Boulware Medical Clinic
Internists & Primary Care Physicians located in Liberty, MO
If you’re sexually active it’s important to protect your health with regular screenings for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Contact Dr. William T. Boulware and Dr. Robert J. Boulware at Boulware Medical Clinic in Liberty, Missouri to learn how often you should be tested for STDs. The three most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, reached an all-time high in 2015, so they represent a risk that should be taken seriously.
STD Screenings Q & A
Why should I get tested for a sexually transmitted disease?
There are many types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and most of them don’t cause symptoms in the early stage of the disease. Without testing, you may have a STD and not be aware you have it, which puts the health of you and your partner at risk.
When STDs aren’t diagnosed and treated, they lead to serious health problems. For example, untreated HIV may progress to become full-blown AIDS, yet early treatment of HIV with antiretroviral therapy can suppress the disease.
Many people don’t worry about STDs like syphilis, yet the number of syphilis infections has gone up every year for the last two decades. When syphilis goes untested and untreated, you’re at risk for the following:
- 80% of untreated mothers pass syphilis along to their baby
- Syphilis infection facilitates transmission of HIV infection
- Syphilis stays dormant for 10-30 years, then reactivates and causes life-threatening complications
What are the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases?
The symptoms associated with each sexually transmitted disease present differently, but as a general rule, they may not appear for months or years and they’re often easy to confuse with symptoms from other health conditions. In some STDs, symptoms may come and go, so they may seem to be nothing more than a temporary problem that has healed.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Boulware for an exam and STD screening:
- Sores or bumps on and around your genitals, thighs, or buttocks
- Discharge from the vagina or penis
- Burning during urination
- Itching, pain, and/or swelling in the penis, vagina, vulva, or anus
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, swollen glands, feeling tired)
What testing is used to screen for sexually transmitted diseases?
A range of different lab tests are used to screen for various STDs. Some patients may know that a sexual partner had a specific STD, which helps narrow down the testing process, but Dr. Boulware orders the tests that are necessary based on your symptoms and risk factors.
The lab tests commonly used to screen for STDs include:
- Urine test
- Blood test
- Physical exam (check genital area for warts, sores, rashes, discharge)
- Swab samples of discharge from penis, vagina, urethra, cervix, anus, or throat
- Swab samples of fluid from sores or blisters
Major Insurance Plans Accepted
At Boulware Medical Clinic, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed here. We do not accept insurance for cosmetic procedures at Beautification by Boulware