When Should You Get STD Tested?

When Should You Get STD Tested?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are very common for sexually active people. According to the CDC, approximately 20 million STDs occur every year in the US. However, many STDs have nonspecific symptoms or never show up symptoms. This makes people hard to notice and receive proper treatments. In addition, the stigma around STDs discourages people from getting tested. But only testing tells whether you’ve an STD. “When should you get STD tested” is the common asked question of those who want to check. If you don’t know when you should get tested for STDs, keep reading this article to know.


Who Should Be Tested for STDs?

STDs can be spread through skin contact during sex, kissing and other physical contacts. Everyone who is sexually active has an equal chance of contracting an STD at some point. But, this risk will be higher if:

  • You begin a new relationship
  • You and your partner have unprotected sex
  • You have many sexual partners
  • You partner has multiple partners and cheated on you
  • You have symptoms that look like an STD

If you’re in long term relationships and weren’t tested before, it’s better to get tested soon. Your partner is, too. It’s possible that one or both have been infected an undiagnosed STD for years. So, getting tested is very important to be safe in sex.

Related: 7 Symptoms Can Be Mistaken for an STD, but May Not Be

Sexually active people have higher risks of getting STDs

Sexually active people have higher risks of getting STDs

When Should You Get STD Tested?

The best way to prevent STDs is getting tested. However, many people don’t know when they should get tested for STDs. Take a look at the following scenarios for checking:

  1. Once a Year

According to the CDC, you should be tested at least once a year if you’re sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship.  Getting STD tests once a year can help detect an STD soon and receive proper treatment at the right time. This is also one of the best ways to avoid spreading of an STD. However, there’re many cases that demand more frequent testing.

  1. Whenever You’ve a new Sexual Partner

When you’ve a new sexual partner, this’s an ideal time to consider getting STD tested. While both of you are unsure whether you’re free STDs, testing helps build trust in sex and enhance your relationship. In addition, if both are negative with STDs, it’s can be safe for engaging in unprotected sex. Keep in mind that unprotected sex may be safe when both are in monogamous relationship and have negative STDs.

Related: Why You Haven’t Told Your Partner About Your STD

  1. When You’ve Many Sexual Partners

The more sexual partners you have, the greater your risks of getting STDs. That’s why doctors always recommend going on STD tests every three months. But if you’re engaging with a new partner every weekend, you should get STD tested a lot more than once each three months. More regular testing is the only way to make sure that you’re not putting your partners at threat of contracting STDs. However, testing STDs every month maybe expensive and costly. So, it’s important to reduce your sexual partners and perform protected partners.

If you’re sexually active, should get STD tests at least once a year

If you’re sexually active, should get STD tests at least once a year

What STDs Should You Be Tested For?

There’re many different STDs. To know which ones you should be tested for, should consult with your doctor. They may ask your symptoms and suggest one or more common STDs, such as:

  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital herpes
  • HPV, genital warts
  • Hepatitis B
  • Trichomoniasis

But for genital herpes, your doctor won’t recommend to test unless you’ve specific symptoms.

Related: There’s No HPV Test for Men- Why Is That?

How Are STD Tests Performed?

Depending on your symptoms and sexual history, your doctor may recommend some tests to check your STDs, including:

  1. Physical Examination

Some STDs, such as genital warts or herpes can be diagnosed through physical examination and other tests. To check, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to seek bumps, sores or other signs of STDs. They also collect samples to send to a lab for testing.

  1. Blood And Urine Tests

Blood and urine tests are common for most STIs. Your doctor can give urine or blood test to check for:

  • Chlamydia
  • Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis
  • Syphilis
  • HIV

However, urine and blood tests aren’t always as correct as other types of testing. Blood tests may be reliable when it takes a month or other longer after being exposed with some STDs.

Blood and urine tests are common for most STIs

Blood and urine tests are common for most STIs

  1. Swabs

Doctors can use urethral, cervical and vaginal swabs to get STD tested. For women, they may use a cotton applicator to collect cervical or vaginal swabs during an exam. Or doctors can take urethral swabs by putting a cotton applicator into the urethra to check. Plus, in case you practice anal sex, they may collect a rectal swab in your rectum to test infectious bacteria.

  1. HPV Testing and Pap Smears

A Pap smear test isn’t an STI test, but this test is effective in detecting early signs of cervical and anal cancers. Women who contract with HPV- 16 and HPV- 18 are at a high risk of developing cervical cancer. Also, for those who engage in anal sex can progress anal cancer from HPV infections.

However, an unusual  Pap smear result doesn’t always mean you’ll get a cervical or anal cancers. If you’ve abnormal Pap smear test result, your doctor may offer HPV test. In case the HPV test is negative, you may not develop cancers. HPV test is also an effective way to find out your genital warts. If you’re positive with genital warts, your doctor may give some therapies to help remove them. Vidarox is one of the best topical creams for genital warts. This cream contains powerful ingredients approved by the FDA. It has no side effects and works very well for genital warts. Not only does this cream remove genital warts, but it also helps prevent them from coming back.

Related: HPV Tests and Pap Tests: How to Read These Test Results

STDs are very common and testing is always available. Depending on your symptoms, the tests can vary. Consult with your doctor about your sexual history if you’ve abnormal signs. It’s better to get STD tests once a year while you’re sexually active.

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