Infections that transmit from infected individuals to other people during coitus or intercourse are called sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There are various types of STIs including Chlamydia, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Trichomoniasis, Genital herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Human papillomavirus, Hepatitis B, etc. Some of the common symptoms of STIs include frequent discharge from the penis, constant itching and irritation in the vagina, blisters and rashes in genitals, severe abdominal pain, sore throat, irregular menstrual cycle, and redness near the anus.
Aids refers to Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome that is caused by the Human immunodeficiency virus that spreads by seminal or vaginal secretions of the infected person. It can only transmit through fluids such as blood, semen, anal mucous, and fluids of the vagina. HIV attacks on the CD4 glycoproteins found on the surface of T-lymphocytes, macrophages, and monocytes lowering the immunity of the body. T-lymphocytes act as HIV manufacturing machines producing a massive amount of foreign virus that hampers the proper functioning of the immune system.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of AIDS include prolonged fever, unusual lesions, unexplained tiredness, persistent skin rashes, development of ulcers in the mouth and genital regions, oral thrush, sore throat, and chronic diarrhea.
AIDS discloses by ELISA test, antibody test, and nucleic acid testing.
In nucleic acid tests, they take blood from the patient’s vein in a sample test tube. It involves the preparation of the sample using the patient’s blood in the laboratory. Amplification of RNA using TMA- transcription-mediated amplification, and detection of HIV in the amplicon. The test gives a statistical report of the number of viruses present in the infected person.
ELIZA test- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is another test to detect the presence of HIV by detecting the existence of antibodies to the virus. In this test, the blood sample or saliva of the patient is collected and tested further by culturing it into a petri dish.
Syphilis is an STI by the bacteria Treponema pallidum that enters the mucous membrane through cuts and abrasions on the skin. The bacteria enter the body in a dormant stage and have the potential to become active after years of transmission. This, therefore, causes damage to the heart, brain, and other accessory organs.
Signs and symptoms
Syphilis infection can be recognized by monitoring the presence of bumps or tumors on genitals, dementia, development of sores in oral, anal, and genital areas, painless ulcers, headaches impairing concentration, and vaginal discharge.
Various tests to detect Syphilis infection include
VDRL test- It stands for Venereal disease research laboratory test that involves collecting and testing blood samples and spinal fluids of the patient to detect the presence of antibodies against the bacterium.
The rapid immunochromatographic test requires the use of nitrocellulose strips along with antigen sites. If the sample of blood, plasma, or serum of the patient contains the bacteria, it will coagulate on the antigen site of the nitrocellulose strip.
Rapid plasma reagin test is another laboratory test to screen out syphilis bacteria. The blood sample of the patient is collected and diagnosed to detect the presence of non-specific antibodies.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a bacteria responsible for an STI with the name, gonorrhea. Oral sex, anal sex, and unprotected vaginal sex can transmit the infection from moist areas of the infected person. Therefore the moist areas such as the urethra, vagina, eyes, throat, and anus.
Signs and symptoms
Yeast candidiasis, bacterial infections, watery discharge, and increased discharge in periods. Along with pain during coitus, extreme abdominal pain, and frequent urination are some of the symptoms of Gonorrhoea.
One method to detect the appearance of gonorrhea-causing bacterium is by collecting and reviewing fluids from genitals- penis, rectum, and vagina.
If the patient involves in oral or anal sex, swab test samples from the throat and rectum also detect gonorrhea. The urine or swab samples help to screen out the DNA of the bacteria.
Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria is responsible for the transmission of Chlamydia. Hence, the disease may occur asymptomatic that may lead to serious health problems in the latter part of life.
Signs and symptoms
Chlamydia is a curable disease that causes an elevation in vaginal secretion, abdominal pain during intercourse, swelling in testicles, and irregular bleeding in the infected individual.
NAAT – It refers to the nucleic acid amplification test that detects the genetic material of the bacteria. This is by amplifying it on a cultured medium. A vaginal sample or urinal sample of the patient is of use in this diagnostic test.
However, a swab test is another diagnostic measure to detect the existence of trachomatis bacteria. In this, the doctor cultures fluid from the cervical to detect the presence of antigens.
