Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are STD checks good to have before entering a new relationship?"
I am 26 and had unprotected sex in my last relationship. Should I get checked for STDs before having sex in my new relationship?
Unprotected sex puts a person at risk for contracting and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases. It is always advisable to get tested for STDs before entering into a new relationship. While you may develop symptoms related to STDs (such as vaginal discharge or pelvic pain), you may also be asymptomatic. Untreated STDs can result in damage to the reproductive tract over time. Additionally, sexually active individuals are also at risk for serious illnesses such as HIV, which may only present with non-specific symptoms such as fever and rash initially. Getting tested often can help catch any treatable diseases early in their natural course and prevent their transmission to a partner. Getting tested for STDs involves analyzing both the blood and the urine. Testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia can be done through urinalysis, and testing for hepatitis viruses, syphilis and HIV can be done through the blood. If you have any questions about STDs or are experiencing any symptoms of a STD, then you should talk to your primary care physician.
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