No Shame In STDs: How Often Should You Be Tested For STDs

No Shame In STDs: How Often Should You Be Tested For STDs

While you may feel ashamed you may have an STD, you should know that being ignorant about the disease is not a good thing for your health. Untreated STDs can cause serious health problems and may cause complications such as infertility.

Everybody should be tested. Everybody includes older adults, people in a committed relationship and teenagers. How often they should be tested for STDs is dependent on several things such as how many people they are sleeping with and how many people their partners are sleeping with.

There are many STDs out there, so the real trick comes in finding out which sexually transmitted disease to be tested for. The two most common STDs are gonorrhea and chlamydia, and they are asymptomatic, which means most people don’t know they have it until it causes even worst problems. One such problem is pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility.

Everyone from 13 to 64 years of age should be tested for HIV at least once. You should be tested more often if you engage in any of the risk factors for it such as having sex with someone you don’t know well or have had more than one sex partner since the last test. If you also use drugs and share needles, you should be tested for HIV.

Besides these three, there is syphilis, HPV, genital warts and many, many others. Talk to your doctor or do your own research to learn about the different ones.

Who Should Get Tested and When Should You Get Tested?

Talk to your doctor if you experience burning or itchiness in the genital area. Whether you’re symptoms free or not, you should learn how often you need to be tested for STDs.

If you have sex at least once a year and are between 21 and 25, you should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea once a year.

If you’re dating someone new and it’s getting serious, make sure you and your partner get tested before having sex. Getting a test does not mean you don’t trust your partner, but respect them and their health. You can go into the relationship with confidence about their health, which allows you to have a better sex life and not have to worry about using condoms unless there is any reason to use them.

Even if you’re in a long-term relationship, you should still be tested at least three times during it. If you believe they were exposed to an STD, make sure to get tested. Many people in supposed committed relationships have been diagnosed positive for an STD.

If you have an open relationship, be sure you and your partner get tested often depending on the arrangement you have. If you notice you have odd symptoms or believe your other half has cheated on you, you need to get tested for STDs.

Your sexual health is just as important as your overall. With casual sex on the rise and people having sex with more than one partner, it’s important to get tested for STDs to remain healthy.

Mark Riegel, MD

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