The causes of sexually transmitted infections are bacterias, viruses, and parasites. These can enter through the genitals because of unprotected coitus, sharing needles, or through blood transfusions. Creating awareness among the people to use condoms, not keeping monogamous relationships, prevents infection. Testing as soon as there are unusual symptoms in the genitals infections also prevents infections. Not all STIs are deadly such as Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, and Chlamydia which are curable by antibiotics. However, HPV, Herpes, and HIV are not fully curable diseases.
Myths are present in every step of your life. So, how can healthcare be an exception? There are endless myths about healthcare. Some are pass down from generation to generation, and some are accepted by science previously. These are tried and tested through time. Some are even a fact. But all others are just mere fantasy. Today, we are here to debunk some of these myths, which gives you a lot of unnecessary stress.
Cracking joints leads to arthritis
It is one of the most common myths which people hear and believe. First, let us understand how we hear the cracking sound from the joints. We have the synovial fluid around the joints. When someone is cracking their joints, space creates between two joints. It causes the formation of the air bubble of synovial fluid. This bubble pops, creating a cracking sound. As for arthritis, it develops when the cartilage within the joint breaks down. It allows the bones to rub together, causing pain. Therefore, there is no relation between joint cracking and arthritis. But it can lead to the wearing down of the synovial membrane, and your joints will be easier to crack. Also, your can swell, and your grip will be loose. So, if you like the sound of joints cracking, do it less frequently.
All fat is bad
From the moment you hear the word “fat,” an assumption is made on the spot about it being not good for health. So, many people follow a fat-free diet. But the truth is your body needs fat. If you remove fat from your diet, you will face problems like the risk of heart disease and cancer. Fat is the cushion of the body. It keeps the body warm and provides energy to it. Some dietary fats absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Monounsaturated fats cut the risk of heart disease and lower blood cholesterol. Nuts and vegetable oils contain monounsaturated fats. Another type that is good for the heart is polyunsaturated fat. It contains omega-3 fatty acids found in fishes like salmon and trout. Therefore, including fat in your diet is essential. Avoid the fats like trans and saturated fats which causes different health problems.
Symptoms of thyroid are obvious
Another common myth is, symptoms of thyroid disease are evident. But the truth is, like any other disease, thyroid disease symptoms can be subtle and easily overlooked. The common symptoms are weight gain or loss, fatigue or irritability, and cold or hot sensitivity. These symptoms can be of other diseases. According to the doctors, the thyroid can be tricky to detect due to subtle symptoms. Therefore, you should get yourself regularly tested. Especially, if you have a family history with the diseases. You can have subtle symptoms, and with early diagnosis, they can be cured.
Hormonal problems after 40- Menopause
If you are a woman above 40 and you are having some hormonal problem. The most convenient answer you will get is menopause. But menopause is not always the case. Many women experience problems, like the fluctuation of hormones during this time. These changes can affect thyroid function also. Therefore, consult your doctor about any physical and mental changes you are experiencing. Also, get your tests done to know the problems.
Having HIV is a death sentence
The most common perception about HIV is that people who do have it cannot have an average human lifespan. Well, it is not true. According to Dr. Michael Horberg, national director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, “with proper treatment, we now expect people with HIV to live a normal life span.” Therefore, even if you are diagnosed with HIV, you do not have to worry about anything. If you are a person with good access to antiretroviral therapy (ART), you can expect to live a normal life span. But you also have to take your medicines on time.
Myths are one of the main reasons why people get the wrong diagnosis. It is always better to talk to a professional and get yourself rightly the right diagnosis. Sometimes it is just a small thing just because of a certain myth we tend to exaggerate it. Now that you know what kinds of health myths exist, you can easily avoid them. You do not have to worry about the stories passed down from generation to generation. Just follow a proper, balanced diet, you will be healthy and happy. Also, if you are facing some problems, consult the doctor, not the myths or the internet.
The relationship between herpes viruses and humans may have been around for thousands of years. Herpesviruses have a unique structure with four layers: a nucleus containing a large DNA genome and two strands bound by icosahedral capsid. The capsid is surrounded by a protein coating called the tegument. It is enclosed in an envelope containing a lipid bilayer that carries glycoprotein. Any of the several herpesvirus infections are characterized by blisters or rashes on skin or mucous membranes.
