All You Need to Know About STD Testing for Women
As a woman, your reproductive health risks being compromised by undetected sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sometimes, failing to have symptoms of these diseases may dissuade you from going for an STD test. It is only until you start noticing some warts, unusual discharges, or encounter endless itching, that you realize how badly you are affected. Fortunately, a yearly STD screening or test is a better way of being safe than sorry. But first, there are things you need to know before scheduling for STD testing in Lake Nona.
Why go for an STD test?
As long as you are sexually active, you risk contracting STD from your partner. The symptoms for STD may not be present right from the time you contract it, but that doesn’t mean you are safe. Undergoing routine STD testing for women is the only way of clearing any doubts you may be having.
Going by the recent findings, women between the ages of 15 and 24, are at a higher risk of facing complications from undiagnosed and untreated STDs. That means that your reproductive health risks being compromised if you fall under this category. The power to keep your reproductive system in excellent health lies in your hands. Therefore, being proactive with yearly STD testing for women will save you from facing dire consequences in the future.
Why do women suffer a greater impact from STIs than Men?
Anatomy favors the risk factors
As a woman, your anatomy makes you more susceptible to STIs than men. Your vagina has very thin tissues, allowing easier penetration of viruses and bacteria. Through its warm and moist environment, it can easily favor the growth and spread bacteria. This means you are likely to catch an infection when you have unprotected sex with an infected partner.
Symptoms may fail to show
Chances are, you may fail to have symptoms of STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. This may make you reluctant to go for a check-up, but it doesn’t mean you are safe. When left untreated, STIs can cause a great health impact in your life, as a woman. Even when you exhibit the symptoms, you may not acknowledge these as symptoms of an STI. You will have vaginal discharges all your life, but this doesn’t exempt you from going for a regular STD test.
Terminal health complications
STDs can cause deadly health complications when they go undetected and untreated. The complications range from pelvic inflammatory diseases to infertility problems. These diseases can tamper with your reproductive organs before interfering with your overall health. You have probably witnessed people with late-stage syphilis. This condition not only affects the health of your liver, but it also interferes with your spleen and the skeletal system. The last thing you need is to fail to fulfill your earthly purpose because you didn’t go for a test.
In some cases, you may be an STD carrier. This means that you are not exhibiting outward symptoms of open wounds or visible warts, but you can unknowingly infect your sexual partner with STDs. If you don’t go for screening, your partner may continue to suffer in your hands.
Health complications during pregnancy
A pregnant woman’s immune system is low, making her vulnerable to STIs and other infections. A child born from a woman with an STI is likely to develop health complications such as low birth weight, brain damage, blindness, and even deafness. You can easily pass a disease to your baby if you don’t treat it in a good time. It is important for expectant women to test for STIs during prenatal visits to reduce the chances of infecting the baby.
How is an STD test conducted in women?
- Interviews and Pelvic Exams
STDs are different in nature and this greatly determines the type of test your doctor will recommend. Before the test, your doctor will ask you a few questions concerning your medical and sexual history. To get a full medical report, they will ask you about how many sexual partners you have had, and whether you used protection when having sex. If you have had unprotected sex, your doctor will examine your genitals through a pelvic exam. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you will still get screened for STDs as part of a routine check-up.
- Lab tests
Based on the findings from the interview and pelvic exam, the doctor may recommend lab tests. They may take samples of your blood, urine, oral swabs, cervical swab, or a swab of any discharge. These samples may be tested from the medical office or taken in other places, and the results will come later.
STDs can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. There are different treatment methods for STDs depending on the infection:
Antibiotics are often administered as a single dose for bacterial and parasitic infections such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. Antibiotic treatment requires you to follow through, so you should inform your doctor if you are comfortable with it. During this period, you should abstain from sex until you have completed the dose. Your doctor may schedule for retesting if you have a higher chance of reinfection.
- Antiviral treatment
If you have herpes or HIV, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug. These drugs may help to keep the viruses in check for many years. It is important to take the drugs as advised by your doctor, to reduce the virus count. Remember, your sexual partner also needs to go for testing and treatment, to rule out any chances of reinfection.
STD Testing for Women Works
Being a sexually active woman predisposes you to various risk factors that may impact negatively on your overall health. Going for a STD test may seem daunting because you may not be comfortable about sharing your lifestyle and habits with a medical practitioner. However, you have more to gain from STD testing, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Contemporary Women’s Care is an OB/GYN medical facility created for women and managed by women. As an all-female practice, the organization is dedicated to provide comprehensive solutions to sustain the needs of a woman’s life. Whether you are looking for a viable birth control option or want to test for an STD, a Contemporary Women’s Care near you will be ready to help.