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5 Common Myths About STDs

5 Common Myths About STDs

Nearly 68 million Americans have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and many of those infected have no idea they have one.

At McDowell Mountain Gynecology, board-certified gynecologist Rachel Spieldoch, MD, FACOG, and our team offer comprehensive gynecology services in-office, including STD testing. We can determine which tests you need based on your sexual activities, how many partners you have, and if you’re experiencing any symptoms.

What to know about STDs

STDs are infections that spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Activities that can spread infections include vaginal sex, anal sex, and oral sex.

While there are many types of sexually transmitted diseases, some of the most common we treat include:

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS are also types of sexually transmitted infections that can affect your health, your longevity, and your quality of life.

Why STD testing matters

Unfortunately, many of these infections don’t cause noticeable symptoms until the infection progresses. This increases the likelihood that you may continue unknowingly spreading the infection to others.

Untreated STDs can also increase your risk for complications that affect your reproductive health, your physical health, and your sexual health.

One reason STDs continue to spread is the failure to get regular testing, often because of misinformation.

We want you to understand the facts about STDs, so here we bust some of the most common myths that keep people from getting tested.

5 common myths about STDs

Some of the most common myths surrounding sexually transmitted diseases include:

Myth 1: STDs go away on their own

Many people mistakenly believe STDs aren’t serious and will go away in time. In reality, untreated STDs can cause serious and even permanent damage to your reproductive organs. This leads to issues with infertility and other long-term reproductive health complications.

A course of antibiotics or antivirals will clear most infections. We offer customized treatment plans at McDowell Mountain Gynecology to treat STDs in addition to on-site STD testing.

Myth 2:  You only need STD testing if you have a lot of sex

The truth is, It only takes one encounter with an infected person for you to become sick. Anyone you have sex with afterward that can also become infected and continue spreading the disease to others.  

Even if you use a condom, you should be tested regularly for STDs if you’re sexually active.

Myth 3: You can tell who has an STD

Herpes and other conditions can cause visible warts on the genitals, but those signs aren’t always present. Without testing, there is no other way you can tell who has an infection.

Before you start sexual relations with someone new, both of you should be tested. You should also get regular STD testing for as long as you’re sexually active.

Myth 4: You can’t get infected if you use birth control.

Condoms are the only form of birth control that can reduce your risk for getting an STD. You can still become infected if you have sex with an infected person regardless of what kind of birth control you take if you have unprotected sex.

Myth 5: You can only get an STD once.

This particular myth can be especially dangerous. You can get many STDs multiple times and will require treatment for each occasion. 

Some viral infections, including herpes and HIV, remain in your body and cause recurrent health complications. In other words, there’s no cure for herpes and HIV, but you can manage those viruses.

While our gynecology team can help you manage any STD, we recommend routine testing to prevent one from occurring in the first place. To schedule testing, contact our Scottsdale, Arizona, office today.

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