'CONCERN' - 4 Things You Can Do If You Think You Have An STD

So you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Or are you just a little concerned about your sexual health?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are more common than they were 20 years ago. More than 30 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be acquired through sexual activities. Some of them are more common than others. Some have cures, some don't.

If you are sexually active and have more than one partner, you have a higher chance of contracting an STD. STDs are no laughing matter. You can have lifelong complications if not treated early. For instance, some STDs can lower the chances of having babies in the future if not treated early on! Seriously, no joke.

If you think you might have an STD, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and others. Because STDs don't always cause symptoms. People don’t usually realize they have an STD until their symptoms become severe. Testing is the only way to know if you have an STD.

Knowing your status is the first step toward getting treatment and can help you avoid passing the infection on to others.

Here's why you should know how to identify STDs.

1. Protect Your Partner

If you think you might have an STD, you must protect your partner from further infections. Ideally, this means talking to your partner about your concerns, getting tested, and abstaining from sex until you know your status.

Yes, it might be awkward to tell your partner about this... It's natural to feel worried, embarrassed, and even scared. I get it. But it's the right thing to do. Their health is at risk, so they need to know what's going on.

If it's really not feasible, you can start practising safer sex. That means wearing condoms for your sexual activities. Condoms are inexpensive and easy to use. It would be almost offensive to your partner if you weren't doing so. Because your partner is counting on you to protect them from harmless.

However, safer sex isn't foolproof. For example, HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) are spread through skin-to-skin contact. A condom may not cover all infected areas and would still pose certain risks. Abstinence or not having sex is the only sure way to prevent the sexual transmission of STDs.

In fact, you should start practising safer sex even if you think you have already exposed your partner to an STD. This is because not every STD is transmitted every time you have sex. Thus, it's never too late to start being safer.

You should also contact any previous sex partners you have had in the past few months, even if you're no longer having sex with them. How far you need to go back will depend on the type of infection, but your doctor will advise you.

2. Get Tested by Doctor

"What if I don’t have any symptoms!"

The chances are, when you say this, you may have been exposed to an STD.

The only sure way to know if you are infected is to go to an STD clinic and have the appropriate tests done.

Different STDs needs different test. It could be a blood test, urine test, etc. Thus, it's important for you to inform your doctor about the type of STD you may have been exposed to. Be specific. It's also good practice for you to inform your doctor about the date of your last test.

You should always bear in that it is imperative that you’re being honest with your doctor. Answer all of their questions truthfully so that they can decide which type of test you need.  Don't try to outsmart your doctor by telling them what to test or what not. Yeah, you can do that if you have gone through years of medical studies and practices. Otherwise, just let them do their job and help you examine thoroughly.

3. Start Your Treatment Immediately

It is almost always upsetting. People can feel frightened, embarrassed, or just numb. But never try to treat a sexually transmitted disease (STD) yourself. These diseases are contagious and serious. You must see a doctor!

Starting treatment as soon as possible is important to prevent the transmission of infections to others and to minimize the long-term complications of STDs. Recent sexual partners should also be treated to prevent re-infection and further transmission.

Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are bacterial, while others are viral. Bacterial STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. These can be treated with antibiotics. Viral STDs include genital warts and herpes simplex virus.

Bacterial STDs can be cured with antibiotics if treatment begins early enough. Viral STDs cannot be cured, but you can manage symptoms with medications.

If you are diagnosed with a bacterial STI, it is important that you take all of the antibiotics and drugs prescribed to you, even if the symptoms go away. In addition, do not take someone else's medication to treat your infection. This may complicate things and have you to miss the best treatment windows.

If you are in a sexual relationship, you should stop having sex until you and your partner have completed treatment. Otherwise, you risk passing the infection back and forth.

4. Have A STD Retest Post Treatment

“Well, I have completed my STD treatment. Why do I need to get tested again?”

It's good that you are no longer suffering from any symptoms. But the fight with STDs doesn't end after you have completed the treatment. You should have another retest to check whether your disease has been eliminated. Retesting is recommended after each round of treatment.

The reason for STD retesting is that most cases of these infections are re-occurring. You may be re-infected if you fail to cure them the first time. If you do not get tested again, you may be at risk of getting re-infected and spreading the infection to others.

People are afraid of getting STDs, not only due to health or medical concern but also the fear, shame and embarrassment associated with it.

STDs may sometimes be perceived as something disgusting. However, this is merely a stereotype and is NOT true. Getting an STD has nothing to do with hygiene. Anyone sexually active can get an STD.

If you are concerned that you or your sexual partner may have an STD, have questions about STD, or even feel helpless and have no one to speak to, reach out to us. All your information will be kept private and confidential.