The prevention of pregnancy stands as a crucial part of modern practice. Also, it is of major public health interest. Method for controlling fertility is necessary and desired. It is known as barrier method. Traditionally, the method of birth control centered almost exclusively on the deterrence of unwanted conception. Now, the goal of recent birth control has shifted towards delivering more complete health to women. Primarily reproductive health, providing women with effective contraceptives. Considerably of on-contraceptive benefits and lifestyle advantages of various methods. There stands very little information to authorize a comparison about how effective the barriers would be. Therefore, the research on this matter continues.
Barrier contraceptives stand as devices that physically prevent the dissemination of sperm within the vagina. Similarly, it obstructs the access of spermatozoa to the upper genital tract. Again, there are numerous that lists the chemical as well as physical barrier methods of contraception. Also, these can be used independently or in combination.
Some physical barrier methods are:
- Male condom
- Female condom
- Cervical cap
- Contraceptive vaginal sponge
Some chemical methods are:
- Spermicidal gels
- Vaginal foams
We can barely mark concrete differences in the effectiveness of these barrier methods. We can even find some similarities. Also, these methods are associated with the sexual behavior of the user. As each sexual manner provides a particular situation. Then, the partner decides whether to use the method or not. Both partners should decide before encountering sexual intercourse. Therefore, the barrier method expects a necessity for motivation as well as cooperation from the partner.
You can rely on the fact that barrier methods are safe.
- Unlike IUD, you can utilize them as per your necessity.
- You can purchase most barriers without a prescription.
- Also, the barriers that need a prescription can be utilized multiple times.
- Sometimes spermicides and condoms exist unrestricted as well as available at the clinic very easily.
- Also, these non-hormonal barriers can be used by everyone.
- Again, you need not have to worry about breastfeeding while accepting them.
- Moreover, there appears no impact on your other health problems. For instance, blood pressure.
- These are extremely reasonable than hormonal birth control methods.
- Furthermore, condoms offer bed protection against STDs during P-in-V intercourse, anal sex as well as oral sex.
- Diaphragms perform 80-90% beneficial while preventing pregnancy. Also, when you use a spermicide along with the diaphragm, the effective percentage increases. As it kills sperm on contact.
- The first and foremost is to remember to use them before sexual intercourse.
- There remains a lot of complaints about condoms that interfere with the sensation.
- Again, various people are allergic to spermicides. As a result, condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps regimes.
- Although they assure effectiveness yet they still lack efficiency from the non-barrier method.
With the correct and consistent use of barrier methods effectiveness in STDs as well as HIV stands enhanced. Also, recently these methods are overlooked. Even not prescribed. Hence, people frequently fail to use them and change to alternate methods. Sometimes they abandon using them with no contraception that leads to more disappointments. On the contrary, some of the barrier methods are more acceptable by the users as they provide more privacy. Particularly the women who do not want to reveal their sexual activity.
It is also helpful for women who do not want to consult a doctor. Overall, the preferences of the users are critical considerations recommending a contraceptive method. Because obtaining the correct use of these barrier methods can keep you safe from STD transmission. Again, the barrier methods assure you with the prevention of infertility. Sometimes we counter the occurrence of TSS (toxic shock syndrome) that is rare. It is however associated with the diaphragm and sponge as researched.
The bottom line
Use them! If you are planning for sexual intercourse, use them to prevent the above-mentioned issues. As you can see, all the methods are most effective. Not only effective but also affordable birth control measures. Barrier methods have come a long way from the past 50 years and science made them informative as well as easy to utilize. The most common scenery in sexual intercourse is that the male is responsible for organizing condoms. While the women are responsible for not getting pregnant out of it. However, they should stimulate both to protect themselves against STDs. Contraception methods are available for both sexes.
What are STIs?
STIs refer to sexually transmitted infections that are acquired through sexual contact. They are also known as Reproductive tract infections or venereal diseases. AIDS, Gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes and warts, chlamydiosis, and hepatitis-B are some commonly known STDs. Bacteria or virus that causes STIs can be transferred from person to person hence, it is an infectious disease.
Transmission of STIs
STIs are usually transmitted by sexual contact that includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, some STIs can spread by non-sexual methods, i.e, by blood and blood products, or by reusing the needle of injections. Organisms that are carriers of the diseases may pass disease from one person to another in blood, semen, vaginal, and other bodily fluids. Sometimes these infections can pass from mother to infant during pregnancy or childbirth. In addition, infections or diseases may be passed on during unprotected sex with an infected partner.
