Though the stigma of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) may make you shy about asking for a test, it’s most certainly a necessary part of good health. STDs can affect anyone—even virgins.
Without testing, you may not know you even have a condition that can lead to complex health complications, including cancer and fertility issues.
Here are some of the most important reasons you should consider routine STD screenings:
STDs are very common
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year.
Because many fail to have routine STD testing, the diseases continue to spread to others. By seeking STD screenings based on your lifestyle and Dr. Taylor’s recommendations, you can be proactive about preventing the spread of disease to yourself and your sexual partners.
Even if you aren’t sexually active, you can catch some STDs through skin-to-skin contact. Being intimate without intercourse, or non-intimate contact with an infected person, can harm your health.
Diseases, like herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV), don’t require sexual intercourse to pass along the infection. You can become infected with an STD through the skin and never realize it until other medical complications occur.
Lack of symptoms
There are several STDs that present no obvious symptoms. With many conditions, you can have the disease for many years before any signs make themselves known.
Common STDs that you can have without symptoms include:
Although you may not have noticeable symptoms with these STDs, they can still lead to long-term health complications.
Worrying can be worse
If you’re afraid of being tested for an STD, know that excessive worrying about having one can be equally bad for your health.
Most STD tests are simple and painless. By confirming you have or don’t have a disease, you can have the peace of mind you need to prevent the side effects of anxiety and stress.
When you don’t consider STD testing because you’re married or in an otherwise monogamous relationship, you may not only be putting your own health at risk, you increase the risk for your partner.
Many STDs can be present in your body without your knowledge, and you can pass them on several years after you’ve been monogamous. To prevent relationship issues, such as cheating concerns, get tested early in the relationship.
Early treatment matters
If you test positive for an STD, you may have a better chance of recovery and a higher success rate of disease management when treatment begins as early as possible.
For many people, the discovery of an STD only after symptoms have started can make treatment more complicated and health issues more serious.
Protect you and your future family
STD testing ensures both you and your partner’s health are in optimum condition and can actually protect your future family.
Many diseases transmitted sexually have an impact on your ability to have children when you’re ready. Not only can STDs complicate your fertility, but they can also increase your risk for having a miscarriage.
If you have concerns about STDs or want to discuss your questions about STD screenings, schedule an appointment at Healthcare for Women today.