College is an exciting time that’s full of change for young adults.
Students are often fending for themselves for the first time and making many of their own decisions when it comes to their health.
At first, it may be challenging to find healthy balances amidst this newfound freedom and increased responsibility – a student might opt for the dining hall’s cheeseburger and french-fry dinner over the salad bar, skip the gym in favor of a party, or pull an all-nighter to study for a test.
In addition to finding the right balances in physical and mental health, it is extremely important for college students to consider their sexual health. As this is a time where students can become sexually active, it’s crucial to understand that sexual behavior can lead to life-long infections.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are widespread across college campuses – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 million cases of STIs are diagnosed in people ages 15-24 annually.
While these infections and diseases are almost completely preventable through practicing abstinence, it is not a realistic solution. But, educating yourself on the different types of STIs and STDs, using condoms, limiting the number of sexual partners you have, and getting tested can significantly lower your risk of contracting or spreading them.
Common symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and infections include genital discharge, genital sores, and painful urination. If you experience these symptoms, you should get tested as soon as possible. But, many STIs and STDs do not have symptoms, and many won’t show up on tests immediately, so routine testing is recommended.
If you are under the age of 18, you can still get tested without a parent’s consent (be aware, however, that the visit may show up on your parents’ insurance forms). Tests are often as simple as submitting a urine sample, blood sample, or swab of genitals or cheeks.
If you test positive for an STD, let your partner(s) know. They will likely need to be tested as well. It is also smart to require your partners to be tested before engaging in sexual activity.
Instant Urgent Care provides comprehensive testing for STIs and STDs and we can diagnose and treat them. If you suspect you or your partner has contracted an STI or STD, come on it for a visit.
For more information about our STD testing services, please call to speak with us at (408) 687-4806, or stop by today!