Monday, August 26, 2013

The Essential Importance of STD Testing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or sexually transmitted infections (STI)  are reportedly on the rise nationwide, with an increasing number of incidents reported each year. Unsafe sexual practices are spreading infection and illness through people from all backgrounds, requiring medical intervention in many cases to prevent septicemia, infertility and even death. STDs are no laughing matter, and those who engage with multiple partners or without adequate protection are at most risk. Because many of these conditions can be symptom-less in the early stages, those who suspect they may be infected need to arrange to be tested for a range of the most common conditions.

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The first thing to do if you suspect you may have an STD is to arrange an appointment with your physician. For some, this may be an embarrassing experience, and one they may be initially reluctant to pursue. This is understandable, and most doctors and healthcare professionals are sympathetic to these feelings. There is a rise in companies offering the ability to order tests from the privacy of your own home (such as so that is a new option. However, from a health perspective, it is essential that you are seen by a doctor at an early stage in the process, so you can confirm diagnosis and receive the right prescription treatments for your condition. The effects of STDs can vary, depending on the nature of the infection, but it is always wise to seek medical attention to prevent these conditions from worsening.

Sexually transmitted diseases are passed during intercourse where no condom has been used. In some cases, even this level of protection will be insufficient to guard against contracting an STD. People who sleep with multiple partners, or who do not practice safe sex, run a substantially higher risk of STDs in the process. There are treatments for STDs, and most are curable.

However, in the worst-case scenarios, the implications can be life-altering and even life-threatening. For this reason, it is recommended that people who are diagnosed with a particular STD make contact with previous sexual partners, in order to advise them to seek medical treatment or testing themselves.

Many people who are experiencing symptoms of an STD will choose to test from home. Thanks to gains in testing know-how, home testing kits are now available for a range of common STDs, so you can attempt to self-diagnose before seeking proper direct medical intervention. Similarly, independent Health Testing Centers can allow for a more accurate diagnosis, without having to go through your family doctor first with the condition.

This type of testing is designed to give patients advanced warning that they should seek a course of treatment from a doctor. Using a variety of testing methods, these independent centers can help establish the cause of your symptoms. Often, this is the stimulus an individual requires to forget the embarrassment and call up the doctor. Testing of fluid samples and swabs can be used to determine the nature of any infection or condition, and the results can be made available quickly for your peace of mind.

As conditions go, some STDs can be relatively harmless. Others can be among the most serious you could possibly experience. HIV, for example, is especially unpleasant. From first sight, there is no way of telling whether an individual partner has an STD, let alone a particularly dangerous one. The person themselves may not even know they are carrying the disease. But the impact of bad decisions here can be potentially life-threatening, and more people should pay attention to these risks.

Depending on the diagnosis, a doctor may be able to prescribe you medication to combat your condition. Antibiotics are commonly used, with a course prescribed to specifically treat the cause of the problem. Where this is ineffective, stronger antibiotics, or alternative antibiotics, will usually be considered. In other cases, more severe treatments may be needed, and this is where a doctor’s expertise can be useful to your individual circumstances.

Sexually transmitted diseases are certainly rising, both in the US and the rest of the Western world. High rates of these diseases are a concern for medical professionals and society as a whole, and more money is being invested at school level now in educating on these dangers. But the link between awareness, testing and medical treatment must continue to be reinforced, in order to ensure these conditions are diagnosed as early as possible in patients.

STDs can affect people from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and they do not discriminate. If you are experiencing the types of symptoms commonly associated with STDs, your first option should be to secure a test for yourself to ascertain whether or not you need further attention.

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