With shame and embarrassment being one of the main reasons many avoid getting tested, the number of STD cases are rising. According to the CDC, every year there an estimated 20 million new STD infections in the United States alone.
Education is one of the primary ways of reducing risks of infections, so with April being STD Awareness Month, we’re here to provide you with a few tips on how to keep yourself healthy in and out of the bedroom.
The CDC’s theme for this year is Treat Me Right, encouraging patients to develop a trusting relationship with their provider as well as knowing they have access to the help and care they deserve.
When you have a visit with your provider, the conversation about your sexual health should be as transparent as possible. A few questions you should expect during your visit include:
- Have you been sexually active in the last year?
- How many partners have you had?
- What are you doing to protect yourself from STDs?
- Do you have anal, oral, or vaginal sex?
- Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
- Have you or any of your partners been exposed to an STD?
How you answer some of these questions can determine if you are at risk for an STD.
The good news is: STDS are preventable. By having a transparent conversation between you, your partner, and your healthcare provider, there are a few ways you can reduce your risks for infections.
Practice Abstinence/Celibacy: The best way to avoid STDs is to not have sex in the first place.
Use Condoms: While birth control pills are effective at preventing pregnancies, they will not protect you against STDs. Use of condoms lessens the risk of infection.
Practice Monogamy: Agree to have sex with one person who agrees to have sex with you and that the two of you will get tested before having sex.
Get Vaccinated: Some vaccinations like the HPV vaccine are effective at preventing HPV-related health conditions like genital warts and some cancers.
Get Tested: Some STDs don’t show symptoms, and can cause other chronic health conditions, so the only way to know if you have an STD is to get tested regularly.
Speaking with a medical professional for guidance on the proper steps is vital for your health. At Synergy Immediate Care, we provide testing options and can provide you with a treatment plan that’s right for you.