Why Is Getting Tested for STDs So Important?

The topic doesn’t come up in general conversation all that often, and most people who end up with one will never share the details with others due to negative stigma. Sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs or STIs) are a growing concern among the sexually active population. 

How Common Are STDs?

Studies show that half of all sexually active people will contract an STD by the time they hit the age of 25. It is also estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that 20 million new cases of STIs will occur annually in the United States. Most of these new infections are among people between the ages of 15 and 24. Some STDs are more prevalent than others in the United States. 

The three most common STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. In 2015, the numbers of reported cases hit record levels, and chlamydia became the highest reported condition to the CDC at 1.5 million people. Other STDs continue to grow in numbers, such as: 

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis 
  • Herpes 
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

What are the Symptoms of STDs?

Every STD can come along with its own set of symptoms, and some symptoms can be easily related to some other health concern or problem. Therefore, many STDs go grossly underreported. Some of the most common symptoms of STDs include:

  • Redness, swelling, a rash, or irritation in the vaginal or penile area 
  • Bumps, lesions, warts, or sores around or near the anus, vagina, penis, or mouth 
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis 
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not due to menses 
  • Itching near the vagina or the penis 

Are There STDs That Show No Symptoms?

Several types of STDs do not have any immediate symptoms, some STDs have very subtle symptoms easily blamed on something else, and some STDs simply have no outward symptoms at all. Nevertheless, an STD with no symptoms can still be transmitted to a partner in most cases. A few examples include: 

  • About 70% of females and 50% of males do not show symptoms with chlamydia
  • Symptoms with genital herpes may not show up for many months or years later 
  • Individuals with genital warts often do not have obvious warts 

Health Complications of Not Treating STDs

The unfortunate thing about STDs that do not show obvious symptoms is many people never get tested because they do not suspect anything is wrong. Furthermore, some people avoid seeking treatment because of the stigma surrounding STDs. There are many health complications that can come along with not getting proper treatment. One of the most prevalent is infertility. The CDC says undiagnosed STIs cause roughly 24,000 infertile females annually. Pelvic inflammatory disease, certain types of cancer, and other conditions can come along with no treatment. Of course, not getting treated can contribute to the transmission of the infection to other partners.  

The First Step to Take If You Suspect You Have an STD

The first step to take if you suspect you have an STD, or even if you just want to make sure you don’t, is to get tested. These days, testing doesn’t even have to involve going to a health care provider for the initial screenings. You can get an at-home STD test from Let’s Get Checked that you can take in the privacy of your home. The kit allows you to get tested for the 10 most common STDs, and your results are available online within a few days after you send your test kit back. So, getting checked is quick, private, and easy. 

Nearly every man knows that testosterone is an important male hormone. Most men also know that as they age past 30, testosterone levels start to decline. However, just because low testosterone occurs naturally does not mean it is normal and healthy. 

Given this, many men want to know if there are serious side effects of low testosterone. Also, should men be aware of any medical problems not usually associated with this condition?

Testosterone and Masculinity

Many hormones and manufactured in the human body and each performs a specific function. The most common hormone which concerns men is testosterone. Testosterone is a sex hormone which is produced in the testes or testicles. Although lacking testicles, even women produce testosterone, though in much lower quantities.

As boys grow to men, testosterone plays a key role in

  • Penis growth
  • Facial and body hair growth
  • Voice pitch
  • Muscle definition 
  • Bone density
  • Height

As men, testosterone continues to play a key role in masculinity and sexuality. For instance, it is the hormone responsible for sperm production and sex drive. However, it is also responsible for fat distribution and red blood cell production. 

Given the latter, low testosterone can clearly cause health problems so understanding the dangers is important.

What is low testosterone?

The proper term for low testosterone is Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD). TD is diagnosed by your medical provider using an exam, review of symptoms and lab tests. The tests check the levels of testosterone in the blood, which should be above 300 nanograms per deciliter. A level lower is a possible sign of TD. Your doctor will consider if the symptoms and medical review indicate a diagnosis of TD. However, because testosterone levels can fluctuate over time even within a single day, your doctor is likely to request multiple blood tests.

Why is it important to test for low testosterone?

