Sexual health is very important, but its sensitive nature causes people to shy away from asking the questions and getting the help they need to stay healthy. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Infections (STIs) can be identified through a simple testing procedure so that you can make informed decisions. Whether you have a specific concern or are just remaining proactive, it’s best to put your mind at ease with STD testing.
Like any other health issue, symptoms of an STD or STI can wear many different hats so it’s hard to determine what’s wrong based on how you feel. In fact, the most common STDs and STIs won’t show any signs of disease at all but can lead to major complications if not discovered in time. It’s best to cover your bases with testing, but with no symptoms you will have to decide if it’s time to test based upon your situation:
- You are entering a new relationship and would like confirmation of your health
- You have a sexual relationship without any protective measures
- You suspect your partner could have transferred an STD to you
- You have unusual symptoms that don’t fall under any other category
The testing process is the same as any other; you simply provide a urine sample or have your blood drawn. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, and syphilis can be detected through these methods. You can also opt to have a screening test done, meaning that your doctor will look for any infections regardless of if you are showing symptoms or are even concerned about STDs. It’s just like getting a mammogram or a cancer screening for preventative measures.
Half of all new STIs occur in people under the age of 25, but they can take some time to show on tests. If you get a negative test result but still feel concerned after a month, go back for another test. Better to be safe than sorry, right?