STDs are a very complex medical issue. There is no simple way to explain all of the first signs of an STD. However, some of the more common symptoms of an STD include:
- A discharge from the penis
- A vaginal discharge that is clear, white, and yellowish or greenish
- A strong vaginal odor
- Pain experienced during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal irritation or itching
- Irritation or itching inside the penis
- Painful urination
If you suspect you have a sexually transmitted disease, it’s understandable and acceptable to be frustrated and a little scared. Whether you’re in a rural area like Wyoming, or in the middle of the District of Columbia, there are options that can help you understand and treat any sexually transmitted diseases you might have. Hopefully, this article will provide a few answers and help you start your search for proper STD testing, and assuage some of the anxiety you’re experiencing.
How does STD testing work?
Getting an STD test doesn’t need to be a scary or painful experience. It’s usually minimally invasive, mostly painless, and requires little effort aside from a drop-in at your local GUM clinic (Genito-Urinary Medicine clinic.) However, different diseases require different tests, so it’s important to be open and honest with your health specialist regarding your sexual health.
Do I need to ask my doctor for an STD test?
STD testing isn’t part of a standard physical check-up at a doctor’s office, so you’ll need to speak with your physician to set up a test. Be upfront with your doctor or nurse. Explain your concerns and any symptoms you have so they can help identify the best test for your particular situation.
When you come into a health center with STD concerns, your doctor may ask you a lot of questions about your sex life and symptoms. They may, at times, feel very personal and uncomfortable, but it’s important to remember they’re only trying to find the best testing suitable for your specific situation. For instance, the test for chlamydia and gonorrhea is different from testing for Hepatitis A or HIV, and your responses are critical to getting an accurate diagnosis.
There are ways you can edge into the conversation with your doctor by merely mentioning that you’ve never been tested, or that you’re curious about it. Doctors understand people are naturally reticent talking about their private lives so that they may guide the conversation at that point.
How will I know what STD tests I need?
People often jump to conclusions and think the worst when it comes to STD’s, automatically diagnosing themselves with things like HIV when there is no clinical evidence to support it. This is why comprehensive sex education is important to help you learn the facts about an STD before you get one.
Health center professionals have excellent training, so you don’t have to rely on your own knowledge or the dreaded inaccuracies of web-based diagnoses. Your clinician will help you determine which tests are appropriate based on the information you give them and the symptoms you present.
In certain circumstances, you can even find places like Planned Parenthood, offering free STD tests. Planned Parenthood isn’t merely for pregnancies, as some have reported. Call them for locations and services if you think you may have an STD, and they can help direct you.
What happens when I get tested for STDs?
Standard questions doctors ask when you get tested include drug use, whether you’ve had unprotected sex, the number of people you’ve had sex with, your sexual habits, and the sexuality of your partners. It can feel pretty embarrassing but be prepared to answer truthfully.
Once you answer these questions, you’re ready for the test. Testing services include urine tests, cheek swabs, blood tests, a physical examination, or even testing any sores you have for discharge, depending on what type of testing you need. Most of the time, it’s pretty painless, involving little more than a needle prick.
GUM clinics are professionals with STD testing for sexual health, but it may still take some time to get your results depending on the type of testing done. Many providers, like Rapid STD Testing [all rights reserved], perform the procedures often enough that they can provide results in 1 or 2 days, but you may still need to contact us if you haven’t received a response.
However, HIV results often come in a day, so you needn’t worry or be anxious for any prolonged period.
What should I do if I find out I have an STD?
Getting an STD isn’t the end of the world, even though it might feel like it at the time. Clinics like Planned Parenthood (or any other health center) will guide you through the next steps of your diagnosis and help coordinate treatment regardless of your STD diagnosis. The first step to getting treated is to get tested.
Unfortunately, being diagnosed also comes with a few problematic responsibilities that many people have trouble navigating. For starters, you should inform any sexual partners you have of your condition, which can be a delicate conversation. Most clinicians and providers help you navigate these tricky situations, addressing helpful ways you can broach the topic.
It’s essential to make sure your sexual partners also get tested so that they, too, can adequately treat the disease.
Your clinic will help you draw up a treatment plan and advise you of any risky behaviors that may exacerbate your issue. Fortunately, most sexual diseases can be easily treated with medications, leaving you and your partner cured and healthy.
Obviously, your first step (if you think you have a sexual disease) is to type into a search engine ‘sexual health clinic near me.’ Most of the time, several options will come up depending on your zip code. If you’re still having trouble finding a location, contact us at Rapid STD Testing. We offer services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We can help you find something near your zip code, wherever you happen to be.
Getting treatment for sexual diseases can often be traumatic and filled with shame, but it’s essential to realize that it’s far more common than you think, and there are professionals available to help you through it. Whether you’re in Alaska or the District of Columbia, avail yourself of whatever resources are available. It’s always better to find comprehensive treatment from professionals than attempt to go it alone.