STD Testing Specialist
Residents living in the Brenham, Texas area are encouraged to visit Brenham Women’s Health for all of their reproductive health needs, including a full range of STD testing and treatment. Needing this type of testing can be a very difficult time in a women’s life. However, Dr. Aaron Campbell and his staff provide excellent, compassionate care with quick results right here at home.
STD Testing Q & A
by Aaron Campbell, MD, FACOG
How often should STD testing be performed?
Doctors recommend scheduling STD testing and screening every 6 months or once a year, depending on how sexually active a person is and how many partners they have on a regular basis. Performing the screenings during a woman’s regular gynecological exam is the key time for the first set of screenings for the year. The pap smear is one of the most common aspects of a gynecological exam. Its purpose is to identify abnormal cells found on the cervix that are due to the presence of certain types of bacteria and viruses. STD viruses and bacterial infections are easily identified with the pap smear, blood tests, and urinalysis that are often performed at yearly wellness checks.
What is involved in STD testing?
STD testing is recommended at least twice a year unless a person begins to experience specific symptoms that may indicate the person has a sexually transmitted disease. Painful urination, abdominal cramping, blood in the urine, foul-smelling discharge from the vagina or penis, and a visible rash or outbreak of pimples or blisters in the genital area. While Dr. Campbell can visually determine certain aspects of an infection, specific testing may be required to uncover what type of STD a person has. A pap smear will show abnormal cell development on the cervix which is an excellent indicator of certain types of STDs. Blood smears and urinalysis screenings are used to help make an accurate diagnosis.
Can STDs be prevented?
STDs can be prevented. While the only absolute way to prevent an STD is abstinence, using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners is essential. It’s important to know each person and the type of lifestyle they lead to be able to make a wise decision when it comes to choosing a sexual partner. Exposure doesn’t always mean a person will contract the STD. Having a strong immune system will help minimize many types of infections, but to truly prevent a sexually transmitted disease from happening, the person must make positive lifestyle changes to reduce their exposure to individuals who may be carriers of certain types of STDs.