Staying Safe With These STI Testing Facts

medical exam

Being sexually active, especially with multiple partners, can be very risky. There are many sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) or diseases out there that can put people at risk. For those who are not careful, catching one of them is a serious possibility. Thanks to modern medicine, many of these diseases have treatments that can clear them up in a short time. But they still need to be detected for those cures to have meaning.

Not knowing you have them can result in a variety of conditions ranging from infertility to organ damage. If you are hesitant to go to your doctor for STI testing, here is a quick introduction to the basics, so you don’t need to be afraid:

Always Talk to Your Doctor

When you lead a sexually-active lifestyle, going to your doctor for advice should be your default choice. Most doctors have a good idea of how to treat common STIs and, if they don’t, have a way to contact experts who can help you out. The important thing to remember is that you need to be honest with them about your behavior. They will often recommend what sort of STI testing you will need to undergo.

woman consulting her doctor

Who Needs Testing?

There are several warning signs that you should be tested. If you meet any of the following criteria, then you will need to undergo testing and what they should test for. First, adults and adolescents ranging from 13 to 34 need to be tested at least once for HIV. This disease spreads through transfusions and needles, too, so even if you have not had sexual activity, you still need to be sure.

For sexually-active women, doctors recommend a yearly test for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Pregnant women should also have tests for syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV during the early part of their pregnancy to be sure their child doesn’t get infected. Sexually-active men should have the same yearly tests, with an added syphilis test.

HIV testing should also be done yearly for everyone who is sexually active and suffers from drug addiction since needle-sharing can result in an infection.

The Testing Procedures

The testing process is pretty simple. Most tests involve extracting samples. This includes urine, blood, and even swabs from the vagina and urethra. These go to the lab for tests. There are also physical examinations for physical symptoms like blisters, sores, and warts. They are all quick so you should have the results in a short time.

At-Home Test Kits

Many people are embarrassed about consulting with doctors about their condition. This has caused the increased popularity of at-home testing kits for specific STIs. This includes conditions like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV. These usually involve people getting samples from themselves like swabs or urine then sending it off to a lab. There are other creative procedures out there.

For example, there is already dependable herpes diagnosis help online that only requires you to answer a questionnaire and take a few pictures. A doctor would be able to review your case remotely and then make a diagnosis or even give prescriptions. 

Take note that these home testing options are no replacement for going to the doctor for a thorough consultation. If the home tests are negative but you still feel like you are experiencing symptoms, it is best to go to your doctor.

Sexually-transmitted diseases are not always devastating; many of them can be very painful and uncomfortable for you. Diagnosing them early ensures that you get the right treatment before things become worse. The guide above should help you with your STI testing experience so that it can be as painless and easy as possible.