Herpes genitalis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is a DNA virus with two serotypes: herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). Both of these types can cause sores on the inside and back of your vagina, cervix, anus, penis, skin, buttocks, inner thighs, lips, mouth, throat, and it is rare for your eyes. HSV-1 oral herpes can spread from the mouth to the vagina through oral sex. This is why some cases of herpes genitalis are due to HSV-1.
Herpes is non-lethal and usually does not cause serious health problems. While herpes outbreaks can be irritating and painful. There are ways to treat herpes, and precautions to make sure you do not give herpes to anyone you have sex with.
HSV-1 (Oral Herpes)
It is usually responsible for cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and face. Children often get HSV-1 from close contact with an infected adult person.
The following interactions can cause HSV-1:
- by eating in the same utensils
- sharing lipstick or lip balm
The virus spreads very quickly when an outbreak occurs.
What are the signs and symptoms of HSV-1?
Most blisters appear on the lips or mouth. Sometimes blisters form on the face or tongue. These are the common places to get oral herpes. The blisters will leak fluid into the sores. After about four to six days, the sores will start to crack and heal. However, some people show no symptoms at all.
Preventive measures for HSV-1 (Oral Herpes)
- Apply sunscreen or lip balm containing zinc oxide to your lips regularly.
- Apply a lotion to prevent the lips from becoming too dry.
- Avoid direct contact with herpes sores.
- Wash items such as towels in boiling water after each use.
- Do not share utensils, threads, glasses, or other items if someone suffering from herpes
Testing for HSV-1?
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), blood test, or biopsy can confirm HSV-1. PCR is a popular test to detect herpes infections. If you think you may have a herpes infection, a home test may be the easiest option for you. If you have the herpes virus and its antibodies, it can be found in a blood test, even if you have no symptoms. However, the only time a virus may not be detected in a test (after contraction) is if it is tested early.
HSV-2 (genital Herpes)
Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection is widespread and almost exclusively sexually transmitted, causing genital herpes. A person can contact herpes 2 infections during sexual contact or skin-to-skin contact with a person with genital HSV-2 infection.
What are the signs & symptoms of HSV-2?
Symptoms can begin about two to 12 days after exposure to the virus. HSV-2 causes itching and sores in the genital area. However, at times you may not have any signs or symptoms of genital herpes. An infected person does not always have visible sores. Sores can develop when blisters rupture and come out or bleed. Sores can make it difficult to urinate. During the first rash, you may have flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes in your grip, head, muscles, and fever.
Preventive measures of HSV-2 (Genital Herpes)
Suggestions for the prevention of genital herpes are similar to preventing other sexually transmitted infections. Avoid having sex. or Limit sexual contact. In short, you can:
- Use a latex condom during all sexual intercourse
- Avoid having sex if any infected partner.
- Be in a long-term relationship with one person who does not have an STD (e.g., a partner who has been tested and has the negative test).
Testing for HSV-2?
An HSV-2 biopsy can help determine if you have got herpes. HSV-2 tests are usually are only for genital sores. Tests can even be performed using other kinds of samples, like bodily fluid, blood, urine, or tears. To determine if the sores are due to HSV-2, a variety of tests are out there.
For many couples, herpes is not a big deal. Try to talk about it. It is better to have a conversation calmly HSV is a common virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source, about 67% of people worldwide have HSV-1, and 11% have HSV-2. A Home Herpes Test is an efficient way for those who are uncomfortable to discuss sensitive topics such as these in-person with their medical providers who do not agree with a non-infectious diagnosis. Using a new male or female condom or rubber dental dam every time you have vaginal or oral sex will reduce the risk of herpes transmission. While having sex with multiple partners, it is even more important to use condoms and regular STI tests. If you have genital herpes you shall test for other sexually transmitted infections, as well, to ensure safety.
What does Chlamydia mean? Have you ever come across this word? Well, Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacteria, that causes Chlamydia in human beings, a sexually transmitted infection.
