Sexually transmitted infections are infections caused by sexual contact. These infections are widespread among adults. Anyone can have an STI without knowing they have it.
If you have a sexual history of multiple partners or are now sexually active, we suggest going for an STI exam every once a month. Read this guide to understand the importance of medical exams for sexually transmitted infections.
What Is An STI Check?
An STI check is a medical exam to identify the presence of any sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, etc.
Getting a medical exam for sexually transmitted infections enables you to get prompt treatment if you have contracted any infection. The STI test includes taking your urine, blood, or saliva sample. An examiner may ask you to give a tissue swab of your affected body part, i.e. vagina or penis.
Reasons STI Test is Important for Everyone
STIs are asymptomatic – meaning there are no apparent symptoms of them. The only reliable way to know if you have contracted any sexually transmitted infection is from an STI check.
Here are 5 reasons why STI test is important;
Most sexually transmitted infections are caused by skin-to-skin contact. It means it is really easy for anyone to have STIs. Even if you are a virgin and have had skin contact with someone (for example, a handshake, kiss on the cheek, or hug), you are at risk of contracting STI.
The three most common yet fatal infections spread through skin contact are;
- HSV (Herpes Simplex virus)
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
No Noticeable Symptoms
One of the biggest reasons to go for a screening is these infections are tough to notice. There are no apparent symptoms of most sexually transmitted infections. As a result, it becomes easier to spread the infection to someone else without knowing you have it.
Unprotected sex, especially anal and oral sex, opens a can of viruses and infections. People engaging in unprotected sex should get STI checked for safety and health reasons.
The worst consequence of untreated and undiagnosed STIs is infertility. Most STIs cause abnormalities and painful symptoms in your genitals. Therefore, not going for an STI test can worsen the infection and cause permanent problems, such as infertility.
Late Diagnosis Leads to No Cure
Not getting STI tested frequently means you are at risk of contracting STI. With asymptotic STIs, the infection can reach its worst stage even before you notice it. Hence, STI tests can help you get immediate treatment.
When Should I Go For An STI Test?
It isn’t easy to decide whether or not you are an STI carrier. You can have STI without knowing it and pass it on to others. Here is a list of symptoms and signs in your body that may indicate you have an STI;
- Burning sensation during urination
- Discomfort and itching near genitals
- Rashes, redness, and small bump near genitals
- Constant abdominal pain
- Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
- Difficulty in urinating
- Sudden weight loss
- Pain during sex
Routine tests and safe sexual practices allow you to enjoy your sex life whilst keeping yourself safe from serious health issues. STI tests empower you to maintain a healthy sex life.