The need to test for TD varies by age and other factors. Although statistically, only about 2% of men have TD, this rate includes even young men. As previously noted, the rates of TD increase with age. Too, lower levels of testosterone have also been found to be higher in men who are overweight (30%) or have diabetes (24.5%)

However, given the dangers it would be imporant for any man with symptoms of TD to get tested. 

What are the dangers of low testosterone?

Although there are numerous sexual concerns associated with lower testosterone levels, the greatest danger is a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. And because testosterone governs muscle and bone mass, older men are especially at risk of injuries when their testosterone levels drop. With less muscle to support movement and lowered bone density, broken bones become a very real concern.

Finally, if we recall that testosterone is involved in the production of red blood cells, many diseases common in older men may be rightly traced to TD. Some of these include anemia and cancers of the blood

What are the signs or symptoms of TD?

As with any medical condition, Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome makes itself known though certain signs and symptoms. Although not intended to provide a guideline for medical diagnosis, the signs of TD may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lower self-confidence
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tender breasts and swelling
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Increased body fat
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Hot flashes

If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be a sign of low testosterone or it could be something else. Only a medical practitioner can provide you with a proper diagnosis. However, if you would like to learn more prior to seeing your physician, there are ways to check this yourself.

How can you test for low testosterone?

Today there are numerous home tests on the market to check for low testosterone. Although a doctor will rely on a blood test, the at-home test kits use saliva. This is both convenient and less invasive. You simply swab your cheek and send the sample to the lab using a pre-addressed pouch provided in the kit. 

Four simple at-home testing options may be found at Letsgetchecked.com. Many men with the symptoms of TD prefer this route because it allows them to avoid the multiple blood tests and uncomfortable questions from their doctor. 

Whatever you decide, just know that low testosterone is not something to ignore. As with any malfunction of the body, TD should be dealt with before it can result in a serious medical condition.

Most often associated with changes in metabolism, your thyroid plays a major role in maintaining homeostasis and and contributes to healthy growth and function of the body. Hypothyroidism is the most well-known disorder of the thyroid, but hyperthyroidism is also a serious medical condition. While weight gain or weight loss is often linked to disorders of the thyroid, they can also cause problems with bone development and cardiovascular disease. 

Diseases of the thyroid

According to the American Thyroid Association, there are approximately 20 million people living with thyroid disease in the United States, over half of whom are not even aware of it. The three main diseases of the thyroid are hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Grave’s Disease.


It is commonly known that hypothyroidism can cause moderate weight gain, but there are several other symptoms to be aware of. The American Thyroid Association states that people suffering from hypothyroidism often feel cold and may struggle with dry skin. Those living with this thyroid disorder may also experience forgetfulness, depression, and constipation. Because these symptoms are so general, and associated with myriad health complications, a blood test is required to definitively diagnose a patient with hypothyroidism.


Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones, specifically thyroxine. While The Mayo Clinic points out that hyperthyroidism can cause severe health problems when left untreated, most patients respond well to treatment. This treatment can be as simple as a daily oral medication, and as complicated as surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid. 

Symptoms may include unintentional weight loss, or an increase in anxiety. More seriously, untreated hyperthyroidism can cause serious cardiac issues, such as a rapid or irregular heart beat and palpitations, or occlusions caused by blood clots. 

Grave’s Disease

Grave’s Disease is an autoimmune disease that results in hyperthyroidism. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, Grave’s disease affects approximately 1 in 200 Americans, making it the most prevalent form of hyperthyroidism in the United States. Onset typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and is more common in patients who are also suffering from other autoimmune diseases. If left untreated, serious cardiovascular symptoms can develop. These symptoms range from blood clots to heart attack and stroke. An overproduction of thyroid hormones can also result in decreased bone density, leading to osteoporosis. 

One complication unique to Grave’s Disease is an ocular disease called Grave’s ophthalmopathy. Signs and symptoms include pain in the eyes, double vision, and sensitivity to light. Occasionally, the end result may be an overall decrease in vision.

Thyroid disease is an extremely prevalent form of metabolic disease, effecting up to 20 million Americans. Women are significantly more likely to develop thyroid disease, and symptoms range from minor to very serious medical conditions. Because symptoms of thyroid disease often overlap with those of other health problems, a blood test is necessary to diagnose it. Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, treatment is typically simple and most people respond well.