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Symptoms, causes, and treatments for STIs

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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


Symptoms of an STI

There are several different STIs, but many share similar symptoms.


Symptoms associated with one or more STIs include:


  • Abdominal, testicular, or sexual pain
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Burning, painful urination
  • Discharge

Some STIs are asymptomatic, which means you might not have noticeable symptoms. That’s why doctors recommend getting tested at least once a year, or more often depending on your sexual history.

Causes of an STI

STIs are transmitted through unprotected sexual activity with an infected partner. Transmission can occur via vaginal, oral, and anal sex.


Using barrier protection like condoms can reduce your risk, but don’t offer 100% protection against STIs. The only way to completely prevent an STI, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is to abstain from sex.

Should I Be Worried?

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise. In 2014 and 2015, the CDC reported an increase in the number of infected individuals. On average, 20 million new STIs are reported each year.


While some STIs are treatable, you should always take every precaution and use your preferred method of protection to reduce the chance of infection. Untreated STIs, like chlamydia, may cause infertility. Some STIs, including Hepatitis B or C, can cause life-threatening complications. And certain STIs are incurable -- genital herpes, HPV, genital warts, and HIV/AIDS, for example.


Get tested immediately if you’re experiencing STI symptoms or have recently had unprotected sex with a new partner. Commit to yearly testing and use protection to reduce your overall risk of contracting an STI.


Schedule an STI visit online or from our iOS app today.


Find a neighborhood ZOOM+Care clinic near you in Portland, Seattle, Salem, or Vancouver.

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STI Prevention Tips


Consider these tips to help prevent STIs:


  • Protect yourself. Use condoms or similar barrier methods to reduce the chance of STI transmission.
  • Talk about it. Sex talk can be awkward with a new or familiar sexual partner, but establishing a sexual history can help ensure you both are STI free.
  • Pass the test. Get tested, simple as that. Schedule an on-demand ZOOM+Care visit and get your results fast. We can provide the necessary meds at your visit.

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