What is a STD and what symptoms should I expect?
An STD is a disease or infection that is transmitted through sexual contact from one person to another. The disease or infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Some of the most common STDs are as follows:
Genital warts or human papillomavirus (HPV).
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS
Each STD is different and has different symptoms. However, some of the most common symptoms of an STD may include some of the following:
Sores or bumps on and around your genitals,
Painful burning during urination,
Abnormal discharge from your vagina or penis,
Pain during sex,
Itching, pain, irritation and/or swelling in your penis, vagina, vulva, or anus
All of these symptoms can also be caused by other more benign medical conditions. Again, an STD test is the only way to understand your medical condition.
Should I get tested?
If youve had sexual contact with another person you need to get tested for STD. Most of the time, STDs have no symptoms. It is also important to know that even when there are symptoms, they can come and go over time. When this happens, it does not mean the STD is gone.
Some STDs can cause serious health problems. If left untreated, STDs can seriously damage your body over time. Other STDs are more serious and can be life threatening. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. Only then can you begin the treatment process.
What is the testing process like?
STD tests can be quick and painless. Your nurse or doctor will help you figure out which tests you need. To do this, you will need to be open and honest with your nurse or doctor. Remember, they have heard it all and are there to help you. You will need to talk about details such as the symptoms you are having, whether or not you or your partner has had an STD before, the frequency of sexual contact with other partners, and the kind of sexual contact you had.
Once you share your history with your nurse or doctor, the STD test might include a urine test, cheek swab, blood test, physical exam, or testing any sores or abnormal discharge you may have. Once complete, the tests are then sent to the lab and results are usually available within the next few days.
The sooner the STD is discovered, the quicker the recovery process can be. Many of the most common STDs can be treated and even cured with medicine. If you had sexual contact with multiple partners, Taking an STD test can put your mind at ease as it is the first step toward being responsible to both yourself and to others.
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