6 Signs You Need To Get Tested For An STD
There are severe conditions that can develop when you are sexually active. Ensuring you prioritise your health through regular screenings for various illnesses is crucial. Sometimes, you may be asymptomatic and not show any signs of being sick, however you are still able to pass on the illness to your partner/s.
If you engage in activities that have the potential to compromise your quality of life, ensure you always know your health status. Sexually transmitted diseases are no exception. Read on to find out about the signs you should be aware of to test for an STD.
What is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?
Sexually transmitted diseases are contracted mainly through sexual contact with an infected person. The exception is when mothers pass them on to their infant children during pregnancy or childbirth. In most cases, specific bacteria, parasites, and viruses are transferred through blood or bodily fluids in the genital areas of men and women.
Even though STDs affect men and women, it’s common for women’s health to be severely affected due to complications that arise. Additionally, a pregnant woman with an STD can cause serious health risks for their unborn baby.
The Difference Between STDs and STIs
The words sexually transmitted disease and sexually transmitted infection have been used interchangeably. Yet, they are not the same thing. The key difference is that it’s only considered an STD when it causes certain symptoms.
The reason it’s necessary to distinguish between the two is to reduce any stigma and improve the accuracy of your diagnosis. For the most part, consider how an infection can lead to disease when left untreated if you are ever confused by the differences between STIs and STDs.
What are the Signs of Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
While there are common symptoms to expect when you suspect a sexually transmitted infection or disease, you should know that those are asymptomatic. You may not show signs until it becomes too severe to treat. You should consider going for regular health screenings when sexually active.
STIs and STDs require immediate treatment and can lead to life-threatening illnesses when left without treatment and effective preventative means to manage them. Typical symptoms will usually show around your genital regions. However, they can appear in different parts of your body, like your mouth, if you have engaged in oral sexual activities.
The following are common STD symptoms to look out for:
- Burning, severe itching and swelling around your genitals.
- Bumps, painful sores, and warts near your genitals.
- A discharge with a foul odour is a different colour from a normal one.
- Frequent urination is likely painful.
- A skin rash, sores, or warts around your mouth.
- Diarrhoea is accompanied by extreme weight loss.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It’s crucial to remember that an STI can become an STD when left untreated. Effective treatment can stop the infection from becoming a disease. It’s only when the condition causes severe damage to the cells in your body that it progresses to an incurable illness.
These are the types of STDs that you should consider getting tested for:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Tertiary syphilis.
- Cervical, penile, and oral cancer.
- Genital warts.
Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It’s necessary to go for regular health screenings to ensure you don’t contract infections that can impact your quality of life. Common symptoms aren’t enough to confirm an accurate diagnosis. As a result, your doctor will schedule specific tests to determine what type of STD you require treatment for.
Each test depends on the suspected STD. However, it involves a combination of these:
- Blood tests.
- Swabs of bodily fluids.
- Various physical examinations.
- Specific specialists’ procedures like a Pap smear test for cervical cancer screening.
How Can You Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Preventing STDs starts with taking care of your sexual health and reducing the possibility of infections. Being informed about these types of illnesses and diseases is essential. The most reliable way to prevent STIs and STDs is by abstaining.
However, if you are sexually active and looking for prevention methods, you should consider the following:
- Using condoms.
- Test regularly with your partner.
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis B and HPV.
- Stick to one sexual partner.
In summary, it’s crucial to take better care of your sexual health. You should ensure you take preventative measures and go for necessary health screenings to improve your quality of life. Get an Affinity Health plan to ensure you can access a nationwide network of doctors to provide essential sexual health awareness.