What you need to know about when to get tested for STDs
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. If you test positive for an STD, you can start getting treated right away, and take steps to protect your partner(s) from also contracting any STDs you may carry. It is very important to know when to get tested for STDs and to get tested.
For some people, it can be uncomfortable to ask for STD testing or to ask your partner(s) to get tested. Your obgyn can help.
At Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology, we provide quick, accurate STD testing. When you are working with your obgyn, STD diagnosis and treatment is simple. We can answer your questions about when to get tested for STDs, help you make sense of your test results, and make a plan for the next steps you might need to take.
When to get tested for STDs
You might think about STD testing if you have had unprotected sex with a new partner. Or you might experience possible STD symptoms, and your care provider suggests an STD test. (If you do have sex with a new partner or a partner who is not tested, or you experience symptoms, definitely get tested right away). But did you know that even adults having protected sex should consider testing regularly, or that many STDs have no symptoms at all? Keep reading to learn more.
If you’re wondering when to get tested for STDs, the answer is simple: regularly, as part of your routine healthcare. Getting tested regularly even if you don’t think you’ve been exposed to an STD is a wise move for self-care if you’re sexually active. Getting tested will give you the information you need to act responsibly toward your own and others’ health.
Other things you should know
Let’s say you never have unprotected sex, ever. Do you still need to get tested for STDs? Simply, yes. Condoms and other barrier methods protect you from many STDs, and are an excellent form of protection. However, certain STDs and parasites can still be transmitted during sex, even when barrier methods are used.
These include human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, syphilis, crabs, and scabies. If you are sexually active and have had unprotected sex with a partner who has an STD, or who has not been tested, get tested.
Another answer to when to get tested for STDs is during pregnancy. Did you know that some STDs can be transmitted from a mother to her infant during pregnancy or delivery? If a pregnant person has chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis, HIV, or CMV, it is possible to transmit the infection to the baby. The good news is that your health provider can work with you to protect your infant.
What if you have an STD?
It may be a relief to know that some STDs go away on their own, some go away with treatment, and others can be managed with treatment. It’s totally possible to have an STD without compromising your quality of life. The key is to seek regular care and to work with your obgyn for simple, safe and effective STD diagnosis and treatment.
Make an appointment today and talk with our compassionate team of experienced obgyns about when to get tested for STDs.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto