As an important step in taking care of yourself, you should be regularly screened and tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sometimes referred to as an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), an STI simply refers to an infection within your body caused by bacteria, a virus, a fungus, or a parasite that was passed to you during sexual activity. On any given day, the CDC reports that 1 in 5 people in the United States have an STI.
Although you may be very cautious within your sexual relationships, you or your partner could have an STI and simply not know it. STIs can also be spread through contact with someone else’s mouth, rectum, skin, or bodily fluids.
Furthermore, no matter how diligent people may be, many individuals are often unaware that they even have an STI. STI symptoms can range from peeing frequently to genital sores to irregular periods to severe abdominal pain. But most dangerously, in the early stages, many STIs do not have any symptoms. Without proper treatment, STIs may pose a long-term threat to your health and wellbeing. For example, leaving STIs untreated could lead to infertility, long-term pain, bodily inflammation, heart disease, and certain cancers. But thankfully, many risks can be alleviated if an STI is caught early and properly treated with medication. (ACOG) Therefore, healthcare professionals recommend you protect your health by taking yourself to get tested. Plus, screening helps put your mind at ease.
We understand that your health journey may feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar at times, so Marisol Health exists to compassionately walk with you through the process.
Although talking about your sexual health may be intimidating, an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider will help you receive the comprehensive care you deserve.
Initially, a provider will ask about aspects of your past medical history and your current sexual practices to decide which tests you need. Most likely, the provider will order the basic screening that tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. At Marisol Health, the cost is only $74 to test for these four STIs. If deemed necessary, the provider will obtain your permission to conduct a few more tests and will give you an estimate of costs before conducting them. All tests will require either a urine sample, a blood sample, or involve a physical exam of your genitals with a swab of any lesions or spots. Depending on the test, you may receive your results in a few hours or in a few days.
The provider will then meet with you again to go over your results and prescribe treatment if needed. If in the case that you are diagnosed with an STI, Marisol Health staff will continue to confidentially guide you towards healing. Despite what you might believe, there is no shame in testing yourself for an STI or even in being diagnosed with an STI. In fact, addressing your sexual health is an incredibly brave choice. Take the next step by calling Marisol Health at 303-731-6130 to make an appointment for STI screening! Together we can ensure that you are the healthiest, best version of you!