Do you wonder if you should be getting tested for STDs? To find out if you should be getting tested, read on. In this blog, we answer many questions about protecting your sexual and overall health.

Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) regularly is crucial for all sexually active people. While certain factors, such as using barrier contraceptives like condoms or being in a long-term committed relationship with your sexual partner, can lower your odds of contracting STDs, it doesn’t completely eliminate it.

A crucial thing to know about STDs is that many can go undetected without tests, because they may not cause symptoms right away. This means you could unknowingly spread an STD to a sexual partner.

At Monarch Health Services, Inc., in West Palm Beach, Florida, Tiffany Jarrett, MD, and our team are committed to helping you stay on top of your sexual health. We understand that getting tested for STDs can feel invasive, which is why we provide support in a safe and nonjudgmental way.

In this blog, we explain more about why getting routinely tested for STDs is crucial and how often you should do so.

What is STD testing?

To understand what STD testing is, you need to first understand what STDs are. The term STDs is used to categorize a group of infections that are spread through sexual activity. Every year, millions of Americans contract some form of STD.

Some of the most common STDs include:

  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • HIV
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital Herpes

STD tests are done to identify if you’ve contracted an STD. These tests are crucial, because if left undiagnosed and untreated, an STD can cause severe complications and sometimes be fatal.

Getting tested for STDs is also vital to help keep you from spreading an infection you may have.

Who should get STD testing?

Everyone who is sexually active should get STD testing routinely. While barrier contraceptives can help prevent the spread of STDs, they’re not always completely effective.

Furthermore, some people have a higher risk of contracting or being severely affected by STDs than others. STD testing for people in the following categories is especially crucial:

  • People who have HIV
  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are age 21 or older
  • People who use injectable medications, such as insulin
  • People who are sexually active and are not in a monogamous relationship
  • Sexually active women who are age 25 or younger
  • People who engage in risky sexual behaviors

STDs don’t always cause symptoms, but if you exhibit symptoms, such as pain during sex, sores around your genitals, painful urination, or unusual discharge from your genitals, contact Monarch Health Services, Inc., as soon as possible.

How are STD tests conducted?

Getting tested for STDs is typically a quick and easy process. Depending on the type of STD you’re being tested for, your test could include one or a combination of the following methods:

  • A blood test
  • A urine test
  • A cheek swab
  • A physical exam
  • Swabs from your genital areas

Test results can take a few hours or days, after which Dr. Jarrett will discuss your results with you and the next steps you should take if you have an STD.

How often should someone get tested?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexually active women above 25 should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea at least once a year.

All sexually active people should get tested for HIV and other STDs at least once a year. If you have multiple sexual partners, you may need to get tested every 3-6 months.

To stay on top of your sexual health, you should schedule routine STD tests with us. If you contract an STD, getting diagnosed early can help you get effective treatment and help prevent complications.

To learn more, call 561-510-7859 or book an appointment online with Monarch Health Services, Inc., today.

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