Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are affecting over a million people daily worldwide. Over 357 million new cases of one of the four STIs—chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis—are reported each year globally. Around 6 per cent of India’s population is impacted by STIs and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) each year. Many STIs have mild or non-existent symptoms, which can make them difficult to detect. Also, the stigma associated with STIs deters some people from getting tested. If not treated on time, STIs can result in serious health issues such as cancer and infertility. Hence, ahead of International Women’s Day 2023, here’s a reminder of why it is essential that you go for regular STD testing and screening.
Who needs to get tested for STIs?
- If you are about to start a new physical relationship
- Being tested for STIs is a good idea if you have engaged in sexual activity
- If you have multiple partners or their partner has numerous partners
- If a couple is considering forgoing condoms or other barrier birth control methods
- If you have been cheated by your partner and are having symptoms that can indicate STIs
Not all medical professionals will advise their patients to get tested for STIs. This does not imply that one shouldn’t choose routine screening.
5 reasons why one should go for regular screening for STIs:
1. Prevent serious complications
Serious health issues brought on by STDs include ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Moreover, they might result in discomfort and pain that last for months or even years after the infection has subsided. In addition to these long-term consequences, some STDs, if untreated, can result in cancer or even death. One must be informed of the possibilities of getting examined for sexually transmitted infections to prevent reproductive health complications.
2. Promotes mental calmness
If one does not have an STD or other reproductive health concern, one can feel assured. It is crucial to do the screening test together because it might make one more relaxed and receptive to sex, improving the experience for both partners.
3. Helps to identify disorders
STDs are frequently asymptomatic, and as the number of sex partners rises, so does the chance of spreading STDs. Infertility and persistent pain are two consequences that can be less likely to occur with early identification and treatment. Hence, regular screening of STDs and STIs can help you identify the disorders without early symptoms.
4. Improves sex life
Most people find it uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing to think about sexually transmitted diseases. But the truth is that STDs are common, particularly among young adults. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing STDs, getting routine STD testing is one of the best things anyone can do. One can feel more in control of their sexual health and take an active role in their health by getting screened for STDs.
5. Saves money
Most people put off being tested because they think it’s not needed and can be expensive. Unfortunately, a lot of individuals are unaware that routine STD testing might help them save a lot of money over time. If you engage in sexual activity, you should get routine STD testing to make sure that you are STD-free. If an STD patient refuses treatment, there is a chance that the condition will worsen and result in high future medical expenses.
It should not be assumed that the physician will always test for STIs if one goes for an annual physical or sexual health check-up. Many doctors don’t routinely check their patients for STIs. It’s crucial to request STI testing from your doctor and to find out which tests they want to perform and why. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about taking care of our sexual health. See a doctor if there are concerns about a specific infection or symptom. One can expect better treatment, the more honest they are.