When it comes to issues people don’t want to talk about, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are often near the top of the list. With one in four Americans contracting an STD in their lifetime, it’s a problem that needs to be discussed. Dr. Darren McDow at the McDow Medical Corporation in Westchester, Los Angeles, offers his patients confidential STD testing and treatment, as well as education on preventing and living with STDs.
Dr. McDow recommends STD testing for all of his patients who are sexually active. Even with protected sex, it’s still possible to contract certain STDs. And many people who have STDs do not experience any symptoms until their condition has progressed. What’s more, many STDs can cause significant health issues, some of which are life-threatening.
While anyone who is sexually active should be STD tested regularly, certain people have a higher risk of contracting STDs. To these people, Dr. McDow may recommend testing more often. These include people who:
Most STDs don’t produce symptoms during the initial stages of the disease. Many become dormant and may remain asymptomatic for years. That means that even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still have an STD and pass it on to your partner(s).
At other times, STDs do cause symptoms. Depending on the STD you have, you may experience:
Remember, just because you don’t have symptoms, does not mean you are STD-free. If you’ve ever had vaginal, anal, or oral sex, you could be at risk.
Dr. McDow tests for a range of STDs at McDow Medical Corporation. A comprehensive STD test may involve a:
Through these different laboratory tests, Dr. McDow can determine if you have HIV/AIDS or other STDs, including:
While some STDs are treatable, others are not. Conditions like HIV, HPV, and genital herpes are viral and can’t be treated with medication. Symptom management is all that can be done for these diseases. Dr. McDow may also provide educational resources to help you adjust to living with an STD.
Dr. McDow treats some STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, with medications, most often antibiotics. After finishing the medication, Dr. McDow may recommend a follow-up test to ensure the condition has been eradicated.
If you need an STD test, schedule an appointment with Dr. McDow. It’s better to be safe than sorry.