This disease does not show any symptoms at its early stage. But, if not treated, it can cause severe health problems. Thus it requires regular treatment with the guidance of the doctor. Due to no symptoms at an early stage, the infection spreads easily. This means that the infection passes to the sexual partners with no knowledge about it. According to a survey, 75% of women and 50% of men infected do not experience any symptoms at the early stages.
Chlamydia is diagnosed should be treated as soon as possible because they show symptoms late. Generally, they show the symptoms within 1 to 3 weeks after contact. Women and men may experience different symptoms, which are:
Symptoms in Men
- Swelling and pain around the testicles
- Cloudy or clear discharge (yellow or green) from the tip of your penis
- Burning sensation while urination
- Itching and burning around your penis opening
Symptoms in Women
- Vaginal discharge, with odor
- Painful periods
- Pain while having sex
- Burning or itching around the vagina
- Lower abdominal pain and fever
Apart from these, it can affect other parts of the body. Such as the anus being discomfort and discharge, redness, pain, and discharge in the eyes, and more.
How is Chlamydia caused?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection and having sex without a condom, and unprotected oral sex might lead to transmission. Even touching the genitals together transmits the infection. Newborn babies might acquire Chlamydia during their month from their infected mother. However, most pregnancy tests include a Chlamydia test. Often, people get Chlamydia infections when they have sex with multiple partners.
Treatment for Chlamydia
Chlamydia sounds like a huge bacterial infection. However, it is easy to treat. Thus, you need not panic. Being bacterial, it can be cured with antibiotics. The test for Chlamydia will ensure the level and dosage for the treatment or antibiotics. The doctor will ensure the full diagnosis and treatment of the infection from the body through proper testing and treatment.
Apart from the medicines, it is important to refrain from having sex during the treatment time. It is possible to be affected by Chlamydia again, if exposed, no matter if you have been treated for the previous one. You should test yourselves every 3 months after the treatment for the disease. Also, try to avoid sex for one week of the final dose for the infection. Since Chlamydia can be cured, it is important to stay protected and prevent yourself from recurrence.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It passes through one person to the other through sexual contact. They do not show any danger or symptom at their early occurring stage, but one might experience serious medical complications if they are not treated. However, it is important to have a test for Chlamydia, as it is a growing concept. Whenever you experience any suspecting moment, get your tests and start treating it. You should have regular tests for sexually transmitted infections with the new partner. While having sex, and oral sex always use proper protection.
Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) is caused by viruses or bacteria that are spread from person to person by sexual activity. If you suspect an STD then you should carefully check and know about its symptoms. If your current sign or symptoms show that you have STD, go for treatment and tests. STD is a serious issue. But, if treated properly, you can overcome it.
- Ulcers on the skin of the genitalia
- Abdominal pain
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
- Burning discomfort during urination
If you are facing all these problems then here is what you should do next.
Go for the following tests
- Blood test: blood tests confirm the diagnosis. It gives an accurate report whether you are diagnosed or not.
- Urine samples: urine tests determine whether the STD-causing bacteria are present in your urine. The urine sample is part of regular testing for STD.
- Fluid samples: the doctor may take the fluid samples if you have open genital sores. This will help to diagnose the type of infection.
The Doctor will first confront you and question that how many sexual partners you had and if any of them were diagnosed with STD. Be honest with your doctor. They will examine your genital area and take samples of genital discharge. It will take the sample and send it to the laboratory for testing. Out of the above-mentioned tests, the doctor recommends different tests according to the symptoms. As soon as the reports come of the test, the doctor will start the treatment. The doctor will better take care of the disease and facilitate proper treatment.
Start and complete treatment
Sexually Transmitted diseases are easier to cure. You will have to complete the treatment prescribed by the doctor. Even if you feel better while the treatment is going on do not discontinue before completing it. Do as the doctor says. If you are diagnosed with a bacterial STD, it can be cured but if it is a viral STD then it can be managed but not cured.
Antibiotics are often used for bacterial STD. you will be treated for both gonorrhea and chlamydia at the same time because they both appear together. If you start taking the medications follow them till the end and if you can not then consult your doctor.
