What is STD or STI Testing and Screening?
Consider an STD screening if you had unprotected sexual intercourse with a sexually active partner, a stranger, or a partner who is not aware if they are infected or not. Your risk of catching an STD/STI is also likely to be higher if you or your partner have multiple sexual partners, participate in risky sexual behaviors, or your partner is known to have an STD. When you go for a check-up, the doctor will assess the relevant STD screening and testing for you depending on your sexual history.
Practicing safe sex and using barrier methods such as condoms can effectively protect against STD/STI, but it is not 100% protection to eliminate your infection chance. There is always a risk of transmission whenever there is an exposure to contaminated body fluids or blood to broken skin or mucosal contact. Therefore, it is important to get testing as a regular part of being responsible and taking care of yourself.
What is STD or STI Symptoms?
Different STDs carry different symptoms, though STD or STI can be completely asymptomatic or appear very mild until the later stages of infection. If you are infected, the sexual disease can be transmitted to other people through sex — oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse and genital touching.
Therefore, if you had been at risk, it is advisable to do a check-up with your doctor and undergo the relevant STD screening tests to diagnose the infection.
When symptoms do occur, they may include
– urethral or vaginal discharge
– painful urination
– itch or pain in the urethra or vagina
– rashes, sores, or blisters on the genitalia
– lumps or growths on the penis or vagina
– pain, aching, swelling, or heaviness in the testicles
– lumps or swollen lymph nodes at the groin
Sometimes, there may be general symptoms such as fever, body aches, rash, tiredness, or swollen lymph glands in the neck, armpits, or groin.
Untreated, STD, or STI may result in a wide range of complications, including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic prostate problems, nerve, brain damage, or even death. Most STD or STI can be treated or controlled if detected early.