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Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Early Symptoms and Tests for STDs

Sunday, 02 Feb 2014 01:51 AM

Anyone who engages in oral, anal, or vaginal sex is prone to sexually transmitted diseases. No matter how much precaution one takes to avoid STDs, they still occur since no method is 100 percent safe. Sexually transmitted diseases are also known as sexually transmitted infections. Often, sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms or pose very mild symptoms, so people usually take them lightly. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused due to bacteria, virus, or parasites.
 
The most common STD infection is chlamydia. Chlamydia is a bacteria present in the genital area. Mostly, chlamydia causes no harm or symptoms. Some very mild symptoms like burning pain while passing urine and pain in the lower abdomen are felt. Discharge from the genitals in men and women can also be one of the presenting symptoms.

Testing for chlamydia, an STD infection, can be done with a urine sample to check the presence of chlamydia bacteria. Several other tests are also available to check chlamydia infection. A body fluid test from the affected area is also effective in diagnosing chlamydia. PCR test, a type of nucleic acid amplification test, is done to confirm genetic material of chlamydia and is a very sensitive test for this sexually transmitted disease. Likewise, ELISA test is done to confirm the presence of antibodies against chlamydia in the human immune system. A chlamydia culture test is done by growing chlamydia bacteria in the lab to confirm this STD.
 
Apart from chlamydia, other infections like gonorrhea, trichomonas, syphilis, hepatitis, HIV, or herpes simplex are also commonly acquired sexually transmitted diseases. Gonorrhea presents with some symptoms like thick genital discharge, anal itching, and pain in the testicles and abdomen. Trichomonas, an STD, differs from chlamydia as symptoms are linked with a clear or green yellow-colored discharge. Symptoms of syphilis, an STD, occur in four stages.
 
One of the serious sexually transmitted diseases is HIV. Early symptoms of HIV include fever, sore throat, rash, and lymph gland swelling. Since these are common symptoms, diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases with these symptoms can be confusing. STDs are usually diagnosed by blood tests. The blood tests for HIV and hepatitis are done by doctors if they suspect sexually transmitted diseases. HIV is mainly tested by western blot test, ELISA, and PCR. STDs like chlamydia, trichomonas, and gonorrhea are better diagnosed by a swab test. PAP smear test is helpful in diagnosing any abnormal cells from the cervix. Timely tests to diagnose these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very crucial to prevent complications.

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Though sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur commonly in different forms, they often go undiagnosed. It is very important to learn about the early symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases and the tests available to diagnose them, if we want to manage them in time.
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