Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause serious health problems if left untreated. But knowing how often to get tested and what to expect can be confusing. Here's what you need to know to protect your sexual health.
Unsafe sex can lead to a variety of STIs. To protect ourselves, we need to know what STIs are and how to prevent them. Unfortunately, there's not always enough information available, and some STIs can go undetected for years without showing any symptoms.
How often should you get tested?
Experts recommend getting tested at least once a year for your health, but it's important to take into account your age and sexual activity. If you're over 25 or sexually active, you should consider getting tested every six months. Even if you're not currently sexually active, it's still possible to have an STI from past experiences.
What's the point of an STI test?
The main goals of an STI test are to confirm your overall health and determine what type of infection you might have. If you've had unsafe sex or used a condom incorrectly, it's a good idea to get tested about a month afterwards. This is because symptoms can take some time to appear.
Do I still need to use condoms?
Even if you get tested regularly, it's important to use condoms every time you have sex. STI tests don't guarantee the prevention or treatment of STIs, and some incurable diseases like herpes and HIV cannot be resolved by physicians. Consistently using condoms is the best way to protect yourself and your partner.
Is an STI test the same as a cervical cancer test?
No, an STI test does not check for cervical cancer. It's important for women to have regular checkups to detect any issues with their cervix, as well as to get tested for STIs. Women in their 20s can get screened for cervical cancer every two years at no cost, and it's a good idea to get both tests if you're concerned about your sexual health.
Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about STI testing and any concerns you may have. Detecting STIs early and getting prompt treatment is key to maintaining good health. Regular checkups and condom use are important steps towards protecting yourself and your partner. Here at SAIB we believe in empowering women to take care of their sexual wellness free from taboo and ‘bias’ (our brand name written backwards) - you can check out our product line for discreet, beautifully designed, vegan and high-grade sexual wellness products including condoms, lubricants and feminine washes!