Symptoms of A STI And Why Regular STI Testing Is So Important
Personal Sexual Health Testing with LetsGetChecked
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are, as the name suggests, infections that are spread by sexual contact. Regular STI testing is important for everyone who is sexually active, regardless of age, sexuality or relationship status.
In many cases, people find themselves without access to sexual health testing, for example, those who live in rural communities or those who simply do not have the time to attend a clinic. LetsGetChecked provides a convenient and confidential option by removing the necessity of visiting a doctor and allowing you to take your personal sexual health test in the comfort of your own home.
The Symptoms of STIs
- Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus.
- Pain during sex or urination.
- Sores, blisters, ulcers, warts or rashes in the genital area.
- Itchiness or irritation in the genital area.
Why Getting Tested for STIs is Important
- 8 in 10 of people infected experience no symptoms
- STIs can remain symptomless for years and can cause long-term, irreparable damage
- STIs can lead to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility in men and women.
- To protect your partner. Stay safe and get tested.
Common Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases
To keep you informed LetsGetChecked have put together some basic information on some of the most common types of STIs. LetsGetChecked offers personal health tests for all 12 of the STIs on this list.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection and is one of the most common types of STI. The 20-29-year-old age group is most affected by this infection. The great danger is that in females there are often no symptoms.
Chlamydia can be easily and effectively treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Serious complications like infertility can occur if an infection is left untreated.
Gonorrhoea is another common bacterial STI. In this case, over 80% of women and over 50% of men infected experience no symptoms.
Gonorrhoea can also be treated with antibiotics. Early treatment is important to avoid complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women and inflammation of the testicles and prostate in men.
Worryingly, resistance to these antibiotics is rising at an alarming rate around the world. Treatment could require a course of antibiotic tablets as well as an injection. The World Health Organization has declared gonorrhoea a global concern and warned that without new drugs, infections may one day become untreatable.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. Unprotected sex is the main cause of HIV transmission worldwide, other causes include sharing of infected needles or blood products.
There is no cure for HIV. HIV left untreated eventually causes AIDS. However, early diagnosis and treatment allow those who are HIV positive to have a near normal life expectancy.
Syphilis is another STI caused by a bacterium. There has been an epidemic of syphilis in the past 10 years in mostly European countries predominately affecting the MSM (men who have sex with men) community.
If syphilis is diagnosed early it can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics and follow-up after treatment. Left undiagnosed and untreated, syphilis leads to very serious health complications including blindness and even death in the very late stages of the disease.
5. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B (Hep B) is a virus that can be contracted through unprotected sex. Most of those who are infected with Hep B virus clear it themselves through their own immune systems. A small percentage does not and the infection becomes chronic.
There is no cure for Hep B but there are many new treatments that keep it under control. If left untreated it can lead to scarring of the liver, liver cancer and cirrhosis.
6. Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (Hep C) is a virus predominantly passed through blood. There are a small but increasing number of cases of sexual transmission being reported. Most people infected with Hep C do not clear it themselves and will require treatment. Hep C infections often have no symptoms.
Like Hep B, there is no cure but there are treatments to manage it. Hep C also affects the liver if left untreated.
Trichomoniasis is another of the most common types of STI. It is the only STI on the list that is caused by a parasite. The infection affects both women and men but symptoms are more common in women.
Trichomoniasis can be mistaken for a yeast infection or Bacterial Vaginosis, as the symptoms are similar. Trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics.
8 and 9. Herpes (Herpes Simplex I and Herpes Simplex II)
Herpes is one of the most common and contagious types of STI and is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Type 1 has also been found to cause genital infection but is more commonly associated with oral herpes (cold sores). Type 2 is usually associated with genital sores. People can be carriers of the virus, never show any symptoms and can still transmit it to other people.
Herpes can be contracted from skin to skin contact so condoms are not 100% effective at preventing it. Herpes can be treated but not cured.
Gardnerella Vaginalis is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the vaginal area. If women have an overgrowth of gardnerella they may develop an infection called Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). BV is characterised by a fishy smell and white vaginal discharge.
Although BV is not considered an STI, its presence can predispose women to contract other types of STI, HIV in particular.
Treatment is not necessary if there are no symptoms. Oral antibiotics and antibiotic vaginal gel are used to treat women with symptoms.
Ureaplasma is caused by a tiny bacteria found in the urinary and genital tract. It has been found in up to 70% of sexually active adults and can be transmitted sexually.
Most people are carriers and have no symptoms themselves. Treatment is not absolutely necessary unless symptoms are present.
Mycoplasma is caused by a bacteria found in the urinary tract that can be sexually transmitted. In recent years mycoplasma has become more common.
Mycoplasma causes symptoms that are similar to chlamydia and gonorrhoea and can be easily and effectively treated with antibiotics.
Your Personal Sexual Health Test
You can order online at www.LetsGetChecked.com or purchase a test in your local participating pharmacy. Your samples are taken in the comfort of your own home, and they are returned directly to an accredited laboratory by pre-paid return post.
The service, which delivers the results back to the customer within 2-3 days through a secure web portal, provides an alternative solution for those who might prefer the convenience and confidentiality of performing a test at home, rather than visiting a sexual health clinic.
Our expert nursing support team will be there to answer any questions you have about the service, as well to guide you through your personalised treatment program in the event your results are positive. LetsGetChecked users receive the same high quality, confidential testing practices as those who attend a clinic or GP.
For more information on Personal Sexual Health Testing please visit: www.LetsGetChecked.com
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Written by Matthew Hennessy
Brought to you by LetsGetChecked