Because of changes in how women are screened for cervical cancer, making annual Pap tests unnecessary, regular STD screenings are on the deline. This means that those with STDs such as chlamydia, a common but easily treatable sexually transmitted disease, go untreated. This is concerning, as chlamydia that is left untreated can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, making it difficult to get pregnant. It can also lead to preterm delivery, and conjunctivitis and pneumonia in newborns.
In the past, the sample required for chlamydia screenings was typically taken during a woman's annual Pap smear. Now that Pap tests are done less frequently, it may be necessary to start educating women on alternate, less invasive means of testing, including via urine sample or vaginal swab.
To read more about this shift in screening frequency, click here.