Symptoms of STIs
In most cases, symptoms are not visible earlier but symptoms vary as the disease progresses. Here are some common symptoms-
- Unusual Vaginal bleeding
- Pain during sex.
- Lower abdominal pain
- Rashes over the hands or feet.
- The smell in vaginal discharge
- Discharge from the penis.
- Painful or burning urination
- Sores or bumps may appear on the genital, or oral area.
Diagnosis of STIs
24/7 labs provide you with approximately 10 tests for STIs.
- Basic Kit: Chlamydia &Gonorrhea At-Home Test – $ 59.00
- Gonorrhoea- It is a sexual infection caused by a bacterium called Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, that infects male and female both. It mostly affects the urethra, rectum, or throat. Testing involves urine samples. -$80.00 – $89.00
- a/b HIV-It destroys the vital cells that fight against disease and infections and hence weakens the immune system. Getting tested can help you to get assurance. Testing may involve either the blood, urine, or oral fluid. – $50.00 – $60.00
- Chlamydia- It is a common sexual disease that is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia Trachomatis. This disease is mostly asymptomatic but has a higher risk of passing the disease to another person. Testing involves a simple urine test and is painless in both men and women. – $80.00 – $89.00
- Comprehensive sexual health panel- This panel tests for the nine most common sexually transmitted diseases:
- Herpes 1
- Herpes II
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
$228.00 – $318.00
- Hepatitis B surface antigen- Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes hepatitis, a contagious liver infection. Its testing involves the collection of blood samples. – $49.00 – $50.00
- Herpes- Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 cause STI herpes. It leads to genital pain and sores. The most common test used to diagnose the disease is the PCR blood test and it is very accurate. HSV 1 is an oral STI whereas HSV 2 is a genital STI. – $79.00 – $89.00
- Sexual Health panels- $139.00 – $219.00
- Syphilis- Treponema pallidum causes syphilis that can lead to long-term complications if left untreated. Testing involves the collection of a blood sample. – $42.00 – $49.00
- Trichomonas- Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite causes trichomoniasis. Women get more affected than men. Testing involves a urine sample. – $159.00 – $169.00.
Many effective treatments are currently available:-
- Three bacterial STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis) and one parasitic STI (trichomoniasis) can be easily cured by effective single-dose regimens of antibiotics.
- The most effective medications available for herpes and HIV, are antivirals that can modulate the course of the disease but cannot cure the disease.
- Antiviral medications can help to fight the virus of Hepatitis B and slow damage to the liver.
Various bacteria, viruses, and parasites cause venereal diseases. Untreated sexual infections may lead to dangerous health problems. Most STDs are asymptomatic. So, it is good to have tests regularly if you are sexually active. So, to prevent the infection, everyone should know about the proper use of condoms, and not keeping monogamous relationships. If you feel any symptoms of the genitals infections, you must get tested. All STIs are not deadly such as Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, and Chlamydia can be cured by antibiotics. However, HPV, Herpes, and HIV cannot be cured fully. Also, you should not be shy of consulting your doctor if you are sexually active. In addition, you should visit your doctor regularly regardless of your age if you are sexually active.
Any infection that spreads through sexual contact is termed as sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases (VD). Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis, etc are some of the examples of STIs. In this blog, you’ll find information about trichomoniasis disease.
Meaning Of Trichomonas
According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The parasite transmits from an infected person to another individual via sexual intercourse or shared sex toys. The growth of parasites in females affects the vagina and urethra. Males experience infections in the penis. Trichomonas bacteria can not transfer through hugging, kissing, sitting on similar toilet seats, or sharing towels or dishes. Genital contact is the only path through which bacteria pass.
Trichomonas vaginalis is an anaerobic protozoan parasite that causes symptomatic infections in males and females. It is responsible for urogenital infections leading to a frothy greenish vaginal or penile discharge. Preterm delivery, mortality, and severe changes in body weight are the extreme complications of Trichomonas vaginalis. The protozoan lacks mitochondria, essential enzymes, and cytochromes required for its survival. Trichomonas vaginalis causes severe damage to the vaginal lining that makes females susceptible to an HIV infection.
