How to monitor your health for STDs

Laboratory blood drawing tubes

LGBTQ Health

It might be hard to talk about, but keeping your body safe and healthy from the aggressive encroachment of any sexually transmitted disease (STD), is incredibly important. You may find yourself too shy to approach your doctor or reluctant to ask for advice even from those closest to you about how to monitor your health, but rest assured that you are not alone. 

You need to learn how to talk about your sexual history and remove any sense of shame or guilt you may feel about it. There are a lot of diseases you may be leaving yourself vulnerable and exposed to if you are reluctant to get the proper advice. While going to see a medical professional will always be the best mode of operation, the following are a few quick tips to help give you an idea of how to be on the lookout for STDs.

Get a Blood Test

If you’re not feeling any symptoms but still want to get a quick overview to ensure that you don’t have anything, then a blood test is the best way to go. Some of the more serious STDs can only be detected this way since you may not be experiencing any overt physical symptoms. One highly recommended way of keeping tabs on your health and ensuring you steer clear of STDs is to get screened before having a new partner. Before engaging in intercourse, be sure that you’re both tested for STDs. You can look for most diseases this way, except for genital herpes since that isn’t recommended unless you are experiencing some symptoms. 

While getting a blood test to be screened for STDs is not necessarily a routine part of wellness check-ups, you can request one from your doctor on an annual basis, or definitely before you become sexually active with a new partner. 

Circumventing a Trip to the Clinic

If you’re still queasy about going to get tested at a health clinic, or do not have health insurance, then there are other ways to get the all-important STD test. Thankfully, due to the current technology, it is incredibly convenient to get STD testing online; simply order a test, follow the instructions, and get your results via email. This can also be more convenient for those who need to get a more routine test or are experiencing some physical symptoms and need an answer right away. A mail-in STD test presents an excellent solution, allowing for a democratization of the information needed to keep yourself healthy. However, bear in mind that they may work best to detect diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, as opposed to HIV. 

Laboratory medical data being entered on tablet screenEmergency Testing

If you’ve had unprotected sex, then save yourself a great deal of trouble by getting tested right after. Do not wait to experience any symptoms before requesting a mail-in test, or going to see your doctor. Part of staying safe is working fast to rectify any situation before matters become worse or more difficult.

At the end of the day, getting tested is the main way to stay safe. Most STDs don’t have any discernible signs or symptoms, and you can easily neglect or misread mild signs. So, either work to schedule a visit to the doctor right away or get tested at home. In all cases, don’t engage in avoidance and face the issue head-on to maintain your health—and sanity.