Although the term STD is widespread, most medical professionals prefer STI or VD (venereal disease) because most of these diseases do not manifest with any outward symptoms or signs.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a term used to refer to a specific group of diseases that can be transmitted sexually. They are infections that can be contracted through unprotected sex. They could also be contracted through other means, such as sharing needles or sharp objects.
Some common STDs include
• Pubic lice
• Primary Syphilis
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
A few sexually transmitted diseases can be cured, for example, gonorrhoea
, chlamydia and syphilis, using antibiotics, while some have no cure and can only be managed by your doctor. However, The administration of certain drugs can duly control STDs if they are discovered early.
Why get STD testing?
If left untreated, most STDs usually lead to health complications such as cancer, organ damage, infertility, etc. However, most of these STDs do not manifest with unconnected symptoms, making it hard to identify or diagnose. This is why it is necessary to get STD testing done.
When should you get STD testing?
The necessity of this Test is dependent on your lifestyle. If you have more than one sexual partner, you must get tested regularly. You are also about to start in a new relationship or have sexual intercourse with a new partner. You may need to get tested. People in long-term relationships are not exempted, although they would only need to do so on very few occasions or if needed.
Some symptoms may indicate the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, and if you experience any of them, you should see your GP and get an STD test done. Some symptoms include.
• Bleeding from genitals
• Painful sex
• Genital swellings or redness
• Skin rashes and itching around your pubic area
• Bumps, sores or warts
• Foul-smelling or oddly coloured discharge
Only a few STDs manifest symptoms, so symptoms should not be your benchmark for a test.
STD Testing Procedure
For every STD test to be carried out, samples would need to be collected, and these samples vary depending on the particular disease for which you are being tested. Samples could be blood samples, urine, swabs or even physical tests.
Blood or urine samples aren't always practical or accurate and could be time-consuming. This is because testing for specific diseases using these samples may involve growing the pathogens on a culture, which may take weeks or even months. Swab samples can be obtained from different regions of the reproductive system, such as the vagina, urethra, cervix or even sores around the genitals.
For physical tests, the doctor usually examines the patient's body to check for symptoms such as sores, warts or bumps. Although, this Test usually requires other tests to confirm the diagnosis and commence treatment.
Ensure you are as open as a book to your doctor to enable quick diagnosis so you can start treatment as early as possible.
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