As if facing an unplanned pregnancy isn’t enough, you also have to think about whether or not you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Knowing your status as well as STD testing before an abortion is critical.
When asked if it’s a possibility, most people would say, “No way, I don’t have an STD. I would know if I did.” However, the truth is, you probably wouldn’t know without getting tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last year that more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016, the highest number ever. Nearly half of all chlamydia infections are reported in young women and the rate of syphilis is increasing in women as well.
If you think you’re not at risk for an STD, you may want to think again. The fact is that anyone who has had unprotected sex, including a condom slip or break, is at risk.
STDs often have few or no symptoms, so the only way you’ll know is through testing. The tests are simple and most STDs are easily treated. However, left untreated they can result in pain and long-term health problems.
Left untreated, STDs can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) following an abortion. This is because the bacteria causing the infection can be moved into the reproductive tract during the abortion procedure.
According to Mayo Clinic, PID can cause scar tissue, abscesses in the fallopian tubes, an ectopic pregnancy (because scar tissue can prevent the egg from traveling into the uterus), infertility, chronic pelvic pain that could last for months or years, and an abscess in the ovaries (a life-threatening infection). It’s possible that there would be no symptoms or only mild signs of a PID infection. This is why getting tested is crucial in order to prevent further damage.
Thrive St. Louis offers no cost STD testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, Syphilis, Bacterial Vaginosis, and Trichomoniasis. If you test positive for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or Syphilis, we’ll provide treatment at no cost to you! If you test positive for BV or Trichomoniasis, we’ll call in a prescription to your pharmacy. You’ll have to pay for those meds out of pocket. Lastly, if you test positive for HIV, we’ll help you set up an appointment with a Disease Intervention Specialist from the Missouri Department of Health to discuss your plan of care. Remember, STD testing before an abortion is critical to your safety and health.
Make an appointment today to come in for STD testing. We can also provide a no cost lab-grade pregnancy test to confirm your at-home results. If positive, we offer a no cost ultrasound to confirm the viability of the pregnancy and determine the gestational age. This is important information if you’re considering an abortion.