What is STD test?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are often due to infections transmitted during sexual contact from one person to another person. They are also called venereal diseases or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The individual may have sexually transmitted disease without knowing it, most of the STDs do not show symptoms. Hence it is often termed as sexually transmitted infections because the infection is present without having disease symptoms.
Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI)
If left untreated, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), often called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
STI can cause severe health problems. These include;
Unfortunately, many people don’t receive prompt treatment for STIs. Many STIs have no symptoms or very nonspecific symptoms, which can make them hard to notice. The stigma around STIs also discourages some people from getting tested. But testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STI.
Who should be tested for STIs?
If you’ve been sexually active, it’s a good idea to be tested for STIs. This test is also important in individuals with multiple partners, heterosexual men or having unprotected sex.
It’s especially important to get tested if:
- you’re about to begin a new relationship
- you and your partner are thinking about not using condoms
- your partner has cheated on you or has multiple partners
- you have multiple partners
- you have symptoms that suggest you might have an STI
If you’re in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, and both you and your partner were tested before entering the relationship, you may not need regular STI testing. But many people in long-term relationships weren’t tested before they got together. If that’s the case for you and your partner, it’s possible that one or both of you have been carrying an undiagnosed STI for years. The safest choice is to get tested.
In cases of pregnancy, you are recommended to undergo this test because there are chances of passing the infection to the baby at the time of childbirth. In the case of men if these infections are not detected at the early stages it may lead to infertility.
What are the symptoms of STD?
If you’ve had sexual contact with another person and notice any signs of an STD, talk to a doctor about getting tested. STD symptoms can come and go over time, but that doesn’t mean the STD is gone. It’s common for STD symptoms to be so mild that they don’t bother you, but you should still see a doctor if you notice anything that feels off.
Different STDs have different symptoms. Signs of STDs include;
- sores or bumps on and around your genitals, thighs, or butt cheeks
- weird discharge from your vagina or penis
- burning when you pee and/or having to pee a lot
- itching, pain, irritation and/or swelling in your penis, vagina, vulva, or anus
- flu-like symptoms like fever, body aches, swollen glands, and feeling tired.
All of these symptoms can be caused by things that aren’t STDs (like pimples, UTIs, or yeast infections). So getting tested is the only way to know for sure what’s going on. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms, what kind of sex you’ve had (vaginal, anal, or oral), and whether you use condoms. They’ll help you figure out what kinds of testing or treatment you may need.
It’s really important to get tested if you think you have an STD because some STDs can cause serious health problems if you don’t treat them. Also, having an STD makes you more likely to get other STDs, like HIV. And it’s best to find out right away if you have an STD, so you can avoid giving it to other people.
How often STD test performed?
If you are sexually active then this test is recommended once a year. If you are previously diagnosed with any of the STDs then you should repeat this test frequently (3-6 months).
Precautions before STD Test
If you get positive test results then inform your partner about it and ask he/ she to undergo the test.
HIV is the abbreviated form of the human immunodeficiency virus. As the name indicates it is a viral infection that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS can be caused due to either HIV-1 or HIV-2 infection. The virus replicates and spreads all over the body, mostly it gets spread into lymph nodes and spleen. In most cases, the HIV infection remains asymptomatic in the early stages of the infection. During this asymptomatic stage, the virus replicates and increases in the number and starts destroying CD-4 cells. For about 3-8 weeks the immune system produces antibodies to fight against HIV and the HIV viral load decreases and the symptoms cannot be seen but the infection remains. Hence it is important to detect the infection as early as possible so that the treatment can be started. This HIV infection can be treated but not cured.
Treponema pallidum test
The bacteria which cause syphilis is Treponema pallidum. The stages of syphilis include Primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, and tertiary syphilis. Primary syphilis is the early stage of syphilis which starts around 2-3 weeks after the infection. In this stage, painless sores appear at the site of exposure to the infection like vagina, penis, mouth, anus or rectum. These sores are usually called chancres. If primary syphilis is not healed and left untreated then secondary syphilis may develop. It may occur within 6 weeks to 6 months after the chancre formation. In this stage, the symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, tiredness, rashes without itch is found on the hands and feet which is reddish-brown in color. If secondary syphilis is also left untreated it converts to latent stage i.e tertiary syphilis. In this stage the symptoms are absent but the infection persists. This stage may last for years. This stage if left untreated may damage your organs and lead to numbness, dementia (loss of memory), problems with your eyes, unable to control muscle movements and may even lead to death.
Chlamydia antigen and antibody test
This test is used to, measure the levels of chlamydia antibodies in the blood. Chlamydia is one of the most commonly found bacterial, sexually transmitted infections and maybe lead to serious complications like the pelvic inflammatory disease in women, infertility, increased risk of tubal pregnancy which may be fatal if left untreated. This infection is associated with mucous membranes of the urogenital system, eye, and upper respiratory tract. Early detection of this infection is very important to avoid long-term complications and also to prevent the infection from spreading to the other parts. This infection is most common in the age groups of 15-24 years. Most people with this infection do not exhibit symptoms or may experience mild symptoms. The transmission of this infection is mostly through sexual contact with the infected partner. It may be oral, anal or vaginal.
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STD Test Preparation
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your STD Testing. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for STD Testing.
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