Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
Warts and HPV: ‘HPV’ is short for Human Papilloma Virus Papilloma are warts. Warts are highly contagious. Warts are easily treated in the office or possibly with medications you can apply at home, but they require several treatments to go away completely. HPV is a virus that has hundreds of sub-types. Some strains of HPV cause warts on your fingers, but not on your genitals; others cause warts on your genitals; and others increase your risk to develop cancer. HPV is very easily transmitted sexually and having multiple sexual partners is a significant risk factor to developing cancer. Dr. Lewis knows of a 26 year old woman who’s cancer had spread by the time she was diagnosed and she was ‘inoperable’ and did not have a great prognosis (survival was not great). This patients main risk factors for her cancer were smoking and multiple sexual partners. HPV can come and go on its own, too. If you test positive for high-risk HPV (the HPV subtypes that can cause cancer), do not panic as your body might fight it off on its own; but it can take months or years. You must instead keep up with all of the recommended tests and appointments to make sure nothing progresses. Ask us questions to make sure we are all on the ‘right track’ with your follow up treatment plan.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia: These are bacteria that are also transmitted through sex. They may or may not create an unusual discharge and you may or may not know you even have the bacteria present. Both Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can cause pelvic infections (an infection that travels up from your vagina into your body/uterus/tubes/ and ovaries) that can create infertility (difficulty having children) later in life. We may do a routine screen for Gonorrhea/Chlamydia along with your PAP smear. If you are certain you’d like us to check for this, let us know and all we have to do is check an extra box that goes with your paperwork to the lab with your PAP smear. Learn More
Herpes Simplex: Herpes simplex is caused by a virus we call, “HSV”. Herpes is considered a sexually transmitted disease but some say that it can spread from touching a cold sore (maybe in your mouth) and then touching the genital region. HSV does not leave your body for life. HSV is not curable. HSV causes painful ‘cold sores’. We can give you medication to help your body fight outbreaks faster, but you can have intermittent outbreaks for life. It is a very common sexually transmitted disease. Learn More
Syphilis: Syphilis is an older sexually transmitted disease that became rare; but now the incidence is on the rise in the United States. Syphilis can live in a person’s body for years and may eventually affect major blood vessels and nerves in the body if left untreated. Syphilis testing is not routine except in pregnancy. Learn More
Preventing Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Abstinence – complete ALWAYS use condoms. No matter how serious you feel the relationship, always use condoms.