The Importance of STD Tests

December 1, 2012

STD tests are something no one likes to talk about.  We think it’s embarrassing and that mentioning an STD test will automatically make people think we have an STD.  However, it’s important to ignore that embarrassment and get tested if you’re sexually active.

Why get tested?
There are many reasons why you should take STD tests.  First, STDs cause unpleasant symptoms when left untreated.  Sometimes they can be so severe that they affect fertility in the future.  These consequences can be avoided if you simply get tested so you can get proper treatment if you do have an STD.  Second, knowing you have an STD can encourage you to use protection and avoid spreading the disease.  It’s simply healthier to get tested regularly.

What kind of tests are there?
There are a variety of STD tests, and it can be difficult to know which you should take.  There are some tests that should be done routinely.  For women, a pap test should be done every time you visit the gynecologist.  This will check for abnormal cells in the cervix that could indicate an STD.  Women should also get tested for Chlamydia regularly, especially if they’re under 25.  Other STD tests should be carried out if symptoms arise.  There are many STDs so you many need to ask for each test specifically.

How do I know if I need to get tested?
Sexually active people with multiple partners are at the highest risk for STDs and should get tested regularly.  Most people only have one partner, but this doesn’t mean there’s no need for testing.  Until you’re in a long-term relationship with an uncommitted partner, it’s important to get tested.  It’s a good rule to get tested at the beginning of each intimate relationship you have.

What if I have an STD?
If STD tests indicate you have an STD, see a doctor to discuss options.  Some STDs are easily treatable while others are incurable.  Don’t give up hope though; even the incurable diseases are manageable.  You should avoid having unprotected sex with others if you have an STD.  Unprotected sex will cause the disease to spread.  If you’ve had unprotected sex recently before you found out you have an STD, it’s important to contact the people you’ve had sex with and recommend STD tests. It’s unfortunate that STDs are such a problem, but regular STD testing can help reduce the issue.  See your health provider if you want information on specific STD testing or treatment methods.



Share this blog post