Do You Want to Get Screened for STDs?
STD screening is not always a vital part of the regular medical examination or gynecologist checkup. So, ensure to ask your doctor for STD screening. It is imperative that you be honest with your doctor about your sex life, as only then they will be able to assist you on which tests are best for you.
You may find it awkward at first to talk about STD testing with your doctor, but do not feel embarrassed about it. Always remember the fact that doctors have seen and heard it all. Many people contract STDs at least once in their lives and getting themselves screened is a responsible thing to do – it shows that you are concerned about your sexual health and overall wellbeing.
Below are some means via which you can easily bring up STD screening with a doctor:
- I never got screened for STDs – Should I get it done now?
- Did I ever get tested for STDs during regular medical examinations?
- What STD should I watch out for? How do I know that I need to get myself screened?
How Do You Know What STD Tests You Need?
Your doctor will assist you to determine which STD tests you require. However, before they recommend any tests, you will talk about:
- Any noticeable signs you are experiencing
- If you or your partner has ever contracted an STD before
- The number of people you have had sex with
- The kind of sex you have had – vaginal, oral, anal
- How often do you use protection, like dental dams and condoms?
- Other things that enhance your chances of contracting infections such as sharing needles
This helps your doctor to determine which STD tests make the most sense for you. Ensure to open up and be honest with them, so you get the care and assistance you need. Do not feel awkward – your doctor is there to help you, and not to judge you in any way.
What Happens When You Get Tested for STDs?
STD screening is easy, quick, and usually painless. There is no single test for all STDs; each one has its own test. Your physician can help you determine which tests you require. STD testing may include:
- A urine test – Simply pee in the sampling cup
- A blood test – The doctor would require a blood sample
- A cheek swab – You will rub the swab inside of your cheek to test for HIV
- A physical exam – The doctor will examine your genitals to check for discharge, irritation, rashes, sores, or warts
- Testing sores – You doctor will take a sample of fluid from any blisters or sores you have on your body using a swab
- Using a swab to gently take cell samples or discharge from your throat, anus, cervix, urethra, vagina, or penis
This enables you to get yourself screed for most of the sexually transmitted diseases whether or not you have any noticeable symptoms or not. Most of the STDs appear and act in the same way, so you may be screened for a few different infections.
If you have STD, your doctor may be able to tell right away. But, some of the test results take a few days or even weeks to come back from the labs. However, many clinics offer rapid testing facilities for HIV, and you will have your results in max 30 minutes.
If you do not hear back from your physician after you have given your STD test samples, do not assume that everything is okay. Call them to inquire about your results.
Is It Possible For You to Conduct STD Tests at Home?
Sexually transmitted diseases are at a record high across the USA, according to the CDC. In the year 2016, more than 2 million cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were reported in the United States.
As a result, people do enjoy the option of testing for STDs at home. There are several companies and services that have made it possible today. At-home tests are now available for gonorrhea, hepatitis B & hepatitis C, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes 2 and HIV (I & II).
Can You Rely on At-home STD Tests?
Healthcare professionals say yes. There are several benefits of at-home STD tests.
For the most part, as long these kits are FDA approved, which they should be in order to be able to legally sell them in a region, they are the best way to go. There are several tests that can be done conveniently and do not require you to visit the doctor in person. The CDC recommends yearly testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, especially in people under the age of 25, as the risk of contracting these infections is very high.
When you opt for at-home STD testing kits, you will notice that the kits come along quite large panels of tests that are not necessary at all. For instance, in the case of HPV, there are two different kinds. There is one that causes warts, and it does not matter if you test positive in your blood test for this kind of HPV, because it only tells you that at some point you were exposed to the virus. However, that is not helpful at all and can make you worry for no reason. There is one other type of HPV, which is known as high-risk HPV; it can cause either precancerous change in the cervix, eventually leading to cervical cancer. Therefore, a clinical examination should be done immediately.
Are There any Limitations?
A downside to the at-home STD testing kits is that a lot of them do not cover insurance and therefore people have to pay out of pocket, which can be quite expensive. Whereas, if they could visit the clinic, they could get the STD screening for a lot cheaper. However, you are paying for the convenience and secrecy of testing for STDs at home, so as long as people understand that there are alternative means to get screened that are less expensive, and they are making an informed decision, it becomes a viable option for them!
Can You Trust the Accuracy?
You can trust the result as long as they are coming from a highly regarded source and they mention on the website that they are using FDA approved STD testing methods. Ensure to follow the instructions, but the whole concept of doing these tests at home is that they are painless and simple. However, if you believe that you are suffering from a medical emergency, you should immediately see a doctor.
What to do When You Find out that You Have an STD?
Finding out that you have been caught up with an STD can be a disappointment. You may feel upset, embarrassed or mad at first. But, do not worry - timely diagnosis and treatment can help you get rid of it in no time.
The best thing to do when you find out that you have an STD is to consult a doctor and follow their directions for treating it. You should also tell anyone you are having sex with so that your partner(s) also get themselves screened and treated if required.
Most of the STDs can be easily cured with the help of medication, so you can get done with your treatment and get on with your life. Although some of the STDs cannot be cured, there are several other means to treat the symptoms and prevent you from transmitting the STD to your partners.
People with STDs can be in a relationship, have sex, and live normal lives. Most people contract STDs at least once, and millions have been living with STDs now. If you have caught on an STD, there is nothing to be ashamed of, and it does not make you a bad person – it just means that you are a normal human being who caught up on an infection. The fact of the matter is that STDs can happen to anyone who’s ever been in a sexual relationship, which is almost everyone on earth. However, there are a few STDs that spread in non-sexual ways, too.
If you are having a hard time dealing, opening up to your partner, a family member or friend perhaps be able to make you feel better. There are therapists and counselors who could be a great source of comfort – they are trained to help you feel better, after all!