When Should You Be Tested for an STI?

STIs

For individuals who are sexually active, the risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is very real. If left untreated, these infections can contribute to severe health problems, including cancer, infertility, organ damage, and blindness. However, because many STIs don’t have symptoms and because there are often cultural stigmas surrounding these infections, many fail to seek the medical attention they need. In reality, there are many people who should get tested in an STI clinic in Montreal to protect themselves and others. Here are some common situations when you should get tested.

If You Are Sexually Active

Generally speaking, if you are sexually active, you should be tested for STIs each year. This applies to both men and women, particularly if you don’t use protection during sex. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are often a top priority for routine STI testing, as these tend to be the most common health issues resulting from sexual activity.

Remember, the risk for an STI is greater if you have multiple sex partners, a new sex partner, or a partner who has been previously diagnosed with an STI. In such situations, it is safest for both you and your partner to get tested. Getting treated will ensure that you don’t spread the infection to others.

Pregnancy

Early during a woman’s pregnancy, it is strongly recommended that she be tested for conditions such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B. If a woman is believed to be at risk for other STIs, she should be tested for those as well. An untreated STI can pose a significant health risk to the mother and her unborn child during pregnancy, which makes prompt identification and treatment of the condition an absolute must.

Unusual Symptoms

While STIs are often asymptomatic, many who develop an infection will experience unusual symptoms affecting their genital area. Common symptoms of an STI include bumps, sores, or rashes in the genital area, painful urination or discharge, and painful sex.

Such symptoms should never be ignored, as they indicate that you have likely contracted an STI. Your doctor may perform blood or urine tests, a vaginal swab, a serological test, or a physical exam to make a diagnosis. The sooner you get tested and treated, the less likely you will be to experience more serious side effects.

Parting Thoughts

You shouldn’t let stigmas regarding STIs keep you from seeking needed testing. If you are sexually active, getting this screening on a regular basis could very well protect you from lasting negative health consequences. Don’t neglect this important health priority.

Be first to comment