How Often Should I Get Tested for STDs?
Regularly seeing an OB-GYN for checkups and getting tested for STDs is one of the best things a woman can do to keep herself healthy. It’s important to remember that many birth control options don’t necessarily protect against STDs, and even when using a method that does, such as condoms, getting tested regularly can catch a problem before it become serious. Here are some tips that can help you decide how often you should be tested for STDs.
Women who are in a monogamous relationship – both parties only having sex with one another – should be tested along with their partner at least one time at the beginning of the relationship. After that, routine gynecological care and STD tests once a year is generally efficient. Any suspicion that the relationship has become non-monogamous, however, means another STD test should be performed.
Method of Protection
As mentioned, safe sex involves prevention toward both STDs and untimely pregnancies. Women who use only contraceptive protection need to be checked for STDs on a regular basis. Ideally, a woman should be screened every time she has unprotected sex outside of a completely monogamous relationship.
Younger women and older women are both at risk for STDs. Even postmenopausal women can contract STDs, so it is important to continue being screened at any time in life that a woman is sexually active.
The condition of a woman’s overall health plays an important role in how often she should get tested. Women who have any sort of immune system compromising issue should be checked regularly, since serious problems can occur from untreated STDs that affect immune systems, such as HIV or AIDS.
What to do if You Test Positive for an STD
If you’ve had a positive STD result, it is very important to follow up treatment with another test to confirm that the treatment was successful in clearing up any infections.
At the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we strive to provide comprehensive and compassionate gynecological care for all women. Feel free to call our office or visit our website for more information about STD testing and other women’s health services.