Nobody wants to think about STDs, especially not when they’re in the throes of passion. But if you don’t take proper precautions, such as wearing a condom for each sexual act (and even if you do), sexual activity increases your risk for an STD that could have a negative impact on your life and health.
The team at Abortion Care in Somerset, New Jersey, stresses that if you’re at all sexually active, you should be tested regularly for STDs, no matter how young or old you are. Here they explain who should get tested, why you should get tested, and how often you need a test:
If you’re at all sexually active
Whether you’re an adolescent or a senior, if you’re engaged in any kind of intimate skin-to-skin contact with another individual, you could be at risk for an STD. This holds true whether it’s your first partner, your 20th, or more.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends yearly testing for the most common STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, when you’re under 25, have a new partner or have multiple partners. Testing is especially important if your partner has a known STD.
Anyone between the ages of 13-64 should be tested at least once for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which leads to AIDS, according to the CDC. To be extra safe, Abortion Care recommends an annual HIV/AIDS test if you’ve forgotten or failed to use a condom. Annual HIV/AIDs tests are also essential if you use injectable recreational drugs.
Even if you’re monogamous
Even if you and your partner previously tested all-clear, an annual STD check should be part of your wellness commitment. An STD test is a quick and easy way to keep tabs on your own health, regardless of what your partner does or doesn’t do.
Even if you’ve never had intercourse
Some STDs, such as the herpes virus and human papillomavirus (HPV) can be transmitted via intimate skin-to-skin contact. Even if no penetration occurs, you can get infected through touching, oral sex, and even rubbing.
Both herpes and HPV may have no symptoms at all, which means that your partner could be infected and not realize it. If you’re infected with herpes, you raise your risk of developing cancer and other serious conditions at a later stage.
Infection with HPV dramatically raises your risk for cervical cancer. If you’re between the ages of 21-64, a Pap smear at Abortion Care every three years can catch pre-cancerous changes at an early stage.
The team can also test for the presence of HPV in your blood. If you’re between the ages of 9-26, they may recommend an HPV vaccine to keep you healthy.
If you notice any changes or symptoms
Don’t ignore unusual symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching, blisters, or sores on your vaginal or anal regions. While you may feel embarrassed by your symptoms, the expert OB/GYN doctors at Abortion Care are only concerned about clearing your infection as soon as possible, so you can get back to a healthy and joyous life.
If caught early and treated, most STDs can be cleared and cured. Even those that can’t be cured, such as herpes, can be managed so that your symptoms are reduced.
Request the test
When you come to Abortion Care, you can get tested for STDs such as:
- Hepatitis B and C
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
The Abortion Care team helps you come up with an STD-testing schedule that matches your risk profile and your lifestyle. They also help you learn about ways to keep yourself STD-free.
To request an STD test and consultation, call Abortion Care’s supportive and understanding office staff, or book your own appointment online.