When it comes to your sexual health, we are a judgement-free environment.
We often hear about the importance of maintaining physical, mental and spiritual health. Feeling confident and happy about sexual health is also important. Achieving sexual health allows for healthy relationships, planned pregnancies and disease prevention.
It’s important to be well-informed about all aspects of sexual health and how to have a fulfilling sex life. Being aware of factors that could complicate your sexual health is equally important. Don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from talking with your healthcare provider about this important part of your health. That’s why we’re here! We have these conversations with patients every day, and there is no question that is out of bounds.
Let’s dive into an important aspect of sexual health: sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections.
Symptoms of STDs in Women
While STDs don’t cause noticeable symptoms in many cases, some common STD symptoms for women can include:
- Pain or discomfort during sex or urination
- Sores, bumps or rashes on or around the vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs or mouth
- Unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina
- Itchiness in or around vagina
Common STDs and STIs in Women
Here are some of the most common STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections) for women:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) — HPV is the most common STI in women. It’s also the main cause of cervical cancer.
- Gonorrhea / Chlamydia — Gonorrhea and chlamydia are common bacterial STIs. In fact, chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the United States.
- Genital herpes — Genital herpes is also common, with about 1 out of 6 people between the ages 14 and 49 years having it.
How Can You Prevent STDs and STIs?
There are certain preventative measures that everyone should take to avoid getting or giving STDs and STIs.
- Get tested regularly. Women should typically get a pap smear every three to five years. It’s equally important to ask if you should be tested for any other STIs and whether an HPV vaccination is recommended. If you are sexually active, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
- Use protection. Whether it’s for vaginal, anal or oral sex, a condom or other barrier method can help protect both you and your partner. Remember that protecting against pregnancy doesn’t protect against STIs.
- Finally, communication is key. It’s essential to have honest, open communication with both your doctor and your partner(s) about your sexaul history.
We want you to be your healthiest you. We’re here to answer all of your questions about your sexual health in a judgement-free setting. Contact us today.
Read this blog for tips on talking with teens and young women about sexual health.