Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that are most commonly spread through sexual contact. STDs are most commonly transmitted through blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. Since many STDs present without any symptoms, anyone who has had unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship, should get tested. Some STDs can damage reproductive organs which can lead to infertility and some predispose individuals to certain types of cancer. It is also important to get tested if you are pregnant, regardless of your decision regarding your pregnancy, for your own health and the health of your baby. We can help.


Symptoms of STDs

It is important to know your body well and be able to recognize any changes happening to your body.  It is also important to know that it is possible to have an STD and experience no symptoms at all.  The following symptoms may indicate the presence of an STD:

    • A foul or fishy odor;
    • Pain or burning during intercourse and/or urination;
    • Unusual vaginal or penile discharge;
    • Itching and/or irritation in areas where sexual contact has occurred; and/or
    • Rash, redness, sores or warts in areas where sexual contact has occurred.

Why Should I Get Tested?

Being tested for STDs is a healthy practice for anyone who is sexually active and is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.  Before initiating sexual contact with a new partner, it is a good idea for both you and your partner(s) to get tested to prevent the spread of infection.  If you are pregnant, it is a good idea to get tested because untreated STDs can cause such complications as premature labor, uterine infection after delivery or health problems for your baby.  It is also important to get tested if you are considering having an abortion. Untreated STDs could potentially spread during a surgical abortion, leading to possible complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

 

How Often Should I Get Tested?

We recommend being tested every 6-12 months or if you have a new partner. In an effort to serve as many as possible, we are able to provide free comprehensive STD testing and treatment to each individual client once every 6 months.

What Will Happen at My Appointment?

What should I expect?

  • A staff member will meet with you to get to know you and identify ways we can assist you.
  • A nurse will review your medical history to determine appropriate testing based upon your sexual practices and health history.
  • A nurse will answer questions you have about STD's and provide you with materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • A nurse will oversee sample collection for testing, which may include a urine sample, blood draw, and swabs of throat, vagina and/or rectum, as indicated.
  • If you have arranged for an appointment to see one of our physicians or advanced providers, limited pelvic exams, pap tests, genital dermatology assessments and treatments will be available as appropriate.
At the end of your appointment, you will be asked to schedule a results appointment for the following week during which we will review your results, address any questions or concerns you have and provide treatment as appropriate.  

What If I Have A Positive Result?

All positive and negative results will be given by a nurse when you return for your results appointment.  Most treatments are available and provided immediately by a nurse or physician during your results appointment, free of charge.  If we are unable to provide the required treatment, a prescription or referral will be given to you.  If you do test positive for an STD, it is important that your partner(s) are also tested and treated.  

The law requires all STD testing clinics report certain STDs to the Minnesota Department of Health. Other than what we are required by law to report, your information and test results are kept confidential. Results will never be reported to your school or place of work.


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