Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, S.C
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Northwestern gynecologist in Chicago, explains STD testing in gynecology care and medicine

Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S. C. in Chicago, IL offers complete gynecology medicine and care including STD testing

Staying healthy means regularly seeing your Northwestern gynecologist for medicine and care. If you are sexually active, STD testing is an important way to protect your health. Being open and honest about your sexual history helps the doctor determine your need for STD testing. With offices in Chicago,  and Glenview, IL, the team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates offers complete gynecology care to patients from Munster, IN; Michigan City, IN; Schererville, IN; Highland, IN; and the surrounding areas.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These diseases or infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These germs may be found in semen, blood, vaginal secretions, and sometimes saliva. Generally, you can contract an STD through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner. The organisms that cause genital herpes or genital warts can be spread through skin contact. Hepatitis B can be passed by sharing personal items with an infected person. Whether you have partners of the same sex or opposite sex, there are risks of STDs.

Prevention

Only colds and flu are more commonly spread in the United States than STDs. Preventing STDs is the preferred method of treatment. Practicing abstinence is the only way to completely protect yourself from contracting an STD. However, by following safe sex practices, you can greatly reduce your chance of becoming infected. Safe sex is not risk-free, but is better than taking no precautions. Safe practices include:

  • Use condoms or protection for every sexual encounter.
  • Be in a monogamous relationship.
  • Know your partner and his or her sexual history.
  • Reduce the number of partners.
  • Get tested!
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What is STD testing?

Your Northwestern OBGYN can help you understand the risks, tests, and treatments for STDs. If you are sexually active, have had or currently have multiple partners, or have had unprotected sex, it is important to be tested for STDs. In many cases, there are no signs or symptoms of an infection, so you may not even be aware of your condition. Getting tested protects you and your current or future partner. The types and frequency of STI testing recommended vary depending on your age, sexual behaviors, and certain risk factors. Remember, just because you may be having a gynecology exam or Pap test, that does not mean you are automatically receiving STD testing. You need to openly discuss your concerns with your Northwestern GYN.

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Testing for common STDs may include:

  • Genital herpes screening may include a tissue scraping or a culture of blisters. Blood testing may show a past infection. Unfortunately, the results of either test may not be conclusive.
  • HPV may lead to cervical cancer or genital warts. A Pap test or HPV test may diagnose the virus. A vaccination is available for some types of the HPV virus.
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea may be present without symptoms. Screening is done through a urine test or swab inside the penis or cervix.
  • HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis are screened using a blood test. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis A and B if your results are negative for virus exposure.

STD testing guidelines

STD testing recommendations for women include the following:

  • Patients aged 13-64 should be tested at least once for HIV.
  • Yearly chlamydia and gonorrhea screening are advised for women under 25 who are sexually active as well as all adult women with new partners, multiple partners, or a partner with an STD.
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B. At-risk pregnant women should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea early and as needed throughout pregnancy.

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These guidelines recommend when patients should be tested and who may be at risk. Additional reasons for testing include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having a history of unprotected sex
  • Entering a relationship with a new partner
  • Discovering your partner, past or present, was unfaithful

It is important to communicate openly with your Northwestern GYN about your history to ensure you get the best care. If you have a good reason, such as those above, to be tested, always let your physician know. If you need a Northwestern gynecologist, contact our Chicago office today for an appointment with our experienced team. Call 312-440-9400 .

 

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Success Stories

  • 5 Star Review
    "Wonderful experience with Dr. Julianne Morton @ NW Women's Associates. I've recommended her to countless girlfriends. Being a first time mom, I went through many physical symptoms and emotions that accompany pregnancy. She is extremely thorough, patient, and has wonderful bedside manner. I felt confident going into delivery with Dr. Morton taking the lead with my delivery. Wonderful practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is absolutely amazing. She cared for me throughout my first pregnancy and we found her to be kind and caring and straightforward - could not have asked for a better experience! Dr. Dunn ended up being on call during my delivery and she was great as well. I have always found the nurses and office staff to be friendly and on top of things - very happy with the practice!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I had to have a laproscopic hysterectomy done by Dr. Friedell and all went fabulously! They were very detailed in pre-op which made a lot of difference. I came out of surgery feeling great and post op I was back to work within two weeks. Everyone at the practice, at the hospital, at pre-op were incredible."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr.Julianne Morton is amazing! I was recommended by a friend when I moved to the Chicago area and was looking for an OB-GYN. I have seen her for two years in Chicago for my yearly exam. She is beyond kind and great at what she does. Dr.Morton makes you feel very comfortable and is such an incredible doctor! I have recommended her to all of my friends as well who need a new gyno/OB-GYN."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Morton is a really great doctor. She has an incredible bedside manner and makes you feel comfortable. She makes sure to ask if you have any questions and will happily answer all of them with you. Would highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr. Friedell is amazing! He helped delivered my first baby and the whole process was super smooth and stress free. All the staff in the office are super friendly too. Highly recommend!"

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I visited Dr Feldstein office yesterday. All of his stuff was very kind and nice to me. He has a professional-team, so I know I have nothing to be afraid of. Just wanted to say thanks to all the people I meet. I am in good hands."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "Dr Freidell is extremely knowledgeable, thorough and really cares about his patients. He is very good at getting to the root of the problem, especially with overlapping symptoms. He guided me through all my options and their implications. I will highly recommend him and his team."

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  • 5 Star Review
    "I love Dr. Belmonte. I have been going to her since 2006! She rocks!!! She is straight to the point, I love that about her. When I leave her office after seeing her I always feel great, like a just left a good friends house or something!"
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  • 5 Star Review

    "I can not tell you how wonderful my experiences have been. Dr. Sharon Wise is my doctor and she is fantastic. She is straightforward and honest about treatments and procedures. I enjoy her sense of humor, and I found her bedside manner when delivering my son to be excellent. "

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