3 Reasons an STD Test Should Be Part of Your Regular Check Up

Are you looking after your sexual health? Can you remember when it was that you last went for a check-up? It’s easy enough to take time to look after your teeth, and even visiting the doctor is less of a chore compared to making an appointment at your local sexual health clinic. Taking time for sexual health should be top of our health priorities, but we still get all coy and embarrassed at the thought of having a smear, swab or even visiting the gynecologist. For many women, a prior bad experience or even the thought of being seen by a male health professional can see you putting off an important part of your health check-up. However, STDs aren’t always as easy to detect as you might think.

If you are sexually active, with multiple partners in particular, has the advice to use protection and book an STD test fallen on deaf ears? Choosing the right kind of STD testing can be a clinical minefield. It’s hard to know what type of STD testing you need, and how often you may need a screening. The amount of tests that you require and their frequency will depend on your age and sexual history, so be honest with yourself. You won’t always have STD testing when you visit the gynecologist either. Put your sexual health at the forefront of your health check-up – there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

But how often should you have a check-up? Book in annually to get screened for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. This testing is done either through a urine test or by swabbing the cervix. The sample is then sent off and analyzed in a laboratory. Born between 1945 and 1965? Then book in for Hepatitis C testing. You might not know it, but the incidence of hepatitis C is higher if you fall into this bracket – and there aren’t any obvious symptoms until the disease is more advanced.

You might not know it, but most of the time STDs have no symptoms. That’s right – getting vaginal, anal and oral testing could be the only way to detect if you have anything. Remember if you’ve changed a new partner, been a bit lax with the condoms or even if you think that something isn’t quite right down there, don’t put it off any longer and get tested! The facts speak for themselves. According to recent statistics produced by the American Health Association, you might be shocked to find out that one in two sexually active people will contract an STI by age 25. Even if you don’t fall into that age range, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that close to 20 million new STIs occur in the US each and every year. Don’t make yourself another statistic! Read on to find out three reasons why an STD test should be part of your regular check-up.

I’m Too Embarrassed

Yes, it can be embarrassing to talk about your private parts, but it will be worth it in the long term. Sex no longer needs to be taboo! It’s good to talk about it if you think that you may have an STD or any other issue that is having an effect on your personal life. There are a range of options available to you across the US which could make getting tested an even more stress-free experience. You can even visit private clinics or do the testing at home yourself – it only takes a few minutes. Safer STD Testing offers a range of quick and easy referral options to help you to get tested… check out their website at saferstdtesting.com for more information.

I’m Symptom Free! Why Book a Check-up?

Unlike other common illnesses and health issues, STDs are silent or symptom free in most cases. Sure, you might feel fine, but it’s extra important to get checked out if your partner has suffered from an STD in the past. You might feel fine now, but symptoms can develop over time, plus you risk infecting your partner too if you don’t take necessary precautions. Better to be safe than sorry, so get your sexual health in check today.

I’ve Been Experiencing Some Weird Symptoms

Are you feeling a little off color? Remember, if you’ve had any sexual contact with another person and think you’ve noticed any of the signs of an STD, don’t delay, and make sure you get tested. Unlike other complaints, STD symptoms can come and go over time, but if they aren’t treated then this doesn’t mean that the STD is completely gone. Keep in mind that STD symptoms can be slight and may not interfere with your day to day life. Be honest with yourself about whether you are experiencing anything or have found any bumps or lumps around your vagina, thighs or on your bottom. Discharge, itching, swelling and a burning sensation when you pee are all signs that something definitely isn’t right and could be a range of illnesses, from a low-grade yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, to a more serious complaint such as chlamydia or syphilis that will need stronger medication to treat it and to clear it up.

If you find out that you do have an STD, then don’t panic! Depending on what you’re being tested for, it can be as simple as peeing in a cup, having a quick swab or giving a small blood sample. Once you have been diagnosed, there are treatments to help you deal with symptoms and to ensure that you don’t pass the STD on to anyone else. The sooner you know what the issue is, the faster you can deal with it!

So, bite the bullet and make sure to sort out your sexual health. A happy, healthy sex life is an important part of any relationship – so make sure that your partner gets checked out too. You will both feel better for it.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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