Sexual Health : The Importance of getting an STI Screening

SexualHealthAll sexually active people should be tested for STDs to protect their health. Although most people are aware of the existence of sexually transmitted diseases, they are seldom tested for STIs, which are also a health risk. Having a detailed discussion with your health provider about STIs will ensure that you remain healthy. Nearly half of the males and nearly 80% of females don’t experience the symptoms for Chlamydia, despite of it being there, and if left untreated for a long time, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and testicular infection (epydidimitis) in men. If STIs are left untreated, it can eventually lead to infertility in both the sexes. Even if you cannot identify any of the symptoms of an infection, getting tested regularly for STIs is crucial for maintaining a healthy life.

One of the most unfortunate facts about STIs is that people seldom know how dangerous they can be, and as they sometimes show no noticeable symptoms, they can be left treated until they become a serious health hazard. Moreover, without knowing that they have an STI, individuals can easily transfer them to future sexual partners. Over the years, individuals have reported being diagnosed with STIs in increasing numbers. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most commonly diagnosed STIs.

Who Is In The Danger Of Contracting STIs?

According to The National Chlamydia Screening Program, almost everyone under the age of 25 is at the risk of contracting STIs. Moreover, people who don’t use contraceptives while having sex, have a new sexual partner, or have had more than one sexual partner in the last year, are at increased likelihood of being infected. One of the myths surrounding sexually transmitted infections is that the people who have sex with multiple partners on a regular basis are the only individuals who are at a risk of contacting such infections. However, that is false. In fact, it is not just an individual’s sexual history that must be taken into account, but also their partners. STIs can affect any patient who is sexually active regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or age.

STI Screening

Sexual health is an extremely important element of our overall health, but unfortunately, it is often neglected. Most people are embarrassed or apprehensive in talking to their doctors or physical health provider about anything sex related. This shame and embarrassment can delay or prevent patients from being treated and diagnosed with STIs on time, before the symptoms prevail and become so complicated that they become a health hazard. The process of STI screening has evolved over time and doctors have often relied on urine or blood samples to diagnose STIs. However, a sexual health practitioner or your general physician might need to perform a physical examination to diagnose a STI.

In addition to the diagnosis, a GP or any doctor at a sexual health clinic will be able to help individuals with any concern regarding sexual health. For some patients, it is a no-brainer to be tested for STIs, but only if they have knowledge about what STIs really are or if a sexual partner asks for them to be tested. For some patients, it is quite difficult to make the decision to be tested. Recent research studies suggest that almost 50% of men and 80% of women will not notice or identify any symptoms of the Chlamydia infection.

Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Contrary to common belief, sexually transmitted diseases don’t show any noticeable symptoms and most patients don’t even develop the prevalent symptoms until the infection has advanced. However, here are some common symptoms of having an STI.

  • Symptoms of discharge
  • Bleeding after sex or between periods
  • Experiencing pain during urination
  • Painful blister or rash on the genital or near genital region
  • Testicle soreness
  • Woman may experience pelvic pain

If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it would be a sensible course of action to consult a doctor immediately to get tested. Symptoms of gonorrhea and Chlamydia differ from each other. They can start within a few weeks after contraction, but might only become apparent after a few months, after the infection is able to affect other part of the body as well. The longer the STIs are left untreated, the greater the chances of increased complications.

How Can You Treat STIs?

The treatment of STIs is generally straightforward and quite easy to follow. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be easily treated with antibiotics. Individuals who have genital warts and show the symptoms for herpes can be treated with antibiotics as well, and both of these conditions can be managed efficiently, if the patient follows the treatment precisely. However, the virus causing both these infections cannot be completely eradicated from the body and they persist throughout an individual’s life after contraction.

This virus cannot be cleared from the system of the patient and can flare up over time repeatedly, meaning that patient will need medical treatment for the rest of their life. There is no cure for HIV, but there are several treatments for STIs that enable individuals to live healthy lives. Although it is not ideal or even easy to tell a current or previous partner about the diagnosis of an STI, but it is vital to ensure that both of you lead a healthy and long life. There are several complications associated with untreated STI and early treatment and diagnosis is imperative.

The Importance Of STI Screening

The importance of having regular testing for STIs cannot be stressed enough. They don’t show any noticeable symptoms; therefore, getting tested regularly is the only course of action. The effects of STI on an individual’s mental and physical health can be incredibly devastating.

Chlamydia can act as a catalyst for a complicated medical condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, which can easily transfer to the reproductive system of women and can cause pelvic pain or even infertility.

Chlamydia doesn’t only affect women; it can be just as devastating for men too. If left untreated, STIs like Chlamydia can cause epydidimitis (an infection in the testicles) and it has been associated with infertility in men as well. There have been several reports of young couples who are unable to have a child due to untreated STIs.

Gonorrhea can also be devastating for an individual’s emotional and physical hearth and can cause infertility, pain in testicles, prostate infection and decrease in fertility. It can also spread to other parts of the body and can even cause swollen joints inflammation to the heart, spinal cord, and even the brain.

Practicing safe sex is essential to your own and your sexual partner’s health and getting STI screening can be crucial in preventing any long-term persisting medical conditions and complications for you and your partner.

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