Sexually transmitted diseases have proven to be a menace to global populations. However, scientific advancements in medicine have allowed the world to deal with these diseases more effectively than ever before.
Diagnosing STDs at home is now possible with home test kits. These testing kits allow you to take a sample from the comfort of your home and find out if you have been affected by an STD without ever going to a doctor. While testing for STDs at home is a real possibility, treating them at home is different. Home remedies and dubious cures for STDs that you find over the internet are not just ineffective but also put you at greater risk by delaying proper treatment. If you have an STD, or if you think you have been exposed to one, visiting your doctor and getting proper treatment is the best thing that you can do for yourself.
The reason why STDs cannot be treated effectively at home is that many of them require aggressive drug therapy. Drugs like antibiotics and antiviral drugs are almost always needed to either get rid of the disease completely or stop it from progressing.
CAN YOU TEST FOR STDs AT HOME?
Testing for STDs at home is possible thanks to scientific advancements. Like most diseases, sexually transmitted diseases have a causative pathogen as well. These pathogens trigger various responses in the human body, which can be detected with the help of special testing kits. Moreover, some testing kits can even identify the disease-causing pathogen in a sample and allow users to know their STD status.
Home-testing kits are available for STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, herpes, HPV, and trichomoniasis. These testing kits are designed to detect either the antibodies produced in response to the pathogen invasion or the pathogen itself by isolating it in a given sample.
Most home-testing kits either require blood or saliva to test for STDs. The package comes packed with everything a person needs to test for STDs at home: including a sample collection tool, a device to test the sample, and a result indicator. Other home-testing kits allow users to collect their sample and mail it to a nearby laboratory where the sample is tested for STDs.
The benefit of using home-testing STD kits is that it eliminates the stigma associated with getting tested for STDs in an STD clinic. People are generally reluctant to talk to their physicians about the unusual symptoms that they have been having, which puts them at a greater risk of never getting diagnosed. Home testing kits simplify this problem by allowing users to test for an STD in complete isolation without worrying about explaining the situation to anyone else.
CAN YOU TREAT STDs AT HOME?
While it is possible to effectively test for STDs at home without going to a doctor, treating STDs at home is a different story.
As explained before, STDs are caused by disease-causing pathogens. These pathogens have evolved over several years to find sophisticated ways to avoid our immune systems. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause STDs can avoid an immune response, overpower the body's natural immunity, and even isolate themselves in ganglions, only to come back years later with an even more aggressive approach.
Through years of trial and research, specialized drugs have been made to completely eliminate or at least limit these pathogens in their approach. Both antibiotics and antiviral drugs are extremely effective in fending off these pathogens to protect a person from STDs. The problem is that home remedies to cure STDs found all over the internet are just not as effective and sometimes even completely pointless.
Treating STDs at home is not just ineffective but also dangerous as it allows the disease to progress even further, causing newer and more dangerous symptoms. Therefore, the only effective way to treat an STD is to talk to your doctor about the possibility of starting effective drug treatment.
DO STDs GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN?
Generally, sexually transmitted diseases are aggressive and do not go away independently. There are, of course, some exceptions. For example, HPV infections, and sometimes even acute hepatitis B infections, can simply go away on their own without ever causing a single symptom. However, this disease can also turn chronic and cause massive health problems, such as liver, oral, and cervical cancers.
Other STDs, like HIV, herpes, and syphilis, do not go away on their own. In fact, the longer these diseases are left untreated, the more dangerous they become in their approach. Therefore, it is always best to talk to a physician and start treatment for your STD if you ever acquire one rather than wait for it to go away on its own.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM STDs?
While there are several treatment options to cure or limit an STD once a person has acquired it, the best protection against an STD is to protect yourself from ever acquiring one in the first place. Prophylactic measures which protect a person from acquiring an STD are always more effective than any medicinal regimens designed to treat an STD.
You can always protect yourself and those around you from STDs by employing safe sexual measures. These measures include:
- Using protection, such as condoms, for every sexual act
- Limiting the number of your sexual partners
- Getting yourself and your sexual partners tested for STDs regularly
- and not sharing any personal hygiene products
Apart from these preventative measures, several prophylactic treatment regimens are available that protect a person from acquiring an STD. for example, PrEP and PEP are two prophylactic treatment regimens available that protect against HIV. These regimens are designed to protect individuals with high-risk behaviors for acquiring HIV.
If you still get exposed to an STD despite taking all possible preventative measures, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you is to get tested and treated. Prompt diagnosis and effective treatment can produce unbelievable results for people who have acquired STDs despite their best efforts to prevent it from ever happening.