Importance of STD Testing
If you are sexually active, the most important thing you can do for your health is to take a test on STDs(Sexually Transmitted Diseases). They are common nowadays, and people may have them without knowing. There are numerous cases without any symptoms or signs that something is wrong. Unfortunately, testing for STDs isn't the main part of a regular checkup or gynecological exam, which gives people room for excuses not to get tested, which is absolutely wrong. Most people feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk with the doctor about this significant subject, but we are here to encourage you to take this massive step.
What STDs Should You Be Tested for?
There are so many STDs, but it would be best if you learn something more about these:
- Hepatitis B
Try to consult your doctor about STD testing to ensure which type of test is necessary for you. This finally leads us to the most important question:
Do You Really Need to Talk With Your Doctor?
Yes. As we mentioned above, STD testing isn't usually the main part of gynecological exams or regular checkups. Try to be honest with your doctor or a nurse about your sexual life so that they can help you figure out which type of test you should take. We already know that this may sound unbelievable and that most people feel awkward or embarrassed when it comes to this, but remember that you need to put your health first. They are here to help you and understand your concerns. This step makes you responsible.
STD Test- Which One Is Right for You?
First of all, your doctor or a nurse will determine which type of test you should take. It depends on:
- Your symptoms
- If your partner had STDs before
- The number of people you've had sex with
- The kind of sexual contact, like anal, oral, or vaginal sex
- How often you use protection
How Are STD Tests Performed?
Having your sexual history in mind, your doctor may ask for various tests, including:
If you are a female, a doctor will probably use a cotton applicator to take vaginal or cervical swabs during pelvic exams. But, there is another one called a urethral swab which could be done regardless of gender. It's usually done by inserting a cotton applicator into your urethra. There is also a need to mention if you've had anal sex so that you can take a rectal swab.
- Pap Smear and HPV Testing
You probably know that a Pap smear test is not actually for discovering STDs. It's always done on a regular gynecological exam, and it can look for early signs of cervical cancer. It maybe doesn't make any sense how it's really connected with STDs, but let's say that women who suffer from the HPV virus typically have higher chances of getting cervical cancer. Women and men who have anal sex could also develop cancer from the HPV virus. If you have abnormal Pap smear test results, your doctor will recommend you to test on HPV; if it is negative, it's unlikely that you will develop cervical cancer in the near future.
- Physical Examination
If you had sexual contact with another person and notice any abnormalities or signs of STDs, call your doctor immediately. Your doctor will take a look or even send some samples to a laboratory for testing. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Sores or bumps around your genitals
- Weird discharge from your penis or vagina
- Any pain or irritation
- Burning when you pee
- Blood and Urine Test
These tests are rapid, and you have indeed done them many times before.
Who Needs to Be Tested?
- All adults and adolescents from 14-64
- All sexually active women
- Pregnant women
- All sexually active men
- Anyone who has unsafe sex
Having an STD test is not that easy at all. There is always that question- What if it comes back positive? We assure you it's not the end of the world because there are millions of people out there with the same problem living their completely normal lives. Almost every sexually active person tests on STDs at least once. Even if you don't have any symptoms, try to talk with your doctor or visit Aastra Women's Center. As they say, once you get it over with, it can really put your mind at ease.