If you have a viral infection or HIV then you will be prescribed an antiviral drug. Antiviral drugs lower the risk and keep infections in check for many years. Though you still carry the disease and there is a chance of transmission of the disease.
Practice safer intercourse
If you are involved in a sexual relationship and you think you might have STD, it is your responsibility to protect both of yourselves from further infections. Having safer sex may not be foolproof but it reduces the risk of transmitting infections. Every disease is not transmitted every time you have sex with your partner. So it is better to practice safer sex.
- Make sure to use protection while having sex. Using male latex condoms while sexual activity is a good option.
- No sex, no STD. avoiding sexual activities will keep you safe from the Sexual Transmitting Disease.
- Sexually indulging with only one person.
Sexual Transmitting Disease is a silent infection that can be passed between two sex partners without getting noticed. Call your doctor immediately if you find a sore in your genital area or found abnormal discharge from the urethra. If you found yourself diagnosed with STD then do reach out to your partner and make them aware so that they can also undergo testing and treatment. Always take preventive measures and medical attention.
Sexual health is as important as any other health. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are diseases passed from one person to another through sexual activity. It can spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. In rare cases, STDs can spread through intimate physical contact like heavy petting. The United States has millions of new cases every year.
STDs or STIs are almost impossible to detect on your own. They can only be diagnosed with a proper test. The comprehensive sexual health panel provides detailed testing for a range of STDs.
If these diseases are not treated on time, they can lead to various severe health problems. Some of which are organ damage, cancer, blindness, etc. Unfortunately, many of the infected do not receive immediate treatment. There is a stigma around a disease that makes this issue a taboo. You should not assume that your doctor will automatically suggest you test for STDs.
Types of STDs tested in a comprehensive sexual health panel
This test panel is suitable for you if you have had intercourse or are engaged in any kind of sexual deed. Especially with a person whose medical history is unknown to you. This test diagnoses 10 types of STDs. The results are accurate and it comes as soon as one day after the exposure. Some of them even take up to three months to get an accurate diagnosis. Following are some of the STDs that comprehensive sexual health panel tests for:
It is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact – a sore on the genitals, mouth, or rectum. Usually, spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane if in contact with these sores.
- HIV type 1 and 2
Both are types of HIV, human immunodeficiency virus. Both weaken the immune system but type 2 develops more slowly and is less likely to transmit than HIV type 1.
- Herpes-type 1 and 2
HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral-to-oral contact to cause oral herpes, but can also cause genital herpes. HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital herpes. These both are lifelong diseases.
A sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if untreated, may cause infertility. It usually has no symptoms.
It spreads by having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It does not have symptoms.
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
These diseases are spread from contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has the infection. Although, Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact.
How does it work?
A comprehensive sexual health panel is done by taking a small sample of fluid from the genitals, drawing blood and plasma, a specimen of urine from the patient. Laboratory technicians test the specimens for the infections. No fasting is required while taking a comprehensive sexual health panel sample. You must consult a doctor regarding this testing. Any doctor or nurse can provide an application for these laboratory tests. It is also important that you avoid being uncomfortable or awkward while talking about this to your health consultants.
Things your doctor should know
Your doctor must be aware of your sexual life to predict any STDs. Your doctor should be aware of the types of protection you use during oral, anal, and vaginal sex, the medicines that you are taking, and whether you or your partner have other sexual encounters.
Untreated sexually transmitted infections can lead to serious health problems. STDs do not always have symptoms at all or have mild symptoms sometimes. Hence, they are mostly undetectable. Therefore it is necessary to get tested if you are sexually active. Getting tested is a sign of being responsible. You should not be shy about your sexual health. No matter what your age is if you are sexually active, you should not hesitate to discuss or request a comprehensive sexual health panel from your doctor. These diseases are common and treatment is widely available.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) means the disease that is transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases, the health problems they bring can be very difficult for women. STDs do not always cause symptoms or can only cause mild symptoms. So, it is possible to have an infection but not know it. Also, if there are symptoms, they may include an abnormal discharge from the vagina or anus, painful or normal urination, redness and itching in the vagina, anal itching, pain, or bleeding, abdominal pain, fever.
