Teen Wellness Screening

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set the standards for wellness screening. These organizations and your health insurance plan recommend testing teen women and young adults for genital Chlamydia infection.

This screening is also required when oral contraceptives are prescribed even though the prescriptions may be for medical reasons such as acne and managing menstrual problems like heavy or frequent bleeding.

Chlamydia infection is a significant and serious health problem. The vast majority of infections are asymptomatic, unrecognized, and therefore untreated. Chlamydia is the leading cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and the leading cause of preventable infertility. Adolescent females have the highest risk of infection. It is estimated that 5-10% are currently infected. Males may similarly report no symptoms.

Questioning and interviewing are the least reliable screening format to identify young people at risk for this disease. The most reliable screening is to test, at a minimum, all adolescent girls of high school and college age. Testing is performed on a routine urine specimen. Teenagers should be able to receive the results confidentially. For patients over 18 years of age, all medical results are confidential. Treatment recommendations will be provided, if necessary, and counseling to identify partners will be offered. Results can be provided by telephone, by mail or secure on-line communication.

This testing is part of well care, and your insurance should process it toward well care. While we submit this test to the lab as well care, the lab may not always process the code correctly. We have brought this to their attention countless times. If you receive a bill for this test, please contact the lab and ask them to process the test the way it was coded from our office. Please contact our office if there are additional issues.

Read more about Chlamydia here https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/stdfact-chlamydia.htm.

Once teens reach 18 years of age, baseline testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and Syphilis are recommended. Rates of sexually transmitted infections were rising nationally before the COVID19 pandemic began, and this testing is another part of wellness. Read more here https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/adolescents-youngadults.htm

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
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