According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), only 30% of people report symptoms of trichomoniasis. Others do not report any symptoms. Generally, the symptoms of trich are visible after 7 to 28 days of infection.
Symptoms Of Trichomoniasis In Females
- Unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge usually white, gray, yellow, or green
- Itching and burning sensation in the vagina
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Pain while urinating or having sex
- Redness, swelling, and inflammation of the genital area
Symptoms Of Trichomoniasis In Males
- Pain and irritation in the penis
- Frequent discharge from the penis
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating or ejaculating
- Pain and discomfort while urinating
- Frequent urges to urinate
Who’s At Risk?
Individuals who have multiple sexual partners are at a greater risk of acquiring trichomoniasis. Any person with a history of other sexually transmitted infections is more likely to acquire trichomoniasis. Sexual intercourse without condoms makes the person prone to catching the parasite. Previous trichomoniasis transmissions make a person more susceptible to develop trichomoniasis.
Treatment For Trichomoniasis
Antibiotics such as metronidazole and tinidazole are helpful to treat trichomoniasis. Avoid drinking alcohol awaking antibiotics for trichomoniasis as it may lead to severe nausea and vomiting. Individuals should get tested if their sexual partners have been diagnosed with trichomoniasis. Above all, avoid any type of sexual contact until the infection is treated.
Complications Associated With Trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis can cause severe damage to the vaginal lining making females more susceptible to an HIV infection. Similarly, trich can also lead to other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, bacterial vaginosis, and chlamydia. If left untreated, it may cause pelvic inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, it may block the fallopian tube due to scar tissue. Trichomoniasis can also cause infertility and severe pelvic pain. A pregnant woman who is infected with trich may deliver a premature child or child having a lower weight. The child may also acquire trichomoniasis through the birth canal. However, the condition is rare.
Prevention Of Trichomoniasis
To prevent trichomoniasis, it is advisable to use latex condoms. For instance, condoms help to prevent the transfer of parasites through the genital fluid by covering either the cervix (female condoms) or penis (male condoms).
Douching is a method in which females clean the vagina with vinegar and water. Females use douching to change the vaginal odor. Females must avoid douching as douching can leach out healthy and helpful bacterias.
Effective communication is required with sexual partners about history, other sexual partners, and potential risk of any STI. Therefore, limit the number of sexual partners as having multiple sexual partners amplifies the risk of catching an STI.
Testing Of Trichomoniasis
Vaginal fluid is collected from females to detect the presence of the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite. In addition, a urine sample is taken from males. The samples are tested under an electron microscope to detect whether the parasite is present or not. Rapid antigen tests and nucleic tests are also for testing trichomoniasis.
Trichomonasvaginalis is an anaerobic protozoan parasite that causes a sexually transmitted infection named trichomoniasis. The parasite transmits from an infected person to another individual via sexual intercourse. In addition, the signs and symptoms associated with trichomoniasis in females include the presence of unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge, itching and burning sensation in the vagina, vaginal bleeding, vaginal pain while urinating or having sex, and redness, swelling, and inflammation of the genital area. The symptoms in males are penile discharge, frequent urges to urinate, discomfort while urinating, and having coitus. Therefore, people must get tested.
According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is the overall well-being of individuals, couples, and families. Sexually Transmitted Infections can lead to health problems such as infertility, blindness, severe organ damage, and even cancer of the genitals. Therefore, the topic of sexual health needs proper consideration and guidance.
Every person must achieve sexual health depending on their accessibility to standard quality information about sex, sexuality, sexual health care, and sexual orientation. So, people need to be aware of the complications of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, abortion, sexual violence, sexual dysfunction, and harmful sexual practices.
Comprehensive Sexual Health Panel
The comprehensive sexual health panel is a test panel comprising 10 tests for STDs. The test is ideal for individuals who have engaged in sexual intercourse or similar activities. The test involves the examination of genital fluid. In other words, blood tests, plasma tests, and urine tests help in the diagnosis of STIs. No fasting is required for a comprehensive sexual health panel test. The list of 10 STIs diagnosed by a comprehensive sexual health panel are-
A plasma test is used to test the presence of syphilis virus- Treponema pallidum. In addition, the test displays accurate results after 3 to 6 weeks of exposure. Following are the symptoms of syphilis.
