There is a global worry in the rate at which sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are quickly spreading, making them a major health concern. STDs are transmitted through any sexual contact, which can vary from from intercourse to skin-to-skin contact.
STD testing and treatment is an important step in dealing with this health issue. However, a major challenge is that most people don’t know the symptoms of various STDs and therefore won’t seek treatment.
There are many different types of STDs that have very different symptoms. Some STDs will not have any symptoms at all making them hard to suspect. The best way to make sure you don’t have any of these STDs is to get regular screenings.
If you’re having sex with someone, you’re at risk of getting infected and therefore important to go for regular STD testing. So how do you tell when it’s time for an STD test? Here are 5 ways to consider:
1. When a Year is Up
The recommended STD testing routine should be at at least once a year. Mark your calendar when you go for your first STD test and make sure that you get tested every 12 months after the initial test.
Of course, depending on the number of sexual partners you have, this routine can be more frequent. If you have more than one partner go for testing every three months.
Always mark your calendar so that you are aware when the next test is due.
2. Before Having Sex with a New Partner
It’s always important that get tested before you engage in sex with a new partner. Another thing to remember is that it will be pointless to get tested alone. Your partner should be tested too so that you know their status too.
This improves your chances of staying healthy and always being aware of the status of your partner to prevent putting your health at risk.
3. When You Have Unprotected Sex or Condom Breaks
You should never have unprotected sex if you want to be safe from any STD, but should it for some reason happen, make sure that you go for a test immediately.
Also, should a condom break while having sex with someone whose status you don’t know, get tested immediately.
4. If You Show STD Symptoms
If you start feeling sick or notice unusual symptoms especially on your vagina or penis go for testing. Don’t ignore any unusual symptom. You are better off finding that it’s nothing to worry about than ignoring it and only getting treated when it’s at a serious stage.
Some of the common STD symptoms to watch out for include pain when urinating, redness or skin rash in your genital area, painful sex and flu-like symptoms.
5. If Your Partner Shows STD Symptoms
If your partner has any of the mentioned symptoms above, both of you should get tested immediately. This is because if your partner has an STD you also could have been exposed to it and you may be infected.
Even if you are not infected it’s good to know if your partner has an STD so that they can get treated and avoid infecting you as well. You may also have to take some antibiotics should your partner test positive to an STD such as syphilis.
The only way to be sure that you don’t have an STD is to get tested. The more frequent you get tested the sooner you’ll know if you have an STD and the sooner you’ll start treatment.