Do I Still Need STD Testing in a Committed Relationship?

Do I Still Need STD Testing in a Committed Relationship?

You and your partner promised to be faithful to each other. As far as you know, you have been. So, the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) feels a little treacherous, as if you’re sneaking behind their back because you don’t trust your partner.

But when it comes to your reproductive health, it’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at your situation objectively. Even if you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, you may still need STD testing.

At Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville, our skilled and caring OB/GYNs, Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD, offer STD testing on demand or as part of your well-woman exam. Always contact us if you notice unusual symptoms, whether or not you’re in a relationship.

Do you still need STD testing despite your committed partnership? Read on to find out.

Have you ever been tested for STDs?

Unless both you and your partner were abstinent before you became a couple, you should get tested for STDs. Approximately 20% of women, men, and teens in the United States have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Most of them don’t know it.

All sexually active women, men, and kids aged 13-64 should get tested for HIV at least once in a lifetime. Also, get tested for all of the common STIs and STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

Many STIs never cause symptoms. Your partner could have herpes or another STI and pass it to you without ever knowing that they had it. The sooner you find out you have an STI, the more likely it is that we can either cure it or prevent it from worsening.

Has your partner or you ever had an STD?

Some STDs are with you for life. Herpes, for instance, can’t be cured, just managed. Also, if you’ve already had one STD, you’re at increased risk for another STD within the next six months. If your committed relationship is relatively new, you and your partner may need to be re-tested. 

Are you both clear about what “committed” means?

Some men or women don’t consider intimate touching that doesn’t include intercourse to be “cheating.” If you or your partner sometimes engage in non-intercourse sexual behaviors, you could still contract an STD.

Two of the most common STDs — herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) — can get transmitted through intimate touch alone. Fingering, oral sex, or even kissing may result in an infection. If your partner kisses somebody else and contracts herpes, for instance, they may pass the infection on to you during oral sex.

Did you or your partner cheat? Or do you suspect they did?

If you had an intimate encounter outside of your committed relationship, you should get tested, even if you used a condom. Condoms make sex safer, not safe.

If you suspect your partner cheated, it’s safer to get tested than to spend the next months or years worrying about your health. 

Are you pregnant or hoping to become pregnant?

When you’re pregnant, you don’t just have your health to worry about. You also have your baby’s health in your hands.

Whether you’re just trying to get pregnant or you’ve already gotten the good news that a little one is on the way, one of the first steps you should take is to get tested for STDs. An STD panel is part of prenatal care. 

If you test positive for any STI, we clear the infection with antibiotics or prescribe antivirals to keep it from worsening. An STI can affect both the pregnancy itself and your delivery plans, so the sooner you know you have one, the safer you can keep yourself and your baby.

Do you have strange symptoms?

Any time you have unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding, sores on your vulva, or other symptoms, contact us for STD testing. Even if you don’t have an STD, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), yeast infection, or other condition that needs treatment.

Keep yourself safe through STD testing by contacting our supportive team in Jacksonville, Florida, today. Or, use our convenient appointment form online.

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