- Presence of bumps or tumors on genitals
- Headaches and impairing concentration
- Vaginal discharge.
- Development of sores in oral, anal, and genital areas
- Presence of painless ulcers
Hepatitis A, B, and C
A blood test helps to diagnosis hepatitis. For hepatitis A, 2 to 7 weeks are required after testing after exposure. Whereas, hepatitis B and hepatitis C require testing after 3 8 and 8 to 9 weeks after exposure respectively. Following are the signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis.
- Discharge of dark-colored urine
- Presence of yellow eyes and skin
- Unexplained fatigue and tiredness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Abdominal pain and spasm
HIV 1 and HIV 2
For testing the presence of human immunodeficiency virus, blood samples are collected from the patient’s body giving results within 9 to 11 days post possible exposure. Following are the signs and symptoms associated with HIV.
- Development of ulcers in the mouth and genital regions, oral thrush, sore throat,
- Prolonged fever
- Unusual lesions
- Unexplained fatigue
- Persistent skin rashes
Herpes-type 1 and type 2
Blood samples are collected from the patient’s body giving results within four to six weeks after possible exposure to detect the presence of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Herpes-type 1 causes oral herpes resulting in the development of cold sores and fever blisters on the face and mouth. Herpes-type 2 is genital herpes causing pain, discomfort, and inflammation of genital areas. Following are the signs and symptoms associated with herpes.
- Presence of blister sores
- Pain and discomfort while urinating
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Unexplained and prolonged fatigue, tiredness, and fever
- Loss of appetite
- Eye pain and eye discharge
A urine test helps to determine the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacteria responsible for causing STI chlamydia. The accurate results are available within two to five days after possible exposure. Following are the signs and symptoms associated with Chlamydia.
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain in testicles (in men) and cervix (in females)
- Pain during sex
- Continuous vaginal discharge
- Greenish-yellow discharge from the penis
A urine test helps to diagnose gonorrhea, STI caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. After that, the accurate results are available within two to six days after possible exposure. Following are the signs and symptoms associated with gonorrhea.
- Redness and swelling of the penile tissues
- Prolonged sore throat
- Pus-like discharge from the penis (in men) and vagina (in females)
- Changes in frequency of urination
- Pain and inflammation in testicles
It’s Important To Consult A Doctor
Therefore, if any individual is facing any problems during intercourse, while urinating, or experiencing discomfort in the genital areas, it is advisable to consult a doctor. In addition, patients must communicate following things with the doctor.
- If your partner had other sexual partners
- Medications consumed by the person (for instance- birth control pills or hormone regulation tablets)
- Any suspected exposure to sexually transmitted infections
- Types of protections used while having oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse
To sum up, sexually transmitted infections can cause severe health problems if left unintended. The topic of sexual health needs proper consideration and guidance. So. every person must achieve sexual health depending on their accessibility to standard quality information about sex, sexuality, sexual health care, and sexual orientation. Furthermore, individuals must seek professional and certified medical help in case of any suspicion regarding the presence of STIs. To conclude, the comprehensive sexual health panel test helps in the diagnosis of 10 STIs- Syphilis, HIV 1, HIV 2, Hepatitis A, B, and C, Herpes type 1 as 2, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia.
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.
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.
Symptoms are tricky to interpret. Does your headache mean you’re dehydrated, stressed, or dealing with poor vision? It’s tempting to ignore symptoms and just hope they disappear, but the following five symptoms definitely need your attention since they could signal an STD.
Continual Vaginal Itching
Itches happen from time to time, but it isn’t normal to feel ongoing itching inside your vagina. If your itching becomes incessant and overwhelming, it could indicate a yeast infection… or it could indicate an STD like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, or trichomoniasis. It is even more likely to be an STD if the itching is paired with any of the symptoms below. (more…)
Often known as “The Clap,” Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that affects about 78 million people around the world each year. Though this STD can be treated, it is a serious condition that can lead to complications if ignored.
Procrastination only makes matters worse, so it’s essential to test for gonorrhea as soon as you suspect you might have contracted the disease.
What Is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium called neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women in the genitals, rectum, and throat as a result of any form of unprotected sexual activity.
Gonorrhea is especially unique because it can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. It’s even possible to experience gonorrhea and chlamydia simultaneously. (more…)