Have you ever gotten the sinking feeling that you might have a sexually transmitted disease?
Are you avoiding going to the doctor out of panic or sheer embarrassment?
Every year, there are more than 300 million new cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. What's tricky is that many sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, don't have obvious symptoms.
Luckily, you have a new option that allows you to bypass a visit to the doctor. In this article, we'll give you the lowdown on ordering a home STD kit. We'll also help you figure out which tests to order.
Common Symptoms of STDs
Because some STDs, like chlamydia, don't have any obvious symptoms, it's important to test every six months to one year.
If you're noticing pain in your pelvic area, pain while urinating, or strange discharge from your vagina, you might have an STD.
Symptoms in men are similar and include burning while urinating, pain in the testicles, and discharge from the penis. Other common STD symptoms include fever, diarrhea, and fatigue.
It's difficult to diagnose STDs without testing because fatigue is a symptom of more than one condition.
All of us get tired from time to time, but if you are having trouble getting out of bed and staying awake during the day, you might have fatigue related to an STD.
- Protect Your Privacy
One of the great things about home STD testing is that you can preserve your dignity and privacy. You may not feel comfortable talking to your family doctor about sexual matters, or you may feel like they would judge your personal life.
There is a wide range of tests available including ones for herpes, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. You will receive your test kits in the mail and return them the same way.
Even if you've never had vaginal intercourse, you could still be at risk for an STD. Oral and anal sex are both common methods of STD transmission.
Getting tested for STDs can be scary and nerve-wracking, but it's part of being a responsible adult and being sexually active.
Oral and anal sex are both common methods of STD transmission.
- Speed up Test Results
Surprisingly, about half of all new STD cases are diagnosed in teens and young adults. Using a condom reduces the risk of gonorrhea and HIV, but are less effective against herpes and genital warts.
If you suspect that you have an STD, an at-home STD test kit can bring you peace of mind. Once you return the kit, the lab will process it within 24 to 48 hours and you'll be able to access your results via email. Other options for receiving your results are available upon request.
If you're pregnant, you may want to ask for urgent processing and delivery. Gonorrhea, in particular, can affect pregnancies, causing stillbirths and blindness.
- Take Control of Your Health
Once you receive your results, you can either breathe a sigh of relief or go see a doctor for medication and further testing.
If you do receive a positive diagnosis, your lab will make a referral to a specialist for further treatment. You may have to inform past partners of your STD so that they can seek treatment as well.
- Receive Accurate Diagnoses
Although you might assume that people with STDs are promiscuous, this isn't always the case. If your significant other already has an STD, you can get it from them without realizing.
Ideally, you'll use home STD testing kits before you become sexually active with a new partner.
STDs like syphilis, pubic lice, and chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics once you know that you have them. You can then become sexually active again with a clean bill of health.
Unfortunately, some people do cheat on their partners, so it's important to keep getting tested throughout the course of a monogamous relationship.
- Focus on Wellness
If you have been fatigued from an STD, wait for a few weeks until you get your blood drawn. Give yourself a chance to rebound from your STD and take the full course of antibiotics.
Even if you live in a rural area, you can still get world-class health care via at home urine testing. Try to start with a comprehensive approach: heart health, tumor markers, and diabetes.
What you might not realize is that you can access health care from your laptop. Teleconferencing technology allows you to meet with a doctor or nurse practitioner and get medications mailed directly to your home.
So, now do not panic or embarrass going to the Doctor.
Read More about STDs: Three Signs You Might Have an STD