There is no way we can overemphasize the importance of sexual health. There is more to sexual health than keeping diseases and infections at bay. But mostly not having STD – a bacterial or viral infection–is an important part of your sexual health and well-being. After all, your sexual health is going to have an impact on your physical and emotional health.
If you are sexually active, sexual health should be your primary concern. This is when private STD testing at a local sexual health clinic becomes all the more necessary. If left unnoticed, STDs can take a toll on a person’s reproductive system, causing them to grow infertile. Irrespective of your age, sexual orientation, or gender, this is true for everyone.
Receiving a test can help you detect and prevent an STD from wreaking havoc on your health in the long run.
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD): Overview
The abbreviations STDs and STIs are often misunderstood. An STD is a Sexually Transmitted Disease, which is a result from an STI – Sexually Transmitted Infection. Infections, usually, happen when parasites, viruses and bacteria enter the body.
While STDs occur due to infections, having an STI does not necessarily mean one will develop an STD from that infection.
There are two major categories of STDs including bacterial and viral infections. Bacteria namely Chlamydia or Gonorrhea are responsible for bacterial STDs. On the other hand, viral STDs occur due to infections from viruses like HIV, hepatitis B or C, and so on.
Symptoms of an STI
A person having an STI may display the following symptoms:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Rashes on body
- Itchy genitals or anus
- An unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus
- Painful urination
- Painful intercourse
- Sores, bumps or blisters in the genitals
Should You Get Tested for STIs?
More often than not, a person having an STD does not display any symptoms. Therefore, testing is the only way to know if you have an STD. When it comes to STDs, there is no single test. This is because there are a variety of STIs.
So, if you have had sexual contact with another person and notice any signs of an STD, do not hesitate to talk with a doctor about receiving the test. This helps you to know which test is better for you.
How Are Tests Performed for STIs?
After analyzing your sexual health and history, your private physician may recommend you a variety of tests to check for an infection. These tests may include the following:
- Blood & urine tests
By using urine and blood samples, your doctor can determine whether you have an infection. In rare cases, blood and urine tests are not accurate as compared to other forms of testing. Sometimes, for blood tests, it may take a month or so after being exposed to certain infections.
- Pap smears and HPV testing
A normal Pap smear result shows nothing about whether you have an STI. Abnormal results do not necessarily mean you have an infection. If you have abnormal Pap smear result, your doctor may order HPV testing.
- Swab testing
Sometimes, your vaginal, cervical or urethral swabs are taken to check for STIs. Sometimes, your doctor may use rectal swab to check for infectious organisms present in your rectum.
Is There a Cure for STDs?
If caught early, some forms of STDs (Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) can completely go away with antibiotics. As long as you and your partner get tested for an STI, chances are high that you can be free from STDs.
On the other hand, viral STDs are somewhat different. Once you have a viral STD, the virus stays inside the body forever. This means they cannot be cured, but good news is – you can manage its symptoms to a large extent by ensuring proper treatment and/or medication.
So, it is always the best thing to consult with your doctor and know your options.
Why Visit an STI Clinic in London?
You may consider seeing your GP for STDs. It is highly likely for your GP to refer you to a sexual health clinic if he or she thinks you may have symptoms of an STI. Your chances for getting tested and treated are better in sexual health clinics. The results are quicker than from your local GP.
Information about your visit to the sexual clinic is highly confidential. You may find it difficult sharing sexual information with your GP, however, with sexual health clinics, this is not the case. Your preferences and choices are put first in any clinic you may end up visiting.
What Happens When You Visit a Clinic?
Your doctor or a nurse at a sexual health clinic will:
- Ask you some personal questions about your sexual life
- Conduct a thorough checkup of your genitals or anus
- Recommend you tests if needed
Some clinics often offer home testing kits for certain STIs.
What Happens If You Test Positive for an STD?
Without further delay, make sure you follow up with your doctor to start treatment as soon as possible. besides, do not forget to let your partner know the same. It is understandable if you feel a wide variety of emotions after testing positive for an STD.
While such feelings are normal, talking about the same with your doctor works always in your favour. Also convey any concerns related to your sexual health to your doctor. Try not to feel overwhelmed with the whole scenario. Being patient at this time can help you attain a higher mental level of consciousness.
STIs are more prevalent than the statistics suggest. It is best practice to get tested at regular intervals. This ensures you and your partner’s overall health & well-being. There are common tests you can receive depending on which STIs symptoms you display. Do not hesitate to pass on the information regarding your sexual history to your doctor. Also discuss your options when it comes to STI testing. Depending on the test results, your doctor will suggest you medication appropriate for your health.