4 Things You Should Know About Sexually Transmitted Diseases And Testing
Sexual activity with multiple partners can put you at a higher risk for developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) unless you take every necessary precaution to protect yourself. If you have had unprotected sexual relations with other people, you should consider getting tested for STDs, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms of any diseases. While some diseases do have symptoms, others do not, and early detection of an STD is the best chance you have for treating it. Here are four things you should understand about STDs.
Symptoms Of Diseases
While there is a chance you can have an STD without any symptoms, there are numerous symptoms that should alert you there might be a problem. These include:
- Locating sores on your genitals
- Having discharge from your genitals
- Experiencing itching or burning while you urinate
If you have any of these symptoms and have had unprotected sex, you should look for a clinic that offers STD testing.
STD Testing Is Often Free
The second thing you should realize is that you might be able to get tested for free. There are clinics in most cities and towns that offer STD testing. Some of these offer free STD testing for anyone that comes. Others may offer discounts to people based on income, and you can always go to your regular doctor to get testing; however, this might result in paying a fee or copayment.
Common STDs That Spread Easily
The problem with STDs is that they spread easily. If you have unprotected sex with someone who has an STD, there is a good chance you will catch the disease, even if you have only one encounter with the person. This can include contracting the following:
- Chlamydia – This is a bacterial infection that men and women can get, but it is more common with women. It can cause problems for women later on in life when they want to get pregnant.
- Gonorrhea – This is also a bacterial infection that can affect men and women. It can be treated with antibiotics in most cases.
- Syphilis – This disease usually results in developing sores on your genitals, mouth, and other body parts.
In addition to these, you may also develop herpes, Hepatitis B or C, or HIV. While some of these can be treated, others may leave you with lifelong symptoms and consequences. If you have one of these and have sexual relations with someone else, you are putting your partner at risk for developing the disease too.
The Tests You Should Get
When you get tested for STDs, the clinic may need to run several tests, because there is not just one test that will detect all STDs. Your healthcare provider will probably ask you questions about your sexual activity and symptoms and may complete an inspection of your genital area before determining which tests to run. This may include asking you:
- How many partners you have had in the last year or two
- If you have had same-sex relations
- What types of protection you have used
- What types of sexual activities you have completed
- If there are any symptoms present
- If you have ever had an STD in the past
Based on the answers you supply, your healthcare provider will be able to determine which tests to run. This might involve just one test, or it could involve multiple tests.
Finding out if you have an STD is important for treating it, but it is also important to know so you can avoid spreading it to others. If you would like to learn more about STD testing, contact a clinic in your area that offers free STD testing.