How Can STIs Be Prevented?
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is a medical condition that may result after sexual contact. with multiple partners. Itching and burning around your vaginal area are common STI symptoms. STI testing may help in the early detection of an infection. If you think that you have an infection, you can seek treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to others. At Columbia Clinic Urgent Care, our medical professionals offer confidential STI testing. Please do not hesitate to get tested. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you.
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also commonly referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are passed on from one person to another during sexual contact. These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that are transmitted from one person to another through sexual activities such as oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
If you’d like to get tested for an STI, or require care for an STI that you have, contact us at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care or book in online to schedule an appointment. Our medical team would be happy to provide the empathetic, professional, and discrete support that you need to get back on the road to health.
Some of the most common symptoms of STIs include the following:
– Abnormal discharge
– Burning sensation during urination
– Flu-like symptoms
– Itching or irritation
– Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
– Sores or bumps on the genitals
It’s important to note that not all people with STIs will experience noticeable or visible symptoms. Some infections, such as HIV, may not cause symptoms for years which is why it’s so important to get tested regularly, especially if you’re sexually active.
Education about how STIs are transmitted is very important in preventing their spread which is why we’ve listed the different ways you can contract an STI below:
– Unprotected Sexual Intercourse. Engaging in sexual activities, such as vaginal, anal, or oral sex, with an infected person without using barrier methods, such as condoms, significantly increases the risk of contracting STIs. The exchange of bodily fluids, including semen, vaginal secretions, or blood, during unprotected intercourse facilitates the transmission of these infections.
– Multiple Sexual Partners. Having numerous sexual partners elevates the risk of contracting STIs, as the more partners a person engages in sexual activities with, the greater the likelihood of coming into contact with an infected person.
– Sharing Needles or Other Drug Paraphernalia. STIs, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B or C, can be contracted through the sharing of contaminated needles or other drug paraphernalia used for injecting drugs. The sharing of these items can introduce infected blood or bodily fluids into the bloodstream, facilitating the transmission of diseases.
– Vertical Transmission. Certain STIs, such as syphilis, HIV, and herpes, can be transmitted from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. This transmission can occur through the exchange of bodily fluids or contact with infected tissues.
– Skin-to-Skin Contact: Some STIs, such as herpes, genital warts (caused by human papillomavirus), and molluscum contagiosum, can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with infected areas.
Prevention of STIs is critical in preventing the spread of infections and to reducing the likelihood of complications. As such, here are some ways that you can prevent STIs:
– Use Barrier Protection. Using barrier protection like condoms during sexual intercourse helps prevent the spread of STIs by blocking the transfer of bodily fluids.
– Get Vaccinated. Vaccinations are available for some types of STIs like hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV).
– Practice Safe Sex. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners, avoiding high-risk sexual activities, and getting tested regularly for STIs.
– Abstinence. Abstinence from sexual activity is an effective method of preventing STIs as it eliminates the risk of exposure to the infection.
-Get Tested. Getting tested regularly for STIs is essential for early detection and treatment of infections.
– Educate Yourself. Education about STIs and how they are transmitted is crucial in preventing infections.
The treatment for STIs will vary depending on the type of infection that you have and its severity.
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat bacterial STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Antibiotics may be given orally or through an injection, and it’s crucial to complete the entire course of antibiotics even if symptoms disappear before the medication is finished.
Viral STIs such as herpes and HPV don’t have a cure but can be treated to manage symptoms. Antiviral medication is often prescribed to reduce the duration and severity of outbreaks and to prevent transmission of the virus.
HIV, which is a viral infection that attacks the immune system, currently doesn’t have a cure but antiretroviral therapy (ART) can keep the virus under control. ART involves taking a combination of medications that target different stages of the virus’s life cycle and, with it, people living with HIV can stay healthy for many years and reduce their risk of transmitting the virus to others.
If you have an STI or would like to get tested for them, connect with us at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care, walk in for a same day visit, or schedule in for an appointment online. Our experienced medical team will provide the support you need to get back to feeling your best as soon as possible. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.