Sexually transmitted diseases, often shortened to STDs, are infections typically spread through sexual contact or intercourse. Syphilis, herpes, and chlamydia are just a few examples of common STDs. The only way to be sure that you have an STD is to get tested by a medical professional.
You should be tested for STDs regularly, even if you do not display symptoms. It is essential you do not ignore your sexual health. Not sure if you should be tested? This article will help you.
Testing for Chlamydia
You should be tested for chlamydia each year if you are sexually active and are considered to be at risk for STDs. People at risk include those who have recently had sex with a new partner or have had sex with multiple partners.
In most cases, a urine sample can help medical professionals discover if someone has chlamydia, though a swab may be necessary in some cases. If you have had anal or oral sex, then inform your doctor so that they can test for chlamydia in those areas as well.
Symptoms of chlamydia include vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, fever, painful intercourse, pain during urination, and burning around the genitals. Some people are asymptomatic, meaning they exhibit none of these symptoms, but they can still spread the disease.
Testing for HIV
HIV testing is typically performed via a blood test. Gay and bisexual men, and people with multiple partners are at a higher risk for HIV. While it is recommended that people with a higher risk get tested annually, people who are sexually active may want to consider getting tested more often.
Symptoms of HIV typically include chills, rashes, muscle aches, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, and night sweats. Even after the symptoms pass, you may pass HIV on to other people. Even if you do not exhibit symptoms, testing is essential. Once again, some people are asymptomatic.
Testing for Gonorrhea
Annual testing for gonorrhea is crucial if you are at risk for STDs. Testing is performed via urine or a swab of the area being tested. You can also have gonorrhea of the throat or anus, so be sure to alert your doctor if you have engaged in oral or anal sex.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in men include the need to urinate more often, pus-like discharge, swelling of the testicles, and pain at the opening of the penis. For women, symptoms include vaginal discharge, sore throat, abdominal pain, fever, and heavy periods.
Testing for Herpes
Unfortunately, screenings for genital herpes are underdeveloped. Without actually seeing the sores, it can be difficult to assess if you have herpes. Blood tests can be helpful in detecting previous infections but these tests are not always accurate.
It does not help that there are two types of herpes. Type 1 is commonly known as a cold sore, though cold sores can also transfer to the genitals. Type 2 refers to the form of herpes that is initially found on the genitals. Ultimately, the method of testing will depend on whether or not sores are immediately visible.
Testing for STDs Made Simple
As previously mentioned, many sexual health exams require a urine sample in addition to a physical exam. Depending on what you are being tested for, the exam may also include a blood test. Results are available in just a few days.
In addition to knowledge about your physical health, whether your results are positive or negative, you will also be granted the peace of mind that comes with a treatment plan or with the knowledge that you don't have an STD.
Family Medicine Walk-In Center offers medical care when you need it most. Testing for sexually transmitted diseases is only a small part of the services we offer. We offer an alternative to seeing your family doctor or sitting in the emergency room, and you can walk into our convenient location anytime. While an appointment isn't necessary, you can give us a call to set up an appointment today.