If you have sex, you should talk to your healthcare provider about your STD risk and whether you need a test. This is very important because most STDs do not usually cause symptoms.
Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by viruses. People with chlamydia often have no external symptoms in the early stages. Chlamydia can cause vaginal discharge. It can be like red or mucus. Sex without a condom and having unprotected oral sex are the main ways to become infected with chlamydia.
Symptoms in men
- a burning sensation during urination
- lower abdominal pain
- pain in the testicles
Symptoms in women
- painful sex
- vaginal discharge
- a burning sensation during urination
- lower abdominal pain
Test for chlamydia
The most effective diagnostic test for chlamydia is to swipe the vagina in women and test urine in men. Results may take 24 – 48 hours. The doctor’s office should call to discuss the results. If the test comes back positive, the next appointment and treatment options will be discussed.
Gonorrhea is passed from one person to another through oral, anal, or vaginal sex without a condom or any other form of contraception. The best protection against sexually transmitted infections is condom use. However, some people who get gonorrhea have never had any visible symptoms.
Symptoms in men
- high frequency or urgency urination
- red (or leaky) discharge from the penis (white, yellow, beige, or green)
- swelling or redness when the penis opens
- swelling or pain in the testicles
Symptoms in women
- vaginal discharge (liquid, creamy, or green)
- pain or burning sensation while urinating
- urge to urinate more often
- hard times or spots
- Sore throat
- pain during sex
Test for gonorrhea
Health professionals can diagnose gonorrhea in several ways. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual test for gonorrhea for all sexually active women under the age of 25.
Both men and women should be tested for gonorrhea symptoms. If you are a woman, a sample can be taken from your cervix. Your healthcare provider will use a plastic or metal device called a speculum to open the vagina so that the cervix can be seen. If you are a man, doctors take swabs from the opening of your urethra. You can do some gonorrhea tests with a home STD test kit.
It does not mean that sex is the only way STDs are transmitted. If left untreated, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also referred to as STIs, can cause serious health problems. Do not assume that your doctor will automatically diagnose all your sexually transmitted infections during your annual physical or sexual examination. All pregnant women should get tested for HIV and hepatitis B. Many doctors do not regularly diagnose STDs.
It is important to ask your doctor for an STD test. Ask what tests they plan to take and why. This is because taking care of your sexual health is not something you are ashamed of. If you are worried about a particular disease or symptom, talk to your doctor about it. The more reliable you are, the better the treatment you will receive. These “hidden” STDs can still become a problem for people’s health. So, anyone who is sexually active should get tested. Once you order your test, you will receive an email confirming your test and your chosen clinic.
Did you know that people contract 1 million sexually transmitted infections every day?
When it comes to STDs and STIs, there’s so much more at risk than shame or embarrassment. If left untreated, STDs can grow to become potentially life-threatening.
Since many of these diseases are invisible, getting tested is always a smart call. Keep reading for a complete guide to STD testing, including why you should get tested for STDs, what to look out for, and what you can expect from an STD test.
Why Getting Tested for STDs Is a Good Idea
A lot of people believe that there’s no need to get tested. Perhaps they already underwent an STD test a few years ago or have only been with one sexual partner for a long period of time.
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t protect you from STDs. When you look the other way, you leave yourself vulnerable to all sorts of dangerous diseases.
Reports show that Americans are catching STDs at a higher rate than ever. The number of new cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea jumped to 2.3 million in 2017, a 200,000 case increase from the previous year.
Staying vulnerable isn’t a productive course of action. Likewise, it doesn’t help your partner, either.
If you have any sexual contact at all, you risk exposing yourself and your partner to potentially fatal illnesses.
When to Get Tested for STDs
STDs are more dangerous and ubiquitous than ever. By now, it’s clear that abstaining from STD testing isn’t a viable option.
So when is it time to head into the clinic or order an at-home test?
Here are some telltale signs to help you determine if it’s time to get tested.
You’re Thinking About Becoming Sexually Active
If you’re thinking about becoming sexually active for the first time, you might already feel a ton of pressure on your shoulders.
We’re not here to add to that stress. But we are here to help you make a smart, well-informed decision.
There’s a common misconception that STDs are only passed through sexual intercourse.
