Why Should I Get Tested for STDs?
Contracting an Sexually Transmitted Disease is more likely than it has ever been. One out of two individuals who are sexually active will contract an STD before the age of 25… those odds are not slim (STDtest.com). This statistic seems unrealistic, considering how few people are aware they carry such a disease. The reality is that we falsely believe that, “If I feel fine, I am fine.” This could not be further from the truth. In actuality, having no symptoms is the most common symptom of carrying a sexually transmitted disease. Without being medically tested for STDs, there is really no way to be certain you have not contracted one (unless you are abstinent or in a permanently monogamous relationship).
We have falsely been led to believe that a condom prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. While condoms may reduce the risk of contracting an STD (when used correctly and consistently), there is no condom or procedure that will guarantee protection from such a disease. Sexually transmitted diseases that are spread by genital fluids (think chlamydia, herpes, HIV), are even more likely to be spread even with the use of a condom.
If most STDs are asymptomatic, why does it matter if you have one? For starters, you may easily pass the disease to a sexual partner who will experience symptoms. Secondly, though not immediately apparent, untreated STDs can take a massive toll on your sexual health. The longer an STD is left untreated, the more damage it can do to your internal organs (sexualhealthclinic.london). These consequences may take years to manifest, and you may not be aware of them until it is too late. One of the most common results of untreated STDs is pelvic inflammatory disease.This disease typically requires urgent medical attention as it may cause irreversible damage to your reproductive system and cause infertility issues and ectopic pregnancy (clevelandclinic.org). The most common symptom of PID is pain in the lower abdomen.
Another reason to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases is if you are planning to undergo a medical abortion procedure. This method of abortion is very invasive and requires the insertion of medical instruments through the cervix. If a disease such as chlamydia or gonorrhea is present, this action may push the infection deeper into the reproductive system and cause grave consequences (littleway.org). If you are planning on a chemical abortion, be mindful that 3-7% of “women who choose chemical abortion early in pregnancy will need follow-up care to finish the abortion, with as many as 7-10% needing follow-up care in the first trimester after 63 days of pregnancy and up to 39% requiring surgery if the regimen is accidentally taken in the second trimester” (lozierinstitute.org). This means that even if you self-administer the abortion pill (a non-invasive procedure), you may very well still need to undergo a surgical abortion. Because of this, it is best to be tested for STDs in the case of chemical abortion failure. You have nothing to lose, and much to gain, by getting tested.
Through our medical office, we offer free and confidential STD testing and treatment. All of our medical services are entirely confidential and administered by licensed medical personnel. If you have had intercourse with even one person who is not a virgin, you are at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease. The longer you wait, the greater the consequences may be. If you are at risk, schedule an appointment to get tested by calling Alight at 518-822-9008.
Fact Sheet: Risks and Complications of Chemical Abortion July 2022, lozierinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Fact-Sheet_Risks-and-Complications-of-Chemical-Abortion.pdf. Accessed 28 Sept. 2023.
Fact Sheet: Risks and Complications of Chemical Abortion July 2022, Gil. “The Chances of Getting an STD from a One Night Stand.” STDtest.Com, STDTest.com, 11 Feb. 2020, www.stdtest.com/unprotected-encounters/.
“Importance of Asymptomatic Stds: What Everyone Should Know.” Sexual Health Clinic, www.sexualhealthclinic.london/blog/asymptomatic-stds. Accessed 22 Sept. 2023.
Marketing, Cornerstone. “Does an STD/STI Matter When Considering Abortion?” Little Way, 16 June 2021, littleway.org/does-an-std-sti-matter-when-considering-abortion/.
Professional, Cleveland Clinic medical. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9129-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid. Accessed 22 Sept. 2023.