being proactive about your sexual health, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. The expert team at AllSafe Medical Group walks you through what you should prepare for and expect during this critical visit.
The more prepared you are, the more effective your appointment will be.
- List symptoms. Jot down any symptoms you might be experiencing, however minor, to give your doctor a full picture.
- Prepare questions. Think about what you’d like to know, be it about the screening process, treatment options, or preventive measures.
- Medication info. Make a list of your current medications, including any over-the-counter products, as they can sometimes interact with treatment options.
Your healthcare provider plays a pivotal role in your sexual health.
- Personal and sexual history. Expect questions about your sexual activity and history to determine risk factors and appropriate tests.
- Physical examination. A physical exam might be necessary, depending on your symptoms. This is usually quick and is designed to confirm or rule out visible STI symptoms.
- Test procedures. Your doctor will likely order various tests, including blood samples, urine tests, or swabs.
While waiting for your appointment and test results, safeguard your health and the health of others.
- Safe sex. Use condoms consistently and correctly during any sexual activity to minimize risk.
- Limited partners. Consider limiting your number of sexual partners until you have been cleared of any STIs.
- Stay informed. Use this time to educate yourself about STIs, so you’re better prepared to take actionable steps based on your results.
STI Treatments in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Undergoing testing and treatment for STIs is an essential, yet responsible and empowering decision. Remember, every patient’s journey is unique, and following your doctor’s post-treatment care instructions is key to ensuring a successful recovery.
If you’re considering getting tested for STIs and have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at AllSafe Medical Group at (562) 904-6031 or by completing our online contact form for treatment with the utmost discretion, compassion, and care.