The truth is, you can catch an STD, such as a strain of herpes or HIV, without ever coming in contact with a partner’s genitals. Something as simple as a kiss could put yourself or your partner at risk.
You Have a New Sexual Partner
Since STDs and STIs only require an exchange of bodily fluids to spread, it’s always a good idea to get tested whenever you’re with a new partner.
It doesn’t matter how many or how few sexual partners your new companion has had. Getting tested protects both of you.
Before engaging in any type of sexual activity, have a conversation about your sexual health.
Asking a partner if they’ve had an STD test recently may not be the most romantic topic in the world. Still, it’s important enough that it warrants a few moments of discomfort.
You Frequently Engage in Casual Sex
There’s nothing wrong with playing the field, so to speak. Casual hookups are actually pretty common.
If you’re having sex with new partners on a regular basis, you can mitigate your risk of catching an STD by using protection and undergoing regular testing.
So go ahead and live your life, but be smart about it!
You’ve Had Sex Within the past Year
On the flip side, maybe you’re taking a break from sex for a while. That’s also a viable option.
However, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You’ll still want to undergo regular STD testing to make sure that you’re safe and healthy.
At the bare minimum, get tested once per year, as some STDs can be tough to detect and may lie dormant — even if you aren’t sexually active at the moment.
You’re Experiencing Common Symptoms of STDs
Every type of STD comes with its own symptoms. Some, like herpes sores, are easy to detect. Others, like pain when urinating or genital itching are a lot easier to spot.
Whether your symptoms seem major or minor, you should never hesitate to get tested.
The earlier you treat an STD, the better.
You Have Had or Plan to Have Unprotected Sex
Unprotected sex is any form of sexual intercourse where a condom or form of birth control isn’t used.
Needless to say, unprotected sex is extremely dangerous and isn’t recommended.
If you do end up having unprotected sex, get tested as soon as possible. You’re risking much more than an unplanned pregnancy. Unprotected sex leaves both partners vulnerable to an entire host of diseases.
You Already Have an STD or STI
At first, it might seem strange to get tested if you’ve already tested positive for an STD.
Certain STDs can weaken your body’s defenses, making it easier to contract other viruses and illnesses.
What to Expect When You Get Tested
Getting tested for an STD can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’ve never undergone a test before.
Don’t worry, the testing process is quick and easy!
For starters, make an appointment with your local testing facility. If this is your first test, we suggest a comprehensive sexual health panel, which tests for a wide array of STDs and STIs like HIV, herpes 1 and 2, syphilis, and more.
If you’re uncomfortable getting tested in a lab setting, ask about at-home testing, which is as effective as a lab test without any of the social discomfort.
And don’t forget, you may not need insurance or a doctor’s note to get tested. All you have to do is walk-in or order an at-home test.
Often, the most painful part of the process is waiting for the results. In most cases, results are available in a few short days.
Don’t Risk It: Get Tested Today
Your sexual health is every bit as important as your physical and mental well-being. Don’t let shame or stigmas keep you from having a happy, healthy sex life.
Are you or a partner interested in getting tested? Schedule an appointment today, and you may be able to get tested for STDs as early as today.
You never hope to contract an STD, but if you are sexually active, STDs pose a real risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 19 million men and women in the United States contract some kind of sexually transmitted disease each year!
STDs cause uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms, but the good news is that most STDs caused by bacteria and can be treated or even cured with antibiotics. Even if an STD is caused by a virus, it can still be controlled with proper medical attention.
Whether you have syphilis, chlamydia, or any STD in between, here’s what you should know about treating your STD. (more…)
Did you know that STDs can affect anybody who is sexually active? Whether you have had one sexual partner or dozens of sexual partners in your life, you are still at risk for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. Despite their prevalence- more than 20 million people will be diagnosed with STDs this year alone!- far too many people put off or avoid STD testing for months or years.
Procrastinating on an essential health screening like an STD test jeopardizes your health. STDs are quite manageable when caught early, and some can even be cured with just one round of antibiotics. However, when STDs go undiagnosed or untreated, they often lead to dangerous health complications and lose their ability to be cured easily. (more…)