What to do if You Think You Have an STD

It’s one of the last things you want to think about; we get it. However, because most people don’t like to consider the possibility of getting an STD, they tend not to have a plan if they actually contract one. And that remains true even though millions of people in the US get an STD every year. The truth is, the more prepared you are for the possibility, the better you’ll be able to handle it. And just as there’s a set of prescribed actions you should follow if you get into a car accident, there’s also a checklist you should familiarize yourself with regarding STDs. With that in mind, here are five steps you should take if you think you have an STD.

Don’t Self Diagnose

The first thing you should do if you think you’ve got an STD is resist the urge to analyze the problem by yourself. Dismissing symptoms of a possible STD or downright ignoring them could saddle you with big health problems down the line. However, if you are concerned about your well-being, don’t go to the internet for advice in this matter. Even well-meaning sites have a tendency to misdiagnose STDs because their symptoms so commonly mimic other ailments. If you’ve even got a shadow of a doubt that you might have an STD, the first step is admitting the possibility.

Contact Your Partners

Yes, you’re right –– this step isn’t going to be any fun. But it’s imperative that you speak with all of your recent sexual partners and inform them you suspect you have an STD. That’s because STDs aren’t always apparent until months after you’ve picked one up. So don’t assume that only you and your latest partner are at risk. Rather, do the right thing and contact anyone you’ve had a sexual encounter with (yes, that includes oral and anal sex) in the recent past. It’ll be awkward –– it might even be worse than that –– but you owe it to them and yourself to let them know your concerns.

Get Tested –– Fast

If you’re worried you might have an STD, waiting is the last thing you should do. Note that while you’ve got plenty of options to receive an STD test or screening (including your doctor’s office, Planned Parenthood, and at-home tests) only going to an STD testing clinic will guarantee a comprehensive, fully modernized screening. If you want to be sure you’re STD free –– and you also value speed, quality control, and confidentiality, then find an STD testing clinic near you ASAP.

Contact Your Partners Again

No, you’re not out of the woods yet. Make sure to follow up with your recent sexual partners again after you get the results of your tests. It’s just common courtesy.

Seek Treatment

If your tests come back positive, don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world. Bacterial infections can be treated through the use of antibiotics. And even viral infections, which don’t have cures, can be managed quite effectively with the right combination of medication. Whatever you do though, ensure you see your doctor afterward and listen to what they have to say. They’ll not only be able to help you deal with your current issue but will be able to supply you with relevant information to avoid STDs in the future.


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