If you feel you have a sexually transmitted disease, taking the step to get tested can be a nerve-wracking and anxious experience. Often, this is because of a misconception that having an STD means you’re somehow irresponsible, or that your sexual history makes it inevitable. But then, neither of these things are true. An STD can happen to anyone. 50% of people under the age of 25 will contract one.
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While regular STD testing should be an integral part of anyone’s health plan, there are certain points in your life where it becomes even more important.
If you’ve just started a new relationship, early STD testing for both partners can put both your minds at rest about using contraceptives that don’t involve a barrier method. You should also get tested right away if you find out that your partner or a former partner has been diagnosed.
If you’ve recently become pregnant and don’t know your STD status, you should get tested while your pregnancy is still early, as some conditions can be dangerous for unborn babies.
While many STDs don’t have symptoms, at least at the beginning, if you have any symptoms that are suspicious or have recently had unprotected sex with someone with STD status that you don’t know, get tested right away.
Overcoming the stigma
Try not to feel the ‘stigma’ that comes with getting tested for STDs. It’s highly responsible to keep a constant check on our sexual health in the same way we do on our physical and mental health. Getting regular tests is a mature and proactive thing to do. Don’t be ashamed to do it. If you’re really uncomfortable, you can try finding a free confidential clinic in your area, or even order an at-home STD testing kit.
We know that feeling like you might have an STD isn’t pleasant. However, knowing you’re sexually healthy can provide incredible peace of mind. Even if you test positive for something, treatment is better than ignorance. A simple course of antibiotics is most often all you need but when left undiagnosed and untreated, some STDs can have serious complications and chlamydia can even lead to infertility in women.
Options for testing
For many of us, taking a couple of hours out of the day to sit in a waiting room and wait for a test is pretty much impossible. This is where the at-home STD test comes in. These home testing kits offer complete reliability and accuracy without having to feel uncomfortable or awkward, or take time out of a busy life for an appointment. You can take the test at any time that suits you.
At-home tests are just as accurate as doctors’ tests and can test for the same range of conditions including chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, HIV, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, Hepatitis B, Gardnerella, and mycoplasma.
They’re also completely discreet, arriving in unmarked boxes with no branding or company names on them. Even the return shipping labels are provided, so you can post your completed test kit back without having to take it to the post office.