It is believed that STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases) particularly affect young adults ages 15-24. In fact, this particular age group now accounts for half of all new STD infections. This is because young people have a higher risk of developing and transmitting sexual diseases and infections. It is believed that young women’s bodies are biologically more at risk of becoming infected, as well as young people as a whole, do not feel comfortable enough to discuss their sexual health or get tested. This leads to the numbers of STI and STD infections soaring as the topic of sexual health becomes silenced.
How Do Doctors Test For STDs?
People may feel hesitant to acquire a sexual health test due to a fear of the unknown. But in reality, an STD test is very simple and is over within a few seconds regardless of what method is used at your appointment. Here are some ways a doctor may take a sample for testing:
- A blood sample (finger prick may be used)
- Urine sample
- Swab of the mouth
- Genital swab
- Swab of discharge or sores
In some cases, the sample may be testing immediately, and you can receive your results that day. In other cases, it may be sent to a lab for examination, and you will then receive your results within a few days.
It Is A Safe And Confidential Process
It is important for young teens and young adults to understand that when you take a sexual health test, you are being responsible and keeping yourself and your sexual partner(s) safe from any infections that you could be transmitting to one another.
The doctor/nurse will always aim to make you feel as safe and as comfortable as possible during your appointment. No-one is there to judge you or make you feel embarrassed. The information you tell the medical professional is completely confidential, which is why you should always be honest during these appointments.
What Are The Symptoms Of An STD?
STDs affect people differently and may present itself in more ways than one. For some people, they will experience no symptoms and no warning signs, which can be dangerous if the infection is left untreated for a long period of time. If you have had intercourse or engage in any sexual activity with more than one partner, it is always a good idea to get tested.
However, STDs can show in symptomatic ways which may include:
- Sores on genitals or oral area
- Painful urination
- Unusual or abnormal vaginal discharge
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding
- Painful sex
- Sore or swollen lymph nodes
- Abdomen pain
With the STD infection rates consistently rising, it is clear that people are not taking their sexual health as seriously as they should. As mentioned, this is believed to be caused by embarrassment or lack of knowledge surrounding the topic and its importance. By visiting a health professional and carrying out a sexual health test, as well as practicing safe sex with condoms, less people will be at risk of becoming infected. Sex should be safe, enjoyable, and consensual.