If you are sexually active, you should be tested yearly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have multiple partners, you should test more often, about every 3-6 months. Testing should be done whether you have symptoms or not.
Reasons for testing include:
- STIs don’t always have symptoms
- Untreated STIs can cause severe and long-term health difficulties.
- Even after treatment, you can become reinfected by an STI.
We’ll expand on these three reasons below.
Reason #1. STIs Can Be Asymptomatic
Even though they can be transmitted easily between sexual partners, many STIs can have no symptoms at all.
Even if you are asymptomatic, an STI can still be given to your partner. You can also still have long-term complications from STIs that do not have symptoms.
Reason #2. STIs Can Have Complications
Once detected, most STIs are cured with medication.
Treatment for STIs is usually more effective when the STI is discovered early. Chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example, will require a simple course of antibiotics. Some other STIs may not be curable but can be managed with medication.
If chlamydia or gonorrhea goes untreated, though, the infection can escalate to a more serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can affect a woman’s health in the long term by causing scarring in her reproductive organs. This scarring can increase a woman’s odds of infertility in the future.
Untreated STIs can also increase the risk of getting another STI or developing cervical cancer.
Reason #3. You Can Get an STI Again
Even after treating an STI, you are still at risk of contracting it again. Treatment for STIs doesn’t give you immunity; you can become reinfected if exposed to an STI in the future. Becoming reinfected with an STI can increase the risk of long-term health complications.
Testing for STIs is quick and easy, and at Cleburne Pregnancy Center, it’s free! Contact us to schedule a no-cost appointment. We offer free limited STI testing for women in a non-judgmental environment.