According to the CDC, there are over 2.6 million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) annually in the U.S. STD testing is an important medical service that most adults should participate in multiple times during their life.
Getting a screening is key for detecting these conditions early and trying to coordination treatment as soon as possible. However, the direct health benefits are not always clear about getting STD screenings. Many adults don’t realize that treating and screening STDs comes with several health benefits.
STD screenings are a critical part of maintaining sexual health
Unaddressed STDs can lead to poorer sexual performance and even long-term damage of the genitals if ignored. After having sex with a new partner, unprotected sex, or sex under the influence of drugs and alcohol make sure you get an updated screening.
Additionally, make sure you screen for as many STDs as you can since all STDs can lead to sexual health detriments down the line. These detriments include infertility, lowered sexual performance, and HIV/AIDs.
Some STDs can impact overall health if left unaddressed
Patients that forgo STD testing for significant periods in their life may experience other health complications from long-term STD infection. These health complications include:
- Cancer risks for women with human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease in women
- In extreme cases, some vital organs may experience health complications because of long-lasting STDs
However, getting a screening as soon as possible can help providers treat STDs before they manifest into significant health problems.
Untreated STDs may lead to painful symptoms
Most patients with STDs are asymptomatic, which means that they won’t have any symptoms even though their body is infected with a bacteria or virus.
But it is important to understand that STDs can lead to a variety of painful symptoms in roughly half of men and close to 25 percent of all women. For example, identifiable and painful STD symptoms for gonorrhea include:
- Cloudy discharge from the penis or vagina
- Painful or burning sensation when urinating
- Heavy menstrual bleeding between periods
- Painful, swollen testicles
- Painful bowel movements
These symptoms are not only limited to gonorrhea and other STDs have their own unique painful and alarming symptoms. Getting an STD screening ASAP can help to begin treatment and relieve these symptoms.
Forgoing any STD test can lead to a variety of healthcare complications if you don’t screen for diseases and get treatment immediately. Make sure to go to your nearest urgent care center to screen for multiple STDs and take control of your sexual health!