STD Prevention

Every year, as many as 20 million people in the United States are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Without proper treatment, an STD can affect your health and fertility. Board-certified OB/GYN and wellness consultant Kelly O. Elmore, MD, at Viva Life Health Hub in San Diego, offers STD counseling and treatment recommendations to her concierge patients.

What are STDs?

STDs refer to infections that are contracted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection may be bacterial, parasitic, or viral. Some of the most common STDs include:




✔Human papillomavirus (HPV)

✔Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)


✔STDs are very common.

If you’re sexually active, you should get tested. While both men and women can contract an STD, women can suffer more serious health issues that may lead to infertility or increase their risk of certain types of cancer.

Do STDs cause symptoms?

No, STDs don’t always cause symptoms. The only way to know if you have an STD is to undergo testing.

Some common STD symptoms include:

✔Genital pain

✔Foul-smelling genital discharge

✔Pain during intercourse

✔Genital sores or warts


✔Pelvic pain

Unexplained weight loss, loose stools, and night sweats are also possible symptoms of an STD.

How can I get tested for an STD?

Your primary care physician can test for STDs. The type of test you need may depend on your sexual activity and your symptoms, if any. Most STDs can be detected through a urine or blood test. Sometimes a swab of your genital discharge may be recommended to determine the type of STD you have.

Women can be tested for HPV during a pelvic exam. During this test, cells from the cervix are gently swabbed and evaluated for HPV. Certain strains of the viral infection heighten a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.

What can I expect during an STD consultation?

The kind and compassionate team at Viva Life Health Hub wants you to get the care you need whether you’ve been diagnosed with an STD or have concerns about getting one. During your consultation, the team reviews your medical and sexual history, and your symptoms, if any.

If you haven’t been tested, the team may educate and counsel you about STD prevention and the steps you can take to protect yourself. If you have an STD, the team provides treatment to help clear up or manage the infection.

Bacterial and parasitic STDs, such as gonorrhea and trichomoniasis, can be successfully eradicated with an antibiotic. Currently, there is no cure for viral STDs, such as HIV and HPV, but the team can provide treatments to manage your symptoms.