Archive for trichomoniasis

I had unprotected sex with a boy, but the next day two of my friends said I should get myself checked out. What happens when you go to check for STDs?

…What do the doctors do?

This is a really great and important question!

When testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, someone has to wait at least 2 weeks before getting tested. If someone did contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, it will only show an accurate result 14 days after exposure. To test for these STIs, someone will usually urinate in a cup. The lab will be able to test the urine for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and you will get results within 1-2 weeks.

When testing for Syphilis or HIV, the usual time period that you have to wait is 3 months. After 3 months, someone will receive an accurate result. To test for these STIs, someone will usually have their blood drawn. The lab will test the blood and you will get results within 1-2 weeks. Boulder Teen Clinic also offers rapid HIV testing the first two Tuesdays of every month with the help of BCAP (Boulder County AIDS Project). During the rapid testing, someone will have their finger pricked and will know within 10 Minutes if they have HIV antibodies.

With other STIs like HPV, Trichomoniasis, Herpes, or Pubic Lice, you cannot test for the infection until you experience symptoms. Once you have symptoms, there are various tests that can be performed to confirm the presence of the infection. These tests could include but are not limited to visual tests or testing of discharge.

If you, or someone you know, believe you have an STI, abstain from any sexual contact until you can see a medical professional. You can also call Teen Clinic at 303-442-5160 to make an appointment or to talk with one of our medical professionals!

Check out this question for more information on how to prevent STIs!

How soon can I get tested for STIs after unprotected sex? I believe there’s a window, can you please give me more info?

This is a really great and important question!

The time frame for when someone can get tested for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) really depends on which STI we’re talking about.

When testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, someone has to wait at least 2 weeks before getting tested. If someone did contract Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, it will only show an accurate result 14 days after exposure.

When testing for Syphilis or HIV, the usual time period that you have to wait is 3 months. After 3 months, someone will receive an accurate result.

With other STIs like HPV, Trichomoniasis, Herpes, or Pubic Lice, you cannot test for the infection until you experience symptoms. Once you have symptoms, there are tests that can be performed to confirm the presence of the infection.

If you, or someone you now, believe you have an STI, abstain from any sexual contact until you can see a medical professional. You can also call Teen Clinic at 303-442-5160 to make an appointment or to talk with one of our medical professionals!

Can you still get an STI even if you haven’t had sex?

In general, sexually transmitted infections are just that—sexually transmitted! If you are not engaging in sexual activity, you are not at risk for STIs.

However, there are a few infections considered STIs that can spread non-sexually.  For instance, pubic lice (also known as Crabs) can be spread through wet towels, loofahs, bedsheets, and wet clothing. Pubic lice can live outside the body for up to 24 hours in locations that are warm, dark, and moist, which makes it easier for them to spread without sexual activity.  Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control, 4% of all cases of Trichomononiasis are transmitted through hot tubs and wet towels.

Bloodborne STIs—like HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B & C—can also be spread non-sexually. This most often occurs during IV drug use, medical needle sticks, or blood transfusions that did not receive proper screening.  Again, it’s important to realize these infections would not be considered STIs in this scenario, since they were not spread sexually. (However, if you received them non-sexually, you could still transmit them to others through sexual activity.)

Last, it’s important to be specific about what we mean by “sex.”  If you are engaging in genital to genital contact—even if you are not engaging in penetrative oral, anal, or vaginal sex—you are at risk for some STIs. In particular, HPV, Herpes, Syphilis (when a sore is present), and pubic lice can all spread through skin to skin contact.

If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI but haven’t been sexually active, you may want to read a bit about yeast infections and bacterial vaginitis. These are organic infections—they can occur without being transmitted from anyone—but they can be just as uncomfortable as some STIs. If you are experiencing pain, bleeding, itching, or discharge, make an appointment to see a medical provider soon.

Thanks for asking this (slightly complicated) question!