Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, often have no symptoms and may take several weeks to become apparent on tests after being contracted. That means you may have an STD and not know it, even if you were tested within a few days of contracting it.
The question of how often you should be tested depends on several factors, including who you have sex with, who they have sex with, your age, and whether you’re pregnant or not.
If you need testing, the health specialists at 1st Choice Urgent Care can give you the tests you need and provide help if you test positive for any of them.
If you are sexually active, getting tested for STDs regularly is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health. There are a number of factors that help determine what your risk is and how often you should get tested.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested at least once for HIV if they have ever been sexually active.
Women younger than age 25
If you’re a woman younger than age 25, the CDC suggests being tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia at least once every year.
Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STD in the United States, and gonorrhea is not far behind. You can have either STD and not know it, because they can both be asymptomatic. Additionally, both are rising, and both can lead to more serious problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you’re expecting, it’s important for you to be tested early in your pregnancy, for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B. Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea may also be necessary. You may need to have these tests repeated during your pregnancy.
Gay and bisexual men
If you’re a man who has sex with men, you should be tested annually for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to be tested more frequently for HIV and other STDs.
There are some factors that raise your risk of contracting an STD. For example, if you switch partners frequently, or your partner does, you may need to be tested for STDs more often.
If you have sex without a condom, you should be tested more often. If you use injected drugs, especially if you share equipment, you should be tested for STDs more often.
Talking to your health care provider at 1st Choice Urgent Care openly and honestly about your sexual history will help them know what kinds of tests you need and how often you will need to take them. Getting tested is simple and can prevent serious complications.
To learn more about getting tested, contact 1st Choice Urgent Care over the phone today.