Pre-marital STD screening; why it is a good idea for everyone.

You hear the words, “wish I got a prenup!” far more often than the words “we are going to get a prenup”. People are encouraged to look at their financial health before committing to a marriage. You don’t want to hook up only to find you have acquired a string of credit card debt along with a marriage certificate.

You don’t need one obviously. You are engaged to the most beautiful, wonderful person in the world and everything is going to be great. The rings are ordered, the dress is paid for, the honeymoon is booked, the wedding venue perfect, the STD tests are…

Hang on…STD tests? Way to break the mood right? I mean you are planning the start of your new life together and the last thing you want to do is to smash the stain glassed window that is tinting everything with a lovely rosy hue.

But here are some good reasons that you and your partner should consider this investment in your medical soundness as important as working out your financial soundness before marriage. It might be a good idea to both get tested if:

1. One or both of you have had other partners previously.
Both of you have the possibility of being infected with an STD even if you can’t see anything. It is not a matter of not trusting the other person to tell you. They may not know. Many sexually transmitted diseases will only show up some of the time, or not at all, but still be infectious. A simple trip to the doctor can put your mind at ease for both parties and let you start off with no inhibitions about being intimate with each other. If there is a problem then it can be treated well before it turns into a big problem. If approached properly even a positive result need not impact on the happy day.

2. You have jumped the gun a bit and everything has been fine.
Well actually things got a bit heated after the moonlight walk and you didn’t wait for the wedding. Not to worry, it happens every day. There haven’t been any problems so no need to waste money on an expensive test. Remember that asymptomatic thing. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In fact, it is the ones you can’t see that do the most damage as they don’t get treated. Some STDs can cause infertility, a few can kill you, and it is those ones that tend to be asymptomatic for a period that do so. You don’t want to find out ten years down the track you can’t have kids or have AIDS or cancer because you missed a simple screening.

3. You have saved yourself for marriage so neither of you are infected.
Probably true. In 99.9% of cases, you will be fine and that is what any tests will show. But these diseases didn’t start out as STDs. They have evolved into them. HIV and Hepatitis can be transmitted by blood. N. gonorrhoeae started out as a harmless bacteria of the throat where most Neisseria spp. still inhabit today before it migrated south to warmer climes. It still does cause throat and eye infections. Chlamydia is rife amongst koalas (yes you did read that right) and can be passed on to humans as a respiratory infection through contact. You beau does not need to be unfaithful to be infected, just to have cuddled the wrong marsupial. Even if there have been no trips to Australia or a petting zoo, there are other ways that these diseases can be contracted. Always best to be sure.

Not Romantic But Definitely Important!

Doesn’t stop it killing the romance. No, it doesn’t. But, as they say, “a marriage is for a lifetime, not just a day”. This isn’t the only uncomfortable romance killing topic you need to discuss before you marry.

Other things such as finances, where you will live, who has to take the bin out each week, how many kids you want to have and if you want them at all. If you do have them, what religion if any will you bring them up to observe. How many hours of sport/fashion/video games will be tolerated before a full-on brawl for control of the remote ensues. All these topic have the ability to kill the mood.

Schedule an anti-romance dinner. One where you will get all this out of the way so you can get back to the pre-honeymoon happiness without having any unexpected rocks smashing the rose coloured window.