Sexually transmitted diseases are easily spread and can quickly become a very serious health issue.
There are many different kinds of diseases and most have very different symptoms, so the only way to know if you're healthy or not is to get regular screenings. You don't have to be a doctor (which I am not) to know this.
An STD can be transmitted through any sexual contact, ranging from intercourse to skin-to-skin contact.
When you have intercourse with someone who already has an STD, you risk becoming infected. Unfortunately, very few people know when their partner is infected, so it's important to know when it's time to get yourself checked out.
1. When the calendar says to.
Depending on how many sexual partners you have, this routine is different. If you're in a stable relationship, you should be getting the test each year. If you have multiple partners, you might have to take the test every three months.
When you leave your test, you should be marking the next one on your calendar in an attempt to keep yourself on a regular schedule.
Your doctor can advise you on the frequency of the tests, based on your lifestyle.
2. Before sleeping with a new partner.
Another time you should get an STD test is before sleeping with a new partner.
This will ensure you're healthy and you know what you bring in the new relationship. Ideally, both partners should get tested before having sex. Some couples overcome the awkwardness by taking the test together.
3. Even if you do use condoms.
Most people think if they use a condom, there's no risk of becoming infected with an STD.
However, this isn't true, as condoms are not 100 percent effective, even when used correctly. Many couples don't even know how to use them correctly, which further decreases their effectiveness.
4. If you ever have unprotected sex.
If you happen to have unprotected sex with someone whose health status you don't know, you have to get an STD test.
The same applies if the condom breaks.
5. If you suspect something is wrong.
If you sense something wrong down there or your overall health has you feeling strange, you should consider getting tested.
The most common symptoms for STDs include redness in the genitals, pain while peeing, discomfort during sex and mysterious flu-like symptoms.
If you have any of these, you might be infected with an STD.
To stay safe, take the test and see what's happening with your health. Remember that many people don't exhibit any symptoms when they're infected with an STD, which brings us beck to the first point— get tested often.
6. When your partner has any STD symptoms.
If you see any of the above potential symptoms of an STD in your partner, it's definitely time to get tested. If they refuse to take action to find out where the symptoms are coming from, you need to start protecting yourself and go get tested.
If your partner might have an STD, you might have been exposed to said STD. Even if you haven't contracted it yet, you still might if your partner isn't getting tested. Many clinics will also give you antibiotics for your partner if you wind up testing positive for an STD like syphilis.
Getting a test is the only way to know for sure.
The sooner you know about an STD, the sooner you can start the treatment. Delaying the news, whether good or bad, will only worsen things when you do finally go to face the music. You have a responsibility to yourself and your partner to make sure you're being safe.