September Is Sexual Health Awareness Month
Pacific Family Practice honors sexual health awareness month by providing male and female patients with the STD testing services needed to offer a clear diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as education on STD prevention.
Myths and misconceptions about STDs are dangerous
So often, STDs are transmitted from one person to another because of misunderstandings or confusion about the proper way to protect yourself and your partner. It is essential to know the proper way to use a condom and understand that one is required for every sexual encounter to prevent STD transmission. It may seem like basic common sense, but many patients take their sexual health for granted, making assumptions that because they have been free of STDs in the past, they will continue to be in the future.
It is commonly thought that all STDs are the same, so protection against these viruses is also the same. However, this is not true. For example, the human papilloma virus (HPV) can be spread between men and women even when a condom is used, because a condom does not cover the entire genital area. It can also be spread through oral or anal intercourse. HPV prevention begins with the vaccine Gardasil, which is offered at Pacific Family Practice for young women and men as well.
STD testing cannot be avoided
If you suspect that you may have an STD, or if you have engaged in unprotected intercourse or intercourse when protection failed, please schedule an appointment with Pacific Family Practice or your provider as soon as possible. Many STD treatments are most effective immediately after transmission, so waiting or avoiding testing will only risk worsening your diagnosis and symptoms. It’s tempting to hope that the risk of an STD will simply go away, but many STDs present with symptoms that do not result in visible problems. You can go months or even years without seeing evidence of an STD.
Every STD is different, so your symptoms will vary. The important thing to remember is that testing can confirm whether an STD is present and if you require treatment. Many STDs can be cured entirely with treatment, and those without a cure can be managed so you can maintain a high quality of life. Please contact Pacific Family Practice with any questions or concerns about STD transmission, testing or treatment.