Should I Get Tested for STDs?

Every adult who is sexually active should get tested regularly for STDs. This will help you understand your own physical health, but also the health of your partner. In 2018, over 1.7 million people tested positive for chlamydia. If you know you have an STD, you should always use protection, and talk to your partner. STIs can also cause problems later in life if they are not dealt with. AFC Urgent Care Springfield offers confidential STD testing 7 days a week, with no appointment necessary.

What should I be tested for?

If you think you have been exposed to a specific STI, it’s important to let your healthcare provider know. Tests typically look for signs of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HSV 1 and 2, but it is possible to be tested for more. Always ask what tests will be done, and specify if you want one completed for them all. In addition to the ones listed above, STI tests can find:

  • HIV/Aids
  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B and C

It is better to be honest with the physician, as this can impact the type of treatment you receive. Always voice your concerns.

How do STI tests work?

At AFC Urgent Care Springfield, a blood test is completed to find STIs. From here, the blood test is sent to our on-site lab to determine the results. In some cases, a urine test may be required, depending on how soon the test is done after exposure. The tests often look for antibodies or other heightened levels, depending on the STD. From here, there is often treatment for certain STDs, but some may be with you for life.

What are the potential risk factors?

There are a few risk factors that can happen if STIs go undiagnosed and untreated. Some STIs do not have any symptoms, so it is possible to be undiagnosed for years if you are not careful. If you are pregnant or become pregnant, it is possible to pass along some STDs to the fetus. Other complications can include infertility, meningitis, cirrhosis, blindness, and cancer. The risk is dependent on the STI, but it is important to get tested regularly and get treated immediately. The conversation may not be comfortable, but asking a new partner to get tested at the same time may help relieve some future stress. Additionally, if you find out you have an STD, you should tell the person you are having sex with. Always use protection to help protect yourself and the other person.