What are sexually transmitted diseases and who should be tested?
When you leave STDs (sexually transmitted infections) untreated it can lead to health complications, for example, cancer, loss of vision, organ damage or failure, and impotence. According to research study estimates over twenty million new STDs are occurring annually worldwide.
Sadly, the majority of the population does not seek prompt medical attention for the infections. Most sexually transmitted infections do not have specific symptoms which makes it very hard to identify them. There is a lot of stigma in society concerning STDs which in turn discourages people from being tested and getting medication. Testing for the STDs is the only possible way to be sure you have contracted the infections for example through STD lab testing. If you learn you have the infection talk to your doctor and he or she will plan for the relevant treatment procedures.
The Stds That One Is Tested For
There are many different types of STDs and if you think you are infected testing is required to determine the specific disease you have contacted. Doctors encourage for testing of the various diseases depending on the prevalent symptoms for example; gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, and hepatitis B. the doctor may fail to have a test done on herpes unless you are sure of exposure or individually your request for the test.
Always Talk And Ask Your Doctor
Assuming that a doctor will have you tested for STDs automatically in your annual or routine checkup is a terrible thought. Many medical practitioners fail to test their patients for STIs regularly hence it is crucial to directly request your doctor for the tests they will carry out and with why explanations.
Do not shy away from taking good care of your own sexual health. In case you are worried about certain symptoms or infections then tell your doctor all about the condition. And remember, your honesty goes a long way in ensuring you receive proper treatment. It is very important to get screened for the infections if you are expectant as the infections can affect the fetus negatively. All these diseases are screened on the first prenatal medical visit among other relevant screening.
In case you were raped or you had sex without your own consent or any other unsafe sexual indulging do not forget to get tested. If it is a rape case then seek immediate medical attention from the trained medical providers and then report the assault to the police or the relevant organizations and they offer anonymous help without exposing your identity.
Discuss All The Risk Factors Involved
When talking to your doctor do not fail to mention your sexual risk factors. It includes telling the doctor if you have anal sex or any other form of sex since some anal infections are not detected through the standard testing methods. After careful analysis, the doctor may recommend the anal pap-smear test to help screen for any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells and they are directly linked to HPV (human papillomavirus).
When talking to your doctor remember to mention,
· The various types of sexual protection that you use when having anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
· Any kind of medication that you are taking
· Suspected exposure to STDs
· If you and your sexual partners have other sexual co-partners
Where You Can Be Tested For Stds
STDs are tested even at your regular medical practitioner’s office or the designated sexual healthcare clinics. Where you decide to get tested depends on your own preference. Most of the STDs are diseases that have to be reported to the government. Hence, your doctor is legally required to report any positive results to the relevant government body. The government then uses the information to educate the general public on health initiatives. Some of the diseases that are directly reported to the government are; Chlamydia, gonorrhea, chancroid, HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis.
There are home and online tests which are available for use but their reliability is minimal.
How STD Testing Is Performed
A doctor orders different tests to diagnose STDs depending on a patient’s detailed sexual history. The tests are carried out using some elements which include, blood, urine physical examinations, and swabs. A majority of the diseases are tested through blood and urine samples. And the samples are requested to be performed if the doctor wants to be sure of certain infections like gonorrhea, HIV, herpes, syphilis, hepatitis, and chlamydia.
In some instances, when the blood and urine samples do not give accurate results other testing methodologies are used to give exact results. It usually takes time after an infection exposure for it to incubate and start showing signs and symptoms that are detectable in urine and blood samples.
In conclusion, there are several methods used in testing for the STDs like the use of swabs, pap-smear tests, HPV tests, and physical examination. It is always important to get tested if you notice any signs or symptoms of diseases or you have had risk exposure.