One continuously occurring problem for students appears to be the dreaded STD. Despite receiving an education in the form of picture placards displaying worst-case-scenarios, there seems to be a state of overall lack of knowledge of symptoms and a reluctance to be tested.
The NHS list 9 STDs on their Choices website, and this information is certainly worth a read. To avoid the hypochondriac wormhole that is that website, here’s a general overview of the big 2 – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.
Chlamydia is the most common, with the main symptoms including: burning sensations during urination, white discharge – vaginal or from the tip of the penis, pain or tenderness in the testicles, and bleeding between periods/ heavy periods in general. Chlamydia is diagnosed with a urine test or by taking a swab of the infected area and then, simply treated with antibiotics. With diagnosis and treatment so simple, it’s just not worth it to suffer in silence.
Gonorrhoea shows a multitude of similar symptoms, except this time discharge can be yellow or green also. Gonorrhoea is diagnosed and treated in the same way as Chlamydia, by taking a urine test or swab and then treating with antibiotics.
With 50% of women and 10% of men not showing symptoms of Gonorrhea, and with Chlamydia being so common, the need to be tested is particularly imperative. By not being diagnosed, long term health problems can include pelvic inflammatory disease and even infertility.
The idea of being tested may be a somewhat terrifying prospect, but overall the benefits outweigh any kind of embarrassment or momentary discomfort. With STDs on the up, cases of Gonorrhea increasing by 28% in Scotland from 2014 to 2015 (statistics from the FPA), it’s more important than ever for students to be proactive in the regards to this and stay safe. Where health is at stake, there’s no way of being too cautious.
[Grace Michael –@gracemichael925]