STD screening in Singapore: Why, When, and Who Should Get Tested

STD screening in Singapore

It is no secret that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rampant nowadays – it can affect anyone who is sexually active, especially those who have multiple partners. STDs are extremely contagious and do not discriminate based on sexual orientation, age, status, or number of partners a person has. And even though a person does not exhibit symptoms, it does not mean that they are not infected because some STDs can be asymptomatic. So, if you are sexually active, especially with multiple partners, the best thing you can do for yourself and for others is to get a regular STD screening in Singapore. Thanks to modern healthcare technologies, testing for STDs is easy, quick, painless, and sometimes even free. Read more to learn more information about STDs, STD screenings, and the multitude of benefits it brings.

Understanding STDs

To understand the importance of being tested for STDs, it is imperative that you know what you are protecting yourself from.

Sexually transmitted diseases, or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can be passed from person to person through vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex. There are cases when STDs are transmitted non-sexually, such as from shared needles, blood transfusions, or a mother to their infants during pregnancy or childbirth. It is also possible to acquire STDs through intimate physical contact like heavy petting.

Common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis, bacterial vaginosis, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and HIV/AIDS. Some of these diseases are treatable while others have no cure. If left unchecked, many of these STDs will progress into more complicated and possibly life-threatening conditions.

Symptoms of STDs

When talking about STDs, it is important to note that STDs are preventable, even more so if diagnosed in its early stages. Even though most STDs go unnoticed until complications arise or when a partner is diagnosed, there are a range of signs and symptoms that you should watch out for:

  • Fever accompanied by lower abdominal pain and rashes on the hands, feet, or trunk
  • Painful or burning sensation while peeing
  • Bumps or sores on the genitals or in the rectal or oral area
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis, usually odorous
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin and other parts of the body

These signs and symptoms may appear a few days after exposure to someone (or something) infected, but it may take months or years before noticeable issues appear.

When to get an STD screening in Singapore

As a general rule, a person should get tested for STDs if they are sexually active, whether or not they have been exposed to an STD carrier. Some doctors recommend STD testing in Singapore at the time a person turns 21 or when they consider becoming sexually active – whichever comes first. It is also a good idea to schedule for an STD test before starting to engage in sex with a new partner.

Who should get STD screening

The recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US is for all adolescents starting the age of 13 and adults up to the age of 64 to undergo HIV testing at least once.

Women are at a greater risk of being infected with an STI or STD as compared to men, so women who are sexually active below the age of 25 are recommended to undergo chlamydia and gonorrhea testing every year. The same goes for women 25 years old and older who have risk factors such as an STD-positive partner or new or multiple sexual partners. Pregnant women are also encouraged to be tested for STDs at the beginning of pregnancy.

All sexually active men should be tested at least once a year for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV. Those who have anonymous or multiple partners are advised to get more frequently (every 3 to 6 months).

If you have had unprotected sexual contact or if you find out that your partner has an STD, it is very important that you get tested as soon as possible.

Benefits of STD screening

As the only way to confirm whether a person has an STD, one of the greatest benefits of STD testing is peace of mind. Getting regular STD screenings helps build trust in relationships – once you have been cleared, you will be able to rest easy knowing that you and your partner (or future partner) are safe from the threat of infections and possible complications. If an STD has been detected, you can get early and effective treatment. You can also take your time to prepare for other health risks. For example, if you are a woman and you have been diagnosed with HPV, your doctor will inform you that you are at high risk for cervical cancer so you can pay attention to the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer and detect it early. Better yet, if you do not have the disease yet, you may be eligible to get the vaccine against cervical cancer.

Regular STD screening enables a person to be in charge of their sexual health as well. You cannot rely on being symptom-free and you can still pass an STD on to others even when you do not have the symptoms, so why not get tested to leave no room for doubts? No matter what the romantic or sexual situation is, you know you can make informed choices about your sexual health and that is empowering (and a huge confidence-booster, too!).

A Final Word

No one wants to be diagnosed with an STD, that is for sure, but there is a certain comfort in knowing whether or not you have it. Untreated STDs can cause long-term health problems, so it is always best to get tested and get tested early. Remember – it is never too late to play safe. And speaking of safety, it is also important to practice safe sex to avoid infections and diseases!

Dr Ben Medical @ Raffles Place/ Tanjong Pagar : Ear Wax Removal | Allergy Testing | Erectile Dysfunction

SBF Center Medical Suites

160 Robinson Road

#03-09 SBF Center Medical Suites Singapore 068914

+65 8886 7890