STDs and STIs: What You Need to Know

Jan 10, 2024

Urgent Care

STDs and STIs: What You Need to Know

Being healthy includes taking care of your body, and that means your sexual health, too. STDs and STIs are prevalent sexual health concerns impacting millions of individuals across the United States. In the year 2021, more than 2.5 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases and infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in the US. Furthermore, it is predicted that this number will significantly grow in the future.

Sometimes, the terms STD vs STI often create confusion, leading to misinformation and making people hesitant to seek proper care. To address this, we'll explain the difference between STDs and STIs. By understanding these terms, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your health and seek the right care when needed.

Understanding STD and STI

The terms "sexually transmitted infection" (STI) and "sexually transmitted disease" (STD) are often mixed up, making it hard to differentiate. STI refers to an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that can be transmitted through sexual activity. On the other hand, STD specifically denotes an infection that has progressed to cause disease or symptoms. Importantly, not all STIs develop into STDs, as many infections can remain asymptomatic or clear up without causing noticeable health concerns.

STD vs STI: What Makes Them Different?

Understanding the change from an STI to an STD is important. When an individual contracts an STI, they may or may not exhibit symptoms. However, if the infection progresses and causes health problems or symptoms, it is then classified as an STD. For instance, an individual may contract chlamydia (an STI), but if it progresses and causes symptoms such as pelvic pain or discharge, it becomes a chlamydia infection (STD).

Thus, answering the most asked question, are STD and STI the same thing? Well, they are the same thing at different stages.

Types of STD and STI

STDs and STIs come in different types. Some common ones are:

  • STIs: These are infections passed through sexual activities. Examples include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV (warts and certain cancers), and trichomoniasis.
  • STDs: These are more serious as they've progressed to diseases or have symptoms. Examples are HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis B and C and others.

Each one has its own way of spreading and affects the body differently. Understanding them helps in making better choices for your health.

Common Symptoms of STD and STI

STI and STD symptoms can be different. Getting checked regularly and knowing the signs is important for early detection and timely intervention.

Some infections have clear signs like genital sores, unusual discharge, unpleasant vaginal odor, pain during sex and urination, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, or genital itching. But some infections might not show any signs for a long time.

How to Deal with Stigma that Revolves Around Sexual Diseases?

STIs and STDs are often accompanied by a negative stigma that can cause individuals to feel afraid, ashamed, or hesitant to seek medical attention to combat this, it's important to promote open conversations about safe sexual practices, provide education on the topic, and create a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking medical help without fear of judgment. By reducing the stigma surrounding these conditions, we can encourage individuals to prioritize their health and wellbeing.

Diagnosis of STD and STI

Getting tested for STIs and STDs on time is really important for taking care of your sexual health. Tests can include physical check-ups, blood or urine tests, and sometimes swabs from affected areas. Routine screenings are essential, especially for sexually active individuals or those with multiple partners, to ensure early detection and get the right treatment.

When is the Right Time to Visit Urgent Care for STIs and STDs?

If you are experiencing any of the STD or STI symptoms mentioned above, engaging in unprotected sex, or receiving notification of potential exposure, then you should seek prompt medical attention. The more you delay, the more uncomfortable your condition will become and thus lead to long-term complications as well.

So, a quick and timely medical intervention will protect you from long-term hassles. Reach out to urgent care facilities that specialize in confidential, comprehensive testing and diagnosis, and provide personalized treatment options for STIs and STDs.

Effective Measures That Can Prevent STDs and STIs

Staying safe is the most important thing for your sexual health. Here are some simple ways to keep yourself safe from STDs and STIs:

  1. Consistent and correct condom use
  2. Reducing the number of sexual partners
  3. Scheduling regular screenings
  4. Getting vaccinated against certain infections like HPV, etc
  5. Having open communication about sexual history with partners

Concerned about STDs and STIs? Walk into MI Express Urgent Care!

At MI Express Urgent Care, we understand the importance of addressing STDs and STIs for your well-being. That's why we provide specialized care and personalized treatment plans to help you manage symptoms and enhance your quality of life. Contact us today for assistance in living a healthy, stress-free life.

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