Are you wondering if you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? It is an important question as more than 1/2 of all Americans get a sexually transmitted disease or infection at some time in their lives. Many times, STDs do not cause symptoms and many people never know they have one. This makes it possible for them to spread the STD to other individuals, without even knowing it. Although many STDs do not cause symptoms, they can negatively affect your health and in some cases, your fertility.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are the most common and well-known types of STDs. However, there are a approximately twenty different infections that are known to be transmitted by sexual contact. So, how do you know if you should get tested? That is a decision that can best be made in conjunction with your doctor. However, if you have recently engaged in sexual activity with a new partner or if your partner has engaged in sexual activity with someone else, you may want to consider testing. You may also want to consider STD testing if you have shared a needle with anyone else, have been pricked or stuck by a needle used by someone else or if you have received a blood transfusion.
Many STDs can be detected using a simple blood test. In some cases, a urine test, a swab of your mouth or a swab from the genital area may be used to test for STDs.
STD testing is a great step in preventing the spread of STDs. If you have questions about your sexual health or about STD testing, talk to your OBGYN today.