Sexually transmitted diseases and infections are a serious threat to all sexually active persons. Wearing a condom each and every time one engages in sexual activity can greatly reduce the risk of these horrific diseases, but, unfortunately, some diseases and infections can even be transmitted when a condom is used, especially if it is used incorrectly. Because sexually transmitted diseases are so prolific, it’s wise to undergo STD testing on a regular basis if you engage in unprotected sex or even protected sex with more than one partner. The process of getting tested is typically quick and painless and can give you great peace of mind, as well as enable you to protect yourself and others.
Get Tested Even if No Symptoms are Present
Many people who have STDs never get tested for them and never realize they have them. This is dangerous since they can still transmit the disease to others and also can suffer the long-term health consequences that many STDs bring. The main reason that so many people don’t undergo testing is because they think that, if they haven’t noticed any symptoms, they’re okay. In truth, though, many STDs do not have any noticeable symptoms at all or have symptoms so mild that people excuse them as being related to other things, such as shaving irritation or the female menstrual cycle. Symptoms are not a reliable predictor of whether or not an STD is present, so even if a person is symptom-free, he or she should still be tested.
The Importance of Re-Testing
Yet another reason that so many people are walking around unaware that they have STDs is the fact that the presence of an STD can often take a while to be detected. Some STDs, though present and contagious, often won’t show up on tests for weeks or even months after exposure. For that reason, testing at regular intervals for as long as a person is engaging in unprotected sex is extremely important. A healthcare professional can assess a person’s risk, based on certain factors, and determine how often that person should go in for testing.
Where to Get Tested
There are many avenues people can go through to get the testing they need. General healthcare practitioners typically offer STD testing, as do female reproductive health professionals. However, many people feel embarrassed to see their regular doctors for STD testing or cannot afford testing in a doctor’s office. Fortunately, there are free and low-cost clinics available in most areas. These clinics are usually very private and discreet in nature. Many schools and workplaces also offer testing periodically, and it’s even possible to undergo STD testing online by sending in requested samples. There are so many excellent options in today’s world for getting tested that there is absolutely no excuse for a person to not get tested. STD testing can save a person’s reproductive health and even his or her life, so it is not something to avoid or put off until it’s too late.
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