Many people shy away from talking about their sexual health, and this is usually a complicated subject if you do not get the required support and right information. Due to the stigma associated with sexual health, many people do not feel comfortable carrying out STD tests.
Below is information on the effects of STDs on periods, what STD test you can carry out during your period and whether you can contract an STD.
Is getting an STD test during my period possible?
Getting an STD test during your period is possible. Many private STD clinics offer STD tests with urine or a venous blood sample drawn from your arm. Your period cannot affect the results of STD tests requiring these samples.
Some examples of STD that require urine or blood sample include:
- Gardnerella Vaginalis
- Hepatitis B and C
- Herpes Simplex I/II
- Trichomonas Vaginalis
Home STI tests are also available, which you can carry out while on your period. These home STI test kits only require your blood or urine sample. Home STI testing may be a good option for you if you feel embarrassed about going to the clinic to get tests.
Can I carry out an STD swab test on my period?
Although you can carry out an STD swab test while on your period, it is possible for your result to be slightly inaccurate, and you may need to repeat the test. Most STD testing centres prefer offering blood or urine STD tests to prevent you from retaking the test. However, in some cases, a swab test is the sole option for STD testing.
It is advisable to have your sexual health or gynaecological exam when you are not on your period to avoid the possibility of a false-positive result and to make the process less discomforting for you.
You shouldn’t put off your STD test because you are on your period. After all, when left undiagnosed and untreated, some STDs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can lead to infertility. You can look for a private STD testing clinic offering a wide range of STD testing options suitable for the stage of your menstrual cycle.
Can I contract an STD during my period?
You shouldn’t feel ashamed to be sexually active while on your period, but you still need to consider vital factors to preserve your sexual health. You can contract an STD while on your period. During your period, you are at a higher risk of contracting STDs due to the changes in your cervix.
During your period, your cervix expands slightly for shedding egg cells and passing out period blood. This makes your uterus more exposed to bacteria and infectious diseases, leading to an increased risk of contracting STDs.
Note that men are more likely to get an STD from an infected woman on her period because STDs spread through bodily fluids, meaning period blood can serve as a carrier for the infection.
If you’re unsure whether your sex partner has an STD or not, ensure you use a condom, but ensure you get tested. Consider visiting any STD clinic because professionals who handle different sexual health issues can support you.
What happens to my period if I have an STD?
When STDs are left untreated, they may increase the chances of experiencing negative period symptoms such as cramps, sadness and headaches. In some cases, negative period symptoms are an indication of untreated STDs.
Another common effect of STD in your period is a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Untreated STDs may result in PID, which can cause long term damage to the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, usually resulting in bleeding between periods. Some long term PID complications include:
- Infertility (inability to get pregnant)
- Scarring in fallopian tubes
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the fallopian tube)
Untreated PID can spread to the bloodstream, leading to a life-threatening condition. This makes getting tested even during your period important.
Testing for STDs regularly is vitalto maintain your sexual health and avoid serious health complications resulting from late diagnosis. You can get STD testing at any sexual health clinic.
For more information on these STD tests click here or call on 020 3475 1653.