When it comes to Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases the old adage “better safe than sorry” definitely applies. If you are sexually active, regardless of the use of protection or amount of partners, you should schedule STI/STD screenings periodically for your own safety as well as the safety of your partners. It is recommended that all women who are sexually active seek out gonorrhea and chlamydia testing every few years due to the fact that women can often carry these infections asymptomatically (without showing any signs of the infection). Aside from regular screenings, there are circumstances where you should consider scheduling an STI/STD screening.
Changes In Your Relationship Status
When beginning a new relationship, it is recommended that you both are screened before engaging in any sexual acts. Knowing your test results can protect you and your new partner. If you do not schedule a screening prior to having sexual contact with a new partner you should still consider scheduling an appointment. If you are having unprotected sex with a new partner, whether it is vaginal, oral, or anal, you should schedule a screening. If you are an in an open relationship with your partner and either or both of you are engaging in sexual activities with new people you should seek screenings more often especially if you have unprotected sex.
When Should You Schedule The Screening After Sex
If you are scheduling a screening after having unprotected sex with a new partner you should be aware of the different infections incubation periods. Many infections will not show up the day after you have sex with a new partner. It is common that during your screening your physician will ask when you first had sex with the new partner to decide which tests to do. Overall infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can be tested for a week after the sexual encounter, whereas herpes and syphilis can take up to six weeks to show up on a test.
Some people should seek to have more regular screenings depending on their lifestyles. If you often have sex with a sex worker or work as a sex worker you should be screened multiple times a year. If you work in a hospital or in a health clinic you should seek screenings often. If you are your partner have previously had or still have an STI you should seek screenings yearly.
When it comes to sexual health, you should always be proactive in getting screened. At AFC Urgent Care we provide STI/STD screenings. Contact us to learn more and schedule your screening.