Portland’s top STI testing center is an ideal place for knowing your status as far as venereal diseases go. While STD testing is not part of a routine medical examination, a patient can always request one during a hospital visit. However, due to the stigma surrounding STDs, most people may not go for this test even when they should.
When to Go for an STD Test
Sometimes, you may not know whether or not to go for an STD test. If you’ve never had such infections, you may not know what to look for to prompt you to go for such a test. The following things are usually reason enough to test for STDs:
i) If you’re having any symptoms like back pain, pain during urination, or intercourse.
- ii) If you or your partner has had a sexually transmitted infection in the recent past. Sometimes the STD may not have been treated effectively, thereby increasing the chances of re-infection.
iii) Having multiple sexual partners. This is one of the major reasons for contracting STDs. If you have unprotected sex with numerous sexual partners, the chances of getting STDs increase significantly. It’s important to remember that the kind of sexual contact also matters. For instance, having protected vaginal and anal sex in addition to oral sex still puts one at risk of getting an STD.
- iv) Factors like sharing needles or other such sharp objects.
- v) Pregnancy: If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming a mother soon, it helps to go for an STD test. This ensures that you take care of any such active infections if they’re there. For instance, syphilis is known to cross the placenta and infect an unborn child. This can create serious complications.
Assuming you don’t have any of the issues mentioned above, your healthcare provider may still recommend an STD test if they find anything in your medical history or physical examination that may indicate the possibility of an STD.
An STD test is usually painless. Several sexually transmitted infections have different types of tests to determine their presence. Depending on your circumstance, your doctor will help you decide which ones are relevant. Such tests include:
i)Urinalysis: This involves analyzing your urine content and other things like its acidity. It is very helpful in determining the presence of some STDs. You’ll be asked to pee in a cup. Sometimes, the microorganisms causing the STD may be present in your external genitalia in large quantities. In such a case, the healthcare provider will ask you to get a “clean catch” urine sample. This involves first cleaning the area around the urethra and then getting a urine sample midstream. It is common for female patients suspected of having STDs.
- ii) Cheek Swab: This is common for HIV testing. A small stick with a tiny cotton swab at one end is passed over the lining inside the mouth.
iii) Blood Test: Your healthcare provider will get a blood sample to be analyzed for the presence of STD pathogens. This involves using a small syringe to draw blood from your arm.
- iv) Other Swabs: In addition to the cheek swab, testing samples can be gotten from other areas of the body. These include the anus, the vagina, labia, perineum, cervix, urethra, throat, or any sores you may have on in your genital area.
What to Do If You Have an STD
Many people tend to panic as soon as they discover that their STD test is positive for a particular infection. Several reasons could be responsible for this reaction. A common one is that such an individual may have a partner with whom they’re in a committed relationship. The discovery of an STD could call their faithfulness into question. Whatever the outcome, it is best to remain calm. Breaking the news to your partner is crucial to ensure that they also get the necessary help. If you’re seeing multiple people, ensure to tell them.
Your healthcare provider will more than likely offer counseling. If your partner is unable to provide the kind of emotional support you need, a counselor or your doctor could always fill this void.
Most STDs can be cleared using antibiotics. In such cases, it’s always advisable to finish the drug dosage to prevent their re-occurrence. For those that can’t be cured like HIV, there are effective ways of managing them.
Ultimately, getting tested for an STD ensures that you know your status and that the right course of action is taken on time.