Although you should not feel ashamed if you contract one, ignorance is absolutely not bliss and some untreated STDs can lead to complications like infertility.
Here's how often you should get tested for STD's
STD tests are necessary to our overall health, here's how often you need to get tested to ensure that you are in control of your sexual health.
Every person needs to be tested. The question about how often people need to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases once they’ve been tested the first time is a function of a number of things, like their number of partners, and their partners’ number of partners.
Now, what STDs should you be tested for? It can be a little tricky, but here are the basics. The two major ones are chlamydia and gonorrhea. They are both very common and worse still, they can both be asymptomatic. When left untreated, both can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which can cause infertility.
When it comes to HIV, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested at least once. After that, if you have risk factors, like having recently had sex with someone whose sexual history you don’t know, or having more than one sex partner since your last test, you should get an HIV test at least once a year.
If you’re experiencing unusual itching, burning, or other strange symptoms down there, you should see a doctor to figure out what’s up. But even if you’re symptom free, you should know how often you need to get tested regardless.
If you’re engaging in sexual activity at least once a year and you’re between the ages 21 and 25, you should be getting tested for chlamydia annually. Since gonorrhoea is also a common STD in people of that age range so you should request a date for that too.
When it comes to being in a new relationship, if you and your partner are serious about each other, you should go get tested as soon as possible or at least before you start having unprotected sex. Getting tested with your partner is not a matter of not trusting each other, it’s a matter of having respect for one another and each other's health. It allows you to enter the relationship with confidence about your partner’s status, which is best if you both want to move forward in a sexual relationship and not have to worry about things like condoms unless there are other reasons for doing so.
If you're in a long term relationship, you could decide to get tested three times in the relationship, and if nothing comes up, you can put off further testing unless relationship status changes. If you are in a relationship and feel like they haven’t been exposed, do not hesitate to get checked because plenty of people have been exposed in committed relationships and end up with nasty surprises. If you so much as suspect, get checked immediately and save yourself a whole lot of problems later on.
If you're in an open relationship, you will need more frequent testing depending on your arrangement and that's someting you and your partner(s) need to discuss with each other and your doctor.
If you begin experiencing strange symptoms, you or your partner has cheated, or anything else makes you think you might have been exposed to an STD, you should definitely get tested.
Bear in mind that your sexual health is just as important as your overall health and the same way you would go for a body check-up, you should check for sexually transmitted diseases too. With the prevalence of casual sex and multiple partners, now more than ever, people need to be more mindful about getting tested and staying safe and healthy.
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