More than 26 million people in the Middle East and North Africa region have curable sexually transmitted infections. [1] There is a stigma associated with STIs, particularly regarding the topic of who gets infected. This could be due to misinformation or a lack education around sexual health. It is important to remember that STIs do not discriminate; anyone can be affected by sexually transmitted infections. [2]

During her Tedx Talk ‘Love Should Not Kill’, Narges Dorratoltaj, co-founder of CTRL-S, promotes the need to increase awareness about STIs and sexual health in the Middle East. She said there is a stigma associated with STIs and that CTRL-S often received questions from females who are experiencing symptoms, but do not feel comfortable seeing a physician. [3]

You can use Better2Know’s online chat service (available on mobile or computer) to anonymously ask questions about STIs or our private STI testing services in the Middle East.

If you are concerned about STIs, or your sexual health more generally, Better2Know is here to help. Our sexual health advisors are highly trained through regular attendance to professional development courses, which enable them to provide expert support and advice on your sexual health. Get in touch with Better2Know today to arrange your confidential STI test at one of our private sexual health clinics in the Middle East. Available in any of the following locations:

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah

 

Better2Know’s STI Tests and Screens for Women

Better2Know’s range of STI testing options are designed with your sexual health concerns in mind. If you are unsure which STI screen or test to select, your experienced advisor will help you. An incubation period is advised for most of Better2Know’s STI tests and screens. This is the time between potential exposure to an STI and your private appointment. Should you choose to test before this time, the accuracy of your results may be reduced. A selection of recommended STI screening options for women include:

 

The Comfort Screen

  • Period of incubation: 14 days
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes I/II (symptomatic), Gardnerella, Mycoplasma, Trichomonas and Ureaplasma

 

The Instant Peace of Mind Screen

  • Period of incubation: 14 days
  • Tests for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis

 

The Platinum Screen

  • Period of incubation: 28 days
  • Tests for: HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Herpes I/II (symptomatic), Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Trichomonas, Mycoplasma, Gardnerella, Ureaplasma

 

Comprehensive Cervical Screen (Women Only)

 

Results will be available within five working days following the receipt of your sample at Better2Know’s fully certified, central laboratory for fast, accurate testing. This will vary depending on your selected STI test. For example, our popular instant testing range provides rapid results from 10 minutes after sample collection and you will be given your results before you leave the clinic.

Your results will be displayed in your secure online patient area as soon as they are available. Better2Know’s dedicated Patient Services team will also contact you once all your results are ready to report, unless you would prefer to phone us directly instead. Take control of your sexual health today by getting tested at your earliest convenience.

 

STI Symptoms in Women

There are different reasons for STIs to impact women more severely than men. These include [4][5]:

  • The thinner, more delicate lining of the vagina enables bacteria and viruses to enter the system more easily.
  • Women are at higher risk of getting an STI during unprotected vaginal sex.
  • Women are less likely to exhibit symptoms of common STIs, including Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.
  • Women may confuse STI symptoms with other vaginal infections such as a yeast infection.

This is why it is important for women to get tested regularly for STIs, particularly when some may not even realise, they have been infected due to their lack of symptoms. Though, when symptoms in women are present, they can include [6]:

  • Abnormal discharge from vagina
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding in between periods or in urine
  • Lower back pain
  • Vaginal or rectal discomfort
  • Vaginal itching
  • Blemishes such as blisters around vaginal or anal regions
  • Sore throat

Untreated sexually transmitted infections can affect the long-term outcome of your personal health. Problems including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies may develop in women. [7]

 

STI Treatment

Most sexually transmitted infections can be cured or managed with appropriate medications. These will be prescribed by a qualified doctor once you have tested positive for an STI. [8]

It is advised to refrain from sexual activities during the course of treatment, and to use a condom for all future sexual contact to prevent re-infection. [9]

If you test positive for a sexually transmitted infection, Better2Know can help you arrange a private doctor’s consultation in the Middle East. Here, your private doctor will go through your results in more detail and provide a prescription for the medication you require. Better2Know can also offer referrals to specialists, for certain STIs, who will provider additional guidance on treatment options moving forward.

 

Book Your Confidential Appointment in the Middle East

Arrange your STI test or screen today at Better2Know’s private STI clinics in the Middle East by selecting the orange button above. Our online booking system enables you to organise your private appointment at any time. Alternatively, our friendly sexual health advisors are available 24/7 for your convenience. Contact them now by phoning them on the number listed at the top of the page. They will be more than happy to answer any additional queries before confirming your confidential appointment.

 

References

[1] The Daily Beast: The Women Educating The Middle East About Sexual Health

[2] Bustle: Literally Anyone Can Get An STI — And It’s Time We Start Talking About It

[3] Tedx Talks: Love Should Not Kill | Narges Dorratoltaj | TEDxVirginiaTech

[4] CDC Fact Sheet: 10 Ways STDs Impact Women Differently from Men

[5] The Office on Women’s Health: Sexually Transmitted Infections

[6] STDcheck: An Overview & List of STD Symptoms in Women

[7] American Sexual Health Association: Women and STIs

[8] British GQ: STI symptoms to watch out for, and how to treat them

[9] Let’s Talk About It (NHS): Preventing an STI

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