Getting tested for STDs is important for those who are sexually active. STDs can cause many long-term health problems when left untreated and undiagnosed, but they’re also quite treatable if you get tested frequently and know you have one.
Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team provides more helpful info on STDs below, so keep reading!
When Should I Get Tested for STDs?
If you’re sexually active and not in a long-term relationship, you should be tested for STDs on a regular basis. Even if you use safe-sex practices, the risk of STDs is much higher among those who have multiple partners.
While some STDs don’t cause any symptoms, when left untreated, an STD can lead to serious—possibly devastating—long-term complications. We’ve listed some common ones below.
Health Complications Caused By STDs
- Male and female sterility
- Damage to major organs
- Cervical cancer
- Cancer of the vagina, penis, anus or throat
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can damage a woman’s fallopian tubes, leading to pelvic pain and sterility
- Pain during urination or intercourse
How Can I Avoid Getting an STD?
The best and most effective way to avoid getting an STD is by practicing abstinence. You can’t get an STD if you aren’t having sex.
Additionally, to prevent getting an STD, always avoid sex with anyone who has genital sores, a rash, discharge or other symptoms. The only time unprotected sex is safe is if you and your partner have sex only with each other, and if it’s been at least six months since you each tested negative for STDs. Otherwise, you should follow some of the prevention tactics that we’ve listed below.
Ways to Prevent STDs
- Use latex condoms every time you have sex. If you use a lubricant, make sure it’s water-based.
- Avoid sharing towels or underclothing.
- Wash before and after intercourse.
- Get a vaccination for hepatitis B. This is a series of three shots.
- Get tested for HIV.
- If you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, get help. People who drink too much or who are on drugs often fail to have safe sex.
Have any other questions about STDs or need to be tested? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team today!