No one wants to talk about STDs. They’re frightening, gross, and they have a strong negative stigma that few other medical conditions carry. However, the reality is that STDs are extremely prevalent. Indeed, millions of new people contract an STD every year, and certain STDs –– like herpes –– are very common worldwide. (Roughly two-thirds of the world’s population has some form of herpes.) Though STDs are very common, that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous. Here, we’ll lay out four good reasons for individuals to get tested for STDs. Check them out below:
You’ve Noticed Symptoms of STDs
One of the most terrifying and confusing aspects of STDs is that they don’t always display symptoms. In fact, in many instances, STDs will remain asymptomatic for weeks, months, years, or even decades. Still, there are some strong signs of common STDs including:
- Genital discharge
- Genital itching
- Pain during urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Welts or sores on pubic area
- Abdominal pain
Should you notice any symptoms like these –– or should your partner exhibit any of these symptoms –– then it’s a wise idea to visit a local STD testing center as soon as possible.
You’ve Engaged in Unprotected Sex
It only takes one encounter to spread/contract an STD. So if you’ve recently engaged in unprotected sex (that includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex) with a new partner, then you should schedule a testing appointment right away. The sooner an STD is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and, often, cured. Note that some STDs can spread even despite proper condom usage.
You’re Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
All pregnant women should get screened for STDs before they conceive and several times during their pregnancy. STDs can cause a myriad of problems for pregnant women and their children, including birth defects, blindness, deafness, miscarraige, and ectopic pregnancy. In addition, women who are planning to become pregnant should also get tested for STDs regularly. Certain common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to conditions that cause infertility in women if they’re left untreated.
It’s Been Over a Year Since Your Last Test
As mentioned above, STDs are often asymptomatic. What’s more, they can be contracted in a number of different ways. Even innocuous acts like kissing can spread STDs. Given those facts, it’s important for all adults to get tested for STDs at least once a year. Trying to self-diagnose or ignoring your sexual wellness could cause big health problems to arise down the line. Don’t take chances with your well-being –– get tested now!