Do you feel like you need to visit an STD clinic? Going for an STD test may seem frightening. After all, the results may affect your life drastically. This is especially so if you are tested positive for more dangerous STDs, like HIV or syphilis. However, it is extremely important that you get tested if you suspect that you may have an STD, as early treatment is crucial in minimising pain and discomfort while preventing possible complications. If you are still unsure whether you should get tested, this short checklist of questions will help you identify your risk of having an STD and hopefully help you in making that decision.
Question 1: Are you experiencing any symptoms of STDs?
You will definitely need to see an STD doctor if you think you’re experiencing symptoms of STDs. Possible symptoms include rashes in the groin, pain while urinating or having sex and sores in the groin or mouth. Basically, as long as you are experiencing severe discomfort with your sexual organs, it is likely a sign that you have contracted an STD.
However, please note that it is still possible for you to have contracted an STD if you do not experience any symptoms. Even though you do not experience symptoms, you can still pass the STD to your sexual partner. That is also why you should get an STD test regularly, especially if you are very active sexually.
Question 2: When were your previous sexual encounters in the last six months? And with whom?
Fleshing out the details of your recent sexual history is fundamental in helping your doctor assess your potential risk for an STD. Before you step into the doctor’s office, you should have a clear idea of when (and how often) you have had sex in the last six months. It might help to make a list if you have been very sexually active. In addition, also identify whether your sexual partner was a casual one (hook-up) or from a committed relationship (i.e. boyfriend/girlfriend). Typically, patients who have had a lot of unprotected (without condoms) casual sex are at the highest risk of contracting an STD. Also take note if you have ever had sex with more than one partner at the same time, as that will also increase the risks of contracting an STD. Keeping track of your sexual history will also help you warn others if you are tested positive for an STD.
Question 3: How would you like your STD doctor to help you?
Many patients come into the clinic unaware of what STDs can do to their body. As such, a one-on-one face-to-face talk with your STD doctor will often give them a peace of mind. Otherwise, it is important to take the opportunity to ask the doctor questions that you might have regarding STD risks and methods of STD prevention. Overall, your visit to the doctor should enrich your knowledge of sexual health, so don’t forget to let them know your worries and concerns.
Heading for an STD testing is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy.