STD Testing

Julia Raber, MD

Gynecologist located in New Hyde Park, NY

Every year, more than 20 million people in the United States find out they have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Although many people have noticeable symptoms, it’s possible to carry an STD — and pass it along — without showing any signs of infection. While most STDs can be cured or kept in check, untreated infections can lead to serious health complications. Board-certified gynecologist Dr. Julia Raber in New Hyde Park, NY, provides comprehensive STD testing for patients in Long Island and the greater New York City area. Call or book your appointment online today.

STD Testing Q & A

Why should I be screened for STDs?

If you’re sexually active — even if you’re in a long-term relationship with just one person — you should consider being tested regularly for STDs. Because it’s possible for some STDs to lay dormant for long periods of time, either you or your partner could be carrying an infection without knowing it.

Regular STD screenings are simply part of a good preventive health care plan. If you have an STD you didn’t know about, regular testing allows you to treat the infection as quickly as possible to prevent further complications. It’s also important to find out if you have an STD so you can prevent spreading it to others.

After performing a pelvic exam and going over your medical history, Dr. Raber can recommend how often you should be tested, and which tests you should have.  

What are the most common STDs?

STDs can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections. While anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting an STD, approximately half of all new infections occur in adolescents and young adults. The most widespread STDs are:

  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea: The most frequently diagnosed STDs in the United States, chlamydia and gonorrhea present much like a mild urinary tract infection. If you don’t detect and treat these STDs quickly, they can lead to chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancies, and eventually, infertility.
  • Syphilis: This STD causes the development of painless sores called chancres. You may see rash-like spots on your feet or hands, or small flat warts on your genitals. Syphilis can also cause flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, it can lead to a variety of serious health issues, including heart problems and nerve damage.
  • Genital Herpes: Caused by the herpes simplex virus, genital herpes typically results in painful sores around your genitals or anus. Because this STD isn’t always symptomatic, however, it’s possible to carry and transmit the infection without knowing it. It’s estimated that one in six adults has herpes.

Besides offering screenings for these common STDs, Dr. Raber can also test for hepatitis B and C, trichomoniasis, and HIV/AIDS, among others.

Why is it important to test for HPV?

HPV is an infection that’s spread through sexual contact. It’s so widespread that nearly all sexually active people can expect to contract HPV at some point; in fact, most people are infected with HPV shortly after they become sexually active.

You can have HPV and not know it — many people don’t have symptoms of any kind. If you test positive for sexually transmitted HPV, you’ll be told whether you have low-risk HPV or high-risk HPV.

Low-risk HPV may cause genital warts, or small contagious bumps, around the genital area. High-risk HPV, on the other hand, can lead to several types of cancer. Women who are diagnosed with high-risk HPV have a greater risk of developing cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer.

If you test positive for HPV, Dr. Raber will let you know what type you have, and what steps you should take to manage the infection and protect your health.

To learn more about HPV or STD testing in general, call Dr. Raber’s New Hyde Park office or book your appointment online today.

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