Sexually Transmitted Diseases, also known as STI’s or STD’s are infections that you can catch when you have sex with someone who is infected. If you become infected, you can pass the infection to the partners that you may have. There are  many different kinds of infections which can affect different people in different ways. Sometimes there are symptoms with the infection but sometimes the symptoms are confused with symptoms from other illnesses, sometimes the symptoms are mild and sometimes there are no symptoms at all. If the symptoms are obvious and of concern, the infected person will be  more likely to seek help but if the symptoms are mild or non existent, it is common for help not to be sought. Sometimes symptoms from the infections can appear and then disappear.

Embarrassment is another reason for not seeking immediate help, people often feel too embarrassed to go along to a clinic and be tested for fear of what the doctor may think of them. If people do not have the education, they may consider that suffering mild symptoms is in fact not too bad or they may consider that the infection will go away on its own. See more about the best chlamydia test kit devices here.

Generally STI’s will not go away on their own and left unchecked they can have very serious consequences for example Syphilis can cause death and Gonorrhea can cause infertility. That is why you must be tested if you think there could be a chance that you have an infection. Testing is quick, simple and painless and treatment is usually simple, in the form of an antibiotic.

Let’s consider Chlamydia, a common and prevalent STI. Many people who have Chlamydia do not know that they have it as symptoms are very often not present. When symptoms do appear, they are often mild and women and men may notice that it is painful to urinate, they may notice an unusual discharge from their vagina, penis or anus, men’s testicles may be swollen and women may have abdominal pain or notice that they have bleeding between periods or during sex. The symptoms are easily thought of to be something else. You can be easily tested for Chlamydia and the good news is that you can be treated at home, saving the embarrassment of having to go along to a clinic. It is an easily treatable condition and it is treated using antibiotics for a short period of time.

The good news is that testing for Chlamydia can be done using a swab test or a urine test and there is no need for an intimate examination which is what some people fear.

Chlamydia home test kits are easy to come by. Once you have requested your test kit it should come very quickly by post. The best test kits will come with full instructions which you should read very carefully.

For women, the test is carried out using a swab. The swab looks like a long cotton bud  and you will be instructed to carry out the procedure in a sterile fashion so as not to contaminate your specimen. You should not touch the top of the swab with your hand and hands should be clean, washed then dried. When you are ready to carry out the test, you will find that the swab is contained in sterile packaging. Break the seal of the packet and without putting the swab down anywhere, insert the tip of the swab into your vagina, about two inches in and rotate it around for several seconds to make sure that you obtain the best possible sample. When you have finished, put the sample in the container provided, labelling it according to the instructions on the pack and post it to the address given. If you have bleeding of any description, you should wait until that has stopped as the blood will interfere with the ability to get an accurate result. Your result should be sent to you very quickly. Good testing kits will offer this and use a certified laboratory.

For men, a urine sample will be used to carry out the test. It is important that you follow the instructions for the collection of the sample and the packaging instructions. Again, remember to label your sample and remember to securely close the bottle as it will be arriving by post. If you can, use the first urine sample of the day as your urine will be at its strongest and from that, the best possible result can be obtained.

A good test kit will

  • be delivered promptly
  • be delivered in discreet packaging
  • have clear and detailed instructions
  • offer a speedy result service
  • be anonymous
  • use a reputable lab for testing

It must be remembered that Chlamydia may not be detectable for a period of 14 days after you have had unprotected sex so if you test before that, it may provide you with a misleading result.

Left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to some very serious health issues. In women, Chlamydia can spread to the reproductive organs and it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which is a condition that causes chronic pelvic pain and it can lead to difficulties in pregnancy or infertility. If Chlamydia is untreated and you give birth, the infection can be passed to your baby, causing the baby illness.  In men, the infection can spread to the testes and to the tubes that carry the sperm into the testes. This will cause inflammation and pain and can lead to infertility in the long term. Reactive arthritis can be a complication for both men and women (although more common in men). It is a condition which causes pain and inflammation in joints in the body.

If your test returns a positive result, it is essential that you let any partners that you have had know because they also could be infected. If you have a long term partner and you fail to tell him / her, the infection could be passed back to you.

Treatment will be in the form of antibiotics and it is important that you take the antibiotics as instructed and complete the course in order for the infection to be cleared.

You must refrain from sexual activity according to instructions, dependent on the type of antibiotic treatment that you have used.

In order to prevent Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections you can abstain from sexual practices or use a condom correctly. Having  long term partner greatly reduces the risk. Chlamydia is passed on through body fluids and even sharing unwashed sex toys can transmit the infection.

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