Do I need to get tested for an STI?
Whether it was a one night stand or you’ve been with your partner for a long period of time, there is still the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection which means that yes, you might need to get tested for an STI. While it might sound unnecessary because you’ve been tested before, with every new relationship comes the risk of STI transmission.
One STI can lead to another, and some have risks for very serious health complications.
Women under 25 are often affected by chlamydia or gonorrhea more often than men which can cause PID, infertility, or tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Unfortunately, you may contract an STI and show no symptoms until years later. Some symptoms may appear but disappear with time but the infection will remain. According to the CDC in a report published in April of 2011, “Each year STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 women in the U.S.”
How do I get an STI?
Does having sex mean you need to get tested? STIs can be transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex. You can contract STIs like HIV and Syphilis through contact with blood or body fluids or sores of an infected person
How to prevent getting an STI?
One in 2 people will contract an STI by the age of 25, but it doesn’t have to be that way with you. Only 12% of men and women under the age of 25 actually test for STIs and that might have a lot to do with the fact that these infections go unnoticed for a long time. There is a vaccine to prevent HPV and antibiotics to treat other STIs.
Don’t let your partner or peers pressure you into having sex that you’re not ready for. In fact, we, along with the CDC recommend that the best way to prevent an STI is to wait to have sex until you are in committed, monogamous relationship, like marriage. Not only does your partner need you to be responsible with your sexual health, but if you plan on having children in the future or are currently pregnant, they depend on you as well.
What if I’m already pregnant?
The CDC recommends that if you are pregnant you get tested immediately for STIs. These unwelcome infections can be lethal to women and their future plans for creating a family. If you have untreated genital herpes, syphilis, or HIV, your STI can be passed along to your baby. These transmissions can occur during pregnancy or delivery. Pregnancy does not protect you from getting an STI. Genital herpes, hepatitis B, or HIV are not curable but you can take medicine to prevent them from passing along to your baby.
The most common STI among women is HPV, Human Papillomavirus, and it is the leading cause for cervical cancer.
Need to get tested? We offer STI testing at no charge to you. Call to set up an appointment with us.