You may think you don't need STD screenings if you haven't noticed any unusual symptoms. Many women have STDs, however, and simply do not exhibit any symptoms at all. Several serious STDs, even some that can lead to sterility or cancer, are often symptomless, leaving you vulnerable to serious consequences if you do not discover you have contracted the STD early on. You are not the only person you may be affecting if you have an untreated STD; your partner may also reap the consequences of the undiscovered condition.
Overcoming the stigma surrounding STDs
The negative stigma associated with STDs works against you; if you want to deny the fact that you might have an STD, you'll avoid going to the doctor or an STD testing clinic when that might be exactly what you and your partner need to do. By not identifying an STD early on, you lose ground in the battle to defeat the STD; you hurt yourself by your delay. Don't be afraid of STD testing. Most STDs can be treated or at least controlled through medication.
Understanding the prevalence of STDs
As of 2008, the Center for Disease Control estimated that 26 percent of teenage girls in the United States are infected with an STD. It's important that you take care not to become a part of this statistic or at least realize the threat this prevalence of STDs presents to your sexual health. By getting tested, you can ensure you get help if you need it and can protect yourself from contracting a serious disease.
Do you need to be tested for STDs?
No one likes to think he or she may have contracted an STD, but if you are sexually active and are not sure if your partner has only been with you-and absolutely no one else - you should get tested for STDs. That may sound severe, but even if you are in a monogamous relationship, you need to protect yourself if your partner has been sexually intimate with even one person before you. That one person may have had a serious STD and now you and your partner may have it. It's important for all sexually active females to get tested unless they are sure they are in a monogamous relationship with a partner who also has undergone screening or has not been sexually involved with anyone else.
If you and your partner have both undergone testing and you are in a monogamous relationship, it is safe to forego further STD testing until either of you engages in sexual behavior with a new partner.
When should you undergo STD testing?
The following are conditions under which you should get tested for STDs:
What are the most common STDs?
The following are the STDs you should get tested for annually, especially if you are starting a new relationship:
How can you protect yourself from contracting an STD?
There are wasy to protect yourself as best you can from contracting an STD.
What if your partner has an incurable STD?
If you find out your partner has an incurable STD, you will want to meet with your doctor to discuss methods of prevention.
If you fear that you may have contracted an STD, it is important to get tested as quickly as possible. It is also important to review the following common STD signs.
While dating does change for those with STDs, you should not lose hope. There are many ways to cope with your dating limitations, some of which may actually enhance your dating relationships.
Because of the serious health risks associated with some STDs, you will want to educate yourself about STD prevention.