Which STD Tests You Should Get

Which STD Tests You Should Get

Any sexually active person will have an equal chance of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). For those who perform unprotected sex, the risk of STDs will be higher. To lower your risk, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your sexual health. And the best way to do this is checking your regular sexual health. If you don’t know which STD tests you should get and when you should do that, keep reading this article.

 

When You Should Get STD Tests?

As sexually active people can be put at high risk of getting STDs, it’s important to see a doctor to check. It’s recommended that people should get STD tested at least every six months or yearly. A sexual health check is really important if

  • You think that you may be infected with an STD
  • You’ve recently performed unprotected sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex
  • You and your partner aren’t in a monogamous relationship
  • A condom broke during sex
  • You have shared sex toys
  • You begin a new relationship

Which STD Tests You Should Get

Depending on your sexual behavior, your doctor may recommend STD tests to check. Here’re basic STD test guidelines.

  1. If You’re Sexually Active

According to the CDC, all sexually active adults and even pregnant women should get

  • Urine test. The tests are available for chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • An HPV test to check genital warts
  • Blood tests or a swab test for genital herpes
  • HIV tests

Some doctors recommend testing for both infections if you’re at risk. But anyone can also request these tests.

Related: What Should You Do After an HPV Diagnosis?

Any sexually active person is advised to get STD tested at least every six months

Any sexually active person is advised to get STD tested at least every six months

  1. If You’re Under 24

Young people who age 15 and 24 years old can be put at risk of STD. In fact, they only make up 25% the of sexually active population, but they hold almost 50% of new STD cases every year. Thus, it’s essential for young people to get the following STDs

Some STDs can be symptomless, such as chlamydia or genital warts. But the tests can be available. Depending on your symptoms and a person’s sexual behavior, testing can be done every several months or every two years.

  1. If You’re a Sexually Active Woman

Besides the above test, your doctor may offer the following test if you’re a woman

  • An annual Pap smear test to detect precancerous cervical cells caused by HPV
  • HPV test. This test is often done at the same time with a Pap smear test to find out the HPV viruses.
  1. If You Are a Man

STD tests are available for all people. But if you’re a man who has sex with men, you should get

  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Genital warts

Syphilis and HIV tests are really important in this group because people in the group are at high risk of both diseases. Depending on the number of sexual partners you have, your risk can higher or lower, you need to get screening more often.

If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get syphilis and HIV tests

If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get syphilis and HIV tests

What Happens During an STD test?

During an STD test, you will be asked about your sexual life, your symptoms, and your state of mind. Firstly, your doctor will start by asking some questions, including

  • Have you ever had an STD test?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • When was the last time you had sex?
  • How many sexual partners you have?
  • Who do you have sex with?
  • Which types of sexual activity do you perform?
  • When do you experience abnormal symptoms in the genitals?
  • Do you have a new sexual partner?

Besides, your discussion will mention

  • Contraception
  • Reproductive issues
  • Your sex life

Then, a physical examination is an unnecessary part of an STD test. Your doctor will

  • Examine the external area with your permission
  • Collect a small sample of fluid or discharge for checking under a microscope
  • Do a vaginal examination and offer a test if needed

Related: How to Date When You Have an STD?

Depending on your sexual behavior, your doctor may recommend the right STD tests to check

Depending on your sexual behavior, your doctor may recommend the right STD tests to check

Where Can You Get STD Tests?

If you don’t know where you can get an STD test, you should go to

  • Your doctor’s office
  • Sexual health service clinics
  • Family planning clinics
  • Youth health clinics
  • Student health clinic (only for students)

How to Protect Against STDs

To protect against STDs, always stop sex with anyone who has rashes, sores, or abnormal discharge in the genitals. Besides, you should

  • Get HPV vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine. Here’re 6 vaccines adults should certainly get
  • Avoid sharing towels, razors and clothes
  • Wash before and after intercourse
  • Urinate immediately after intercourse
  • Always use condoms when having sex
  • Abstain from sex until your STD is treated
  • Know the medical history of your sexual partners

STDs are very common for sexually active people, so it’s really crucial to get STD tested regularly to receive treatment on time. If you don’t know which STD tests you should get, the above information can help.

 

 

 

 

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