It can be a big concern when you notice symptoms that are consistent with sexually transmitted diseases, such as pain when you're urinating or some type of discharge from your private areas. While you'll definitely want to visit a health clinic as quickly as you can, you should also give some thought to the situation. Self-assessment can be valuable as you try to discover what has happened, and you'll be able to pass along any potentially relevant details to your healthcare provider, too. Here are three useful questions to ponder when you find yourself in this difficult situation.
Could It Be Something Else?
It's easy to get worked up when you notice physical symptoms that are consistent with sexually transmitted diseases, and your mind can get racing and assume the worst. While you should always visit a health clinic to get tested, you can also benefit from thinking whether something else might be at play. For example, many sexually transmitted diseases cause you some degree of discomfort while you're urinating, but pain during urination doesn't automatically mean that an STD is present. The symptom could be a sign of something else, such as a bladder infection. If you've had a bladder infection in the past, you may realize that this pain is consistent with this ailment.
Have I Been Careful?
Your risk of sexually transmitted diseases is higher when you don't practice safety during intercourse. If you're someone who is sexually active with multiple partners, it's a good idea to assess the care that you've exercised with your different partners in the past. For example, perhaps you initially think that you couldn't possibly have an STD if you always use protection. However, upon further assessment, you may realize that you did indeed have unprotected sex with a partner who has an extensive sexual history.
How Will I Change My Behavior?
Indicators that you've contracted a sexually transmitted disease will ideally serve as a valuable wakeup call for you. You want to be someone who learns his or her lesson and never has to deal with such an issue again in the future, so try to identify the factors that likely led to you contracting the STD and think about what changes you can make. For example, if you had unprotected sex while you were intoxicated, your lesson may be to cut down on the amount of alcohol that you consume so that you're always capable of making smart and healthy decisions.
Contact a local clinic for information on STD treatment.