What If I’ve Never Been Tested for STDs?
According to shocking surveys, nearly half of the population has never been tested for STDs. The fertility app called Kindara asked 1,000 women and men about their opinions regarding safe sex. 44% of men and 30% of women confessed to having never been tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
People are playing Russian roulette with their sex life! This is definitely something to think about the next time you’re considering a one-night stand or unprotected sex with someone you do not know well.
When it comes to having sex with someone that has never been tested, you are basically sleeping with all the partners your partner has ever had and on and on. This number can multiply very quickly.
Sexual Partners: Men vs. Women
The question of your “number” is often asked mostly out of curiosity. However, scientists and doctors need this information to establish your risk of STDs, and according to their findings, men have sex with more partners than women. Nearly half of all men surveyed have slept with more than 8 partners, which puts them at much higher risk of being infected.
Furthermore, 9% of the men in the survey said they had had sex with over 41 partners. And while these numbers might raise an eyebrow, imagine our surprise when we found out most of these men have never been even tested!
The Kindara app also found that people are more likely to lowball their number, rather than exaggerate it—especially when you ask women. Nearly half of all women said they’d had fewer than 3 partners and most women reported that they had never had sex with someone before they were emotionally ready.
These statistics highlight the importance of having STD conversations with your partner, especially if you are having unprotected sex.
STDs Conversations with the Partner
The best way to ask the question is of course, explicitly. If you have formed a close relationship with a partner, the simplest way is to just ask. And when asking – don’t forget to ask what they got tested for and when.
When you start this conversation, make sure that you are ready to answer the questions yourself. If you haven’t been recently tested, be honest. Some countries criminally charge people who lie about their sexual health.
Should You Get Tested and When?
In the majority of cases, STDs have no symptoms. Therefore, testing remains the best and only way to know for sure if you are infected. You are not only getting tested to protect yourself, but also to protect your sexual partners and stay informed on your health. A diagnosis can alert you to the infection early in the process, and allow you to treat it sooner and with fewer complications. Untreated STDs often result in long-term or permanent effects, such as infertility and even cancer.
The answer is simple – anyone who is sexually active should be tested for STDs.
Experiencing STD Symptoms
If you had unprotected sex and notice any of the common STD symptoms, get tested immediately. These symptoms can go away and come back, but this does not indicate that the infection is gone from your body. In most cases, the symptoms are very mild and they do not even bother the infected person.
Some of the most common symptoms of STDs you should pay attention to are:
- Strange discharge from the penis or vagina
- Bumps and sores around the genitals, butt cheeks and thighs
- Burning sensation when you pee
- Pain, itching, swelling or irritation in the penis, vulva, anus or vagina
- Flu-like symptoms that include body aches, tiredness, fever and swollen glands
The trick here is that every one of these symptoms can be mistaken with another disease or infection. Therefore, when you experience these symptoms, get tested immediately to make sure you are not infected.
Even if you do not experience the symptoms, get tested immediately if you think you may have been infected. This means you should get tested in case you have unprotected sex with a new partner, have different sexual partners, change your partner, etc.
Should You Get Tested if You Do Not Have Symptoms?
You cannot really tell if you have an STD by experiencing symptoms, and in most cases, you won’t be experiencing anything. Most of the time, sexually transmitted diseases do not show the symptoms until it is too late. It is important to get tested even if you do not think you have the disease.
Regular STD testing should show if you are infected or not. This means that everyone should get tested at least every year, and more often if they are sexually active or have more than one sexual partner.
Getting an STD screening test means that you allow the doctor to look for an infection. Fortunately, these tests are neither invasive, nor painful. Most tests will require a simple blood or urine sample, or even a swab of the area that might be infected.