Although it may be awkward at times, being open with your doctor about your health could save your life. No one wants to talk about sexually transmitted diseases. Some people may not feel comfortable talking about sex at all. Unfortunately, a doctor can only help a patient with testing or treatment if they are made aware of the patient's concerns or symptoms. While STDs may be painful and dangerous, testing for them is not.
STDs & STIs
STDs or sexually transmitted diseases are infections by bacteria, parasites, or viruses. They are passed usually through sexual contact between two individuals that results in the exchange of blood, semen, or other bodily fluids. Once the bacteria, parasites, or viruses are passed, they can infect the patient, who then effectively has the disease. STDs can also be spread by sharing needles, a mother passing an infection on to a newborn through childbirth, or blood transfusions.
When an STI or sexually transmitted infection occurs, a patient may actively have the disease without knowing it. There may be no signs or symptoms, but the disease can still be spread to another individual in the same fashion. The possibility of infection with no symptoms makes it difficult to stop the spread and puts a responsibility on patients to be communicative about their concerns and aware of their partner's history.
Talk To a Professional
Though you may be hesitant to discuss sexual health with a healthcare professional, it is a common topic. Doctors have the experience that can help answer patients’ questions. STDs are not regularly tested for during physicals or wellness exams, but a patient can request testing at any time from a healthcare provider. Getting tested is simple and painless and does not require a lengthy ordeal. It is essential to discuss any concerns or bring up getting tested at least once to help prevent the further spread of any diseases.
Ask your healthcare professional about getting tested or what signs to look for when monitoring STDs. Healthcare providers will ask patients questions to help determine if they need to be tested and what tests they should receive to diagnose possible infections accurately.
Getting tested requires a patient to provide a sample that a healthcare professional can have tested to confirm if there is an infection. Testing methods include blood samples, cheek swabs, urine tests, sore testing, physical examinations, and swabbing throat, anus, or genitals. This testing can easily and accurately be performed at an urgent care or another professional healthcare facility. The professionals at urgent care facilities can ensure tests are safe, private, and discreet to help patients determine if they are infected.
When patients' results come back positive, they should follow up with their healthcare provider for instructions or treatment and lifestyle changes going forward. Contact an urgent care today to book an appointment if you or a loved one would like to get tested for any possible sexually transmitted diseases.
STD testing services are available at AFC Urgent Care Edgewater for patients that need fast, reliable, and high-quality testing. Patients may either book in advance online or simply visit as a walk-in patient at our local walk-in clinic. Just visit 3059 Solomons Island Rd in Edgewater, MD.