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STD Testing - Why You Should Never Delay?

Dr. Nishita 91% (153 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  10 years experience
STD Testing - Why You Should Never Delay?

In most diseases, early detection of the disease is the key to control the symptoms, cure, reduce progression and improve prognosis. This holds true for sexually transmitted diseases too. As soon as there is a mild degree of suspicious of having contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it is advisable to go for a test. Most of the STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can develop into serious complications over a period of time, ranging from infertility to even death.

Complications: Why early diagnosis is important: When left undiagnosed and untreated, most STDs progress to cause severe damage from sterility to cancer to even death. Listed below are some complications associated with each of the common STDs.

  1. Chlamydia: If left untreated, can lead to epididymitis and testicles shrinking and infertility in males. This is a condition where there is pus formation in the scrotum. In women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which is deep-seated and unable to cure completely. This brings with it symptoms ranging from abdominal pain to uterine infections to sterility.
  2. Syphillis: Undiagnosed syphilis can lead to blindness and deafness. It can also be passed onto the newborn and lead to severe disabilities.
  3. Gonorrhea: If diagnosed early, it can be cured completely with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
  4. HIV/AIDS: Early diagnosis can help in curtailing the disease. If detected late, then the damage is quite extensive and treatment is both expensive and cannot help restore a lot of functions. 

Symptoms of Sexually transmitted diseases: If there is a doubt of having contracted an STD, then it is very important to get tested for the same. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.

  1. Women: The most common symptoms in women including painful urination, burning sensation, abnormal vaginal discharge (sometimes bleeding), warts, and abdominal pain.
  2. Men: Testicular pain, urethral pain, painful urination, pain and inflammation in the prostate, sores, fever, and abdominal pain.

Prevention: Always practice safe sexual practices. When in doubt, refrain from sex until diagnosis and treatment is complete.

Testing for STDs: Some of the standard tests include:

  1. 1. Herpes- HSV I & II - 
    2. Testing HIV-- Kits and ELISA available for testing 
    3. Blood test for syphilis antibodies 
    4. Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea - from urine as well as swabs for culture

It is understandable that getting tested for STDs is an embarrassing situation. However, there are options available where anonymity can be maintained when getting tested for STDs. This is a wise choice to make as the risk is not just for the person affected but for the partner and in some cases even for the fetus. Early testing can help prevent complications like infertility and cancer. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

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