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Why Getting Your Sexual Health Tested Is So Important

Sexual health is something we often shy away from talking about, but experts say we should be making it more of a priority.

A common misconception is that infected people show symptoms. In reality, asymptomatic cases are more common than not. You could have an STI right now, and have no idea.

Thankfully, STI and STD testing is readily available in the UK and you can acquire a private STD test in London, where the rate of infection is high, at any time.

We will tell you how you can acquire a sexual health test. But first, let’s talk about the benefits of getting screened for infection.

Getting Screened for Infection

Although the UK’s STD and STI rates declined in 2020, during the pandemic, there was also a 25% dip in sexual health screenings. It’s believed the data may have been impacted by a lack of diagnosis.

So why should you get screened if you aren’t showing symptoms?

If you are sexually active, getting an STD test could protect the health of your sexual partner. Even if you have not been taking the proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection up to this point, there is a possibility your partner is not yet infected. It is recommended both partners get a London STD test at the beginning of a new relationship, so everyone is on the same page, as the discovery of asymptomatic cases can cause conflict late in a relationship.

Getting screened may also prevent infertility issues as some infections like Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease which can actually scar the fallopian tubes. If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, getting screened could also protect your unborn child from the risk of infection.

Ultimately, getting screened is the healthiest thing to do. Early intervention will help improve your sexual health if you are carrying an infection. You cannot receive treatment until you have a diagnosis.

Common Myths About Sexual Health

There are several common misconceptions regarding sexual health, STIs, and STDs.

False information often spreads like a virus of its own. But not understanding the facts about STDs and STIs can be dangerous to one’s health. It’s important to understand the truth about sexually transmitted infections and diseases so you can take the proper precautions to protect yourself.

Here are some of the most common myths about STIs and STDs.

#1. If You Get Screened Your Partner Doesn’t Need To.

Many people believe that if their partner gets STI and STD testing, they won’t need to get screened themselves. This is false.

The reality is, that monogamy is not always guaranteed. Many people would tell you that they never expected their partner to commit an act of infidelity. And even if your partner is monogamous, you may still be carrying an STI or STD and have no idea you’re infected.

Even if your partner says they have tested, it’s best to get screened yourself.

#2. You Can Avoid Infection By Having Oral or Anal Sex

This is also false.

STIs and STD viruses spread through cuts and tears in the skin. Those sores can be present in the mouth, anus, or genital region, making the spread of infection just as likely in all scenarios.

That’s why it’s so important to get a sexual health test.

#3. If Your Partner Has an STI or STD, You Will Know It.

The most commonly diagnosed STIs often go undiagnosed because the person with the infection is asymptomatic. Even doctors are not able to diagnose simply by looking at a patient. They need to perform STI and STD screening.

If you have an infected partner, there’s a good chance that neither of you knows about it.

#4. Once You Have an STI or STD, You Can’t Get Reinfected

While some STIs are curable, you can absolutely get reinfected again.

If you’re exposed to an infected person, then you are at risk.

Common Types of Infection

There are roughly 25 types of STIs and STDs. The infections are caused by different types of bacteria.

Some infections, like HIV, have serious long-term effects. Others can be cured with treatment. But all of these infections are treatable. This is why it’s so important to have early intervention. 

While some STIs like Genital Herpes may show symptoms, some of the most commonly diagnosed infections often don’t.

Here are some of the most common STDs and STIs and how they are screened for. 

Chlamydia 

Chlamydia, for example, often has no symptoms. It’s recommended that women above the age of 25, sexually active women under 25, men who have sex with men, Transgender women who have had sex with men, anyone who has had sex against their will, and HIV patients all get screened. Women are more likely to get infected and also more likely to be asymptomatic. 

Chlamydia tests require a urine test or swab.

Gonorrhoea

Gonorrhoea is also screened using a urine test. 

Symptoms can appear as green discharge, swollen testicles, or pain urinating in men. Women may bleed between periods, and notice discharge or a burning sensation when they pee.

Gonorrhoea can also cause pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated, and lead to issues of infertility.

HPV

HPV is commonly diagnosed in women, but men are often carriers. 

It’s recommended that women 25 to 65 are screened for HPV during their Pap test, as HPV can lead to cancer. 

Genital Herpes

Symptoms of genital herpes appear during an outbreak, when clusters of blisters appear, eventually breaking into sores. However, those with Genital Herpes often don’t realize they have it.

Genital Herpes is diagnosed by removing a tissue sample from the blisters. 

It can also be screened using a blood test.

HIV

HIV is a disease that attacks the body’s immune system.

It’s recommended that those between the ages of 15 to 65 book a routine test for HIV at least once. Screenings require a blood test.

Syphilis

Syphilis is linked to an increased risk of HIV infection. If it goes untreated, it can cause serious health problems. However, with the right medication, it can be cured.

It is usually diagnosed by taking a swab from a sore. Screenings use a blood test.

Hepatitis 

While people are often given vaccines for Hep A and Hep B at birth, those between the ages of 18 to 79 should get screened for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can lead to damage to the liver if untreated. 

You can book a blood test to get screened for Hepatitis. 

Pubic Lice and Scabies

Public Lice are small insects that pass between people who have had close intimate contact. They live on body hair. Pubic Lice measure roughly 2mm in length, making them visible.

Scabies are tiny mites or parasites that burrow and lay eggs in the skin. Like Pubic Lice, Scabies spread from intimate skin-to-skin contact. But unlike Pubic Lice, Scabies are not visible.

Instead, Scabies appear in the form of a rash on the skin. Both Scabies and Pubic Lice cause itching, inflammation, or rashes. Neither condition is due to poor hygiene in any way.

Both conditions are easily eliminated with cream and a whole lot of laundry.

Trichomonas

Trichomonas is a parasitic infection that is not as commonly known. It passes easily through sexual intercourse.

Symptoms in men include pain and itching, discharge, and pain urinating.

For women, symptoms include changes to discharge, pain during sex, pain urinating, and itching.

Genital Warts

Genital warts are easily passed through skin-to-skin contact.

These warts are a result of HPV. However, this strain of HPV is different from those that increase the risk of cancer.

Genital warts appear on your genitals or around your bottom. The use of creams and freezing treats genital warts.

Private STD Test in London

Getting a private STD test in London is quite simple.

You can book an online video consultation with a doctor if you would like to get more information ahead of your screening.

Sexual health testing in London is private and efficient. You can choose the kit and sexual health test you’re looking for. 

You can have the results of a London STD test in a matter of hours, often putting your mind at ease, and being able to seek immediate treatment and intervention when necessary. 

Your Sexual Health Is a Priority

Whether you’re single or in a monogamous relationship, if you haven’t had STI or STD testing, you should get screened.

Getting screened can help prevent the spread of infection to your partner or children. Early intervention can help you seek meaningful treatment and avoid more serious symptoms or diseases

Book a private STD test in London today. Consult with one of our doctors. Our team can help you get the answers you need.

 

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