STDs services offered in Amherst and Buffalo, New York

STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) might cause few or no symptoms yet have potentially devastating consequences on your health and fertility. If you haven’t been for a screening recently or are worried you might have an STD, visit Frances Ilozue, MD, MPH, at Rapha Family Medicine, PC. At the practice’s offices in Amherst and Buffalo, New York, Dr. Ilozue and the team provide testing and treatment for STDs so you can get any help you need promptly. To benefit from STD testing, call Rapha Family Medicine, PC, or book an appointment online today.

What are STDs?

STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are infections you catch from another person when engaging in sexual activities. The most common STDs include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

Some STDs cause curable problems, but others can lead to long-term complications such as infertility, cancer, and in some cases, death if you don’t get the treatment you need.  

What symptoms do STDs cause?

Common STD symptoms include:

  • Sores on your genitals or mouth
  • Genital warts (small, dark skin lesions)
  • Genital swelling and reddening
  • Groin rash
  • Painful urination
  • Discharge (which may smell unpleasant)
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Genital irritation and itching
  • Pain during intercourse

Some conditions cause additional symptoms like fever, excessive sweating, aching and pain, weight loss, and jaundice (yellowed skin). You might be unaware these symptoms are due to an STD because very often, STDs cause no symptoms, or the symptoms pass before you find out you have the infection. 

The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to see your Rapha Family Medicine, PC provider for screening tests.

What tests diagnose STDs?

Your provider might have to carry out several tests to screen for STDs because no single test can identify every form. If they suspect you have a specific STD, they can run a test for that condition. Still, broad-spectrum testing is better because it identifies conditions that give no outward sign of their presence.

Blood tests and urine tests are the primary ones for routine STD screening. If you experience any symptoms, your provider can use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and viral cultures to examine cells swabbed from skin lesions.

Chlamydia testing involves taking cell samples from a woman’s cervix or man’s urethra. HPV testing also requires a cervical swab. A routine Pap smear detects the presence of HPV infection, which can trigger cervical cancer.

How are STDs treated?

Some STDs require antibiotics to kill bacterial infections. Ones like HIV need ongoing treatment with antiviral medication. You also need to inform anyone you’ve had sex with in the preceding months so they can get a test.

Preventing STDs is easier than treating them. Always use protection (condoms are the only type that makes a significant difference) during sex and avoid risky activities like having many different partners.

The only way to prevent STDs entirely is to have no sexual relationships. A trusting, long-term partnership with one person gives you protection from infection with STDs and the benefits of a loving relationship.

To find out if you have any STDs and get prompt treatment, call Rapha Family Medicine, PC, or book an appointment online today.