STD INFORMATION AND TESTING
Care Net Pregnancy Center of Mason County provides free STD testing and treatment in Shelton, WA to both men and women.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be a serious concern. Left untreated, infections can cause irreversible damage to your reproductive system.
We currently provide testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. All services are free and confidential. Referrals made for additional testing.
STI & STD Information
Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases passed from person to person during sexual activity (e.g. vaginal, oral and anal sex, outercourse or mutual masturbation). STDs can be transmitted through bodily fluids and, in some cases, skin-to-skin contact.
It’s important to remember that not everyone infected with an STD will experience signs or symptoms. But STDs can still cause severe damage, and can be passed to your partner(s) without your knowledge. You don’t need to be experiencing symptoms to be contagious. You can spread the disease at any time. Our staff at Care Net Pregnancy Center of Mason County can give you free STD testing to confirm your condition.
STDS AND STIS… WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
The terms STD (sexually transmitted disease) and STI (sexually transmitted infection) are often used interchangeably. But do you know the difference?
The term “STI” (sexually transmitted infection) is used to describe the presence of an infection in the body, which may or may not be accompanied by symptoms. The term “STD” (sexually transmitted diseases) on the other hand, describes an infection that has caused damage in a person’s body—though, like sexually transmitted infections, an STD may or may not be accompanied by symptoms.
STI is the broader of the two terms. All STDs are STIs, though not all STIs become STDs.
WHAT ABOUT ABORTION?
If not treated prior to an abortion, these infections may cause serious health problems. During an abortion these organisms can be carried from the vagina up into the uterus. When this occurs, a second condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) may develop.
Immediate symptoms of PID can be mild and even non-existent, but the effects are long lasting. According to the CDC, 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulty getting pregnant. PID is known to cause scarring of the Fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. This may result in serious maternal complications, even death.
The Centers for Disease Control can provide you with accurate and up-to-date information on each STI.
DID YOU KNOW
- There are over 25 different Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Some are not curable and some are deadly
- Over 70 million Americans are infected with an STD
- Each year there are 19 million new cases reported; 9 million of those are 15 – 24 years old
- Over 95% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV
- Correct usage of condoms greatly reduces risk of catching and spreading STDs
- Some are transferred through skin to skin contact and oral sex
- The most reliable way to prevent STDs is to avoid oral, vaginal and anal sex
If you are sexually active, education and testing is very important. The Center for Disease Control recommends that:
- All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Annual chlamydia screening of all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Annual gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25 years, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted infection.
- Syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women starting early in pregnancy, with repeat testing as needed, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
- MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STDs (e.g., at 3-to-6 month intervals).
- Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested for HIV at least once a year.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Click the links below to view information directly from the Centers for Disease Control.