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By: RSC Editorial Team

October 5, 2023

STD Testing: 10 Reasons Getting Tested for STDs Is the Best Idea You’ve Had All Year

About one out of every five Americans carries an STI. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases are a quiet epidemic that destroys people’s general and reproductive health.

If you ever thought, “Maybe getting tested for STDs is a good idea,” please follow through with this. Even if you don’t experience common STD signs and symptoms, you could be a carrier and unwittingly put your sexual partner(s) at risk. 

You can easily go in for a rapid STD test at one of our sexual health clinics near your location, receive a quick diagnosis, and, if necessary, get treatment and prevention recommendations. Let’s break down why early testing is so important for all sexually active individuals, especially young adults, who account for half of new STI cases.

The Importance of STD Testing

Millions of new STI cases occur all over the U.S. every year. STIs may cause symptoms like unusual vaginal or penile discharge, sores or warts, and heavy periods. There are also some STDs that cause frequent urination or pain while urinating.

However, the symptoms are often mild or nonspecific, which means STDs can lurk undetected for years unless you’re getting tested for them regularly. Untreated STDs wreak havoc on the body, especially the female reproductive system. STDs can easily pass from unaware carriers to their partners and from mothers to babies during pregnancy and birth. 

Routine procedures, like a Pap smear, don’t detect STDs. A Pap smear screens women for HPV and cervical cancer but not for common STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis. To get tested for those diseases, you must talk to your healthcare provider or visit one of the 2,500+ Rapid STD Testing centers. 

In case you’re wondering how often you should get tested for STDs, here are some of the current CDC guidelines:

  • All people aged 13 to 64 should get tested for HIV at least once.
  • Sexually active women under 25 and those over 25 with additional risk factors need an annual chlamydia and gonorrhea test.
  • Pregnant women need to undergo testing for hepatitis B and C, HIV, syphilis, and sometimes also gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • Males who engage in sexual activity with other males need annual testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. The CDC recommends more frequent testing for gay and bisexual males with anonymous or multiple partners.
  • Any high-risk individuals, like people who have unprotected sex or share injection equipment, need an annual HIV test.

STD Testing Procedures

Getting tested for STDs may involve different procedures, namely:

  • Blood tests, especially for HIV or advanced-stage syphilis
  • Urine tests for many common STDs like trichomoniasis, chlamydia, or gonorrhea
  • Swab tests, specifically for STDs that appear as open sores in the genital area

Additionally, people who engage in anal or oral sex should discuss rectal or throat testing options with their healthcare provider.

Many insurance plans cover testing and treatment for common STDs. Talk to your healthcare provider or check your policy to determine what types of STD diagnosis and treatment your plan includes before proceeding so that you don't miss out on possible benefits.

Top Reasons for Getting Tested for STDs

Getting tested for STDs comes with serious benefits and virtually no drawbacks, apart from the stigma still unfairly attached to sexually transmitted diseases. Let’s list ten reasons for timely STD testing.

1. STD Testing Protects Your Health

Undetected STDs will eventually cause serious consequences, including reproductive system damage, organ damage, and different types of cancer. 

In women, untreated STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), leading to possible fallopian tube scarring, infertility, and a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages. Quick testing and treatment can prevent damage to your health.

2. STDs Are Extremely Common

About 20% of Americans carry STDs, often without being aware of it. Statistically, it makes sense to get tested just to be safe. 

3. STDs Are Treatable

STDs readily respond to antibiotics (bacterial STIs) or antiretroviral drug therapy (HIV). HIV carriers can live a full, healthy life with the right treatment course. 

4. Delayed Treatment Can Lead to Permanent Consequences

Remember, while antibiotics can cure a bacterial STD, reversing consequences like organ or reproductive system damage is impossible. The earlier you get treated, the better your outcome will be.

5. Getting Tested Protects Your Partners

Getting tested for STDs will help protect you and your partners. When you don’t know you carry STDs, you could infect your partner(s), which is especially risky for immunocompromised people.

6. Testing for STDs Promotes Healthy Communication

If you’re reluctant to get tested because you’re in a monogamous relationship and are unsure what your partner may think, this is an opportunity for honest discussion. Explain to your partner that carrying STDs doesn’t necessarily mean either of you was unfaithful or engaged in risky sexual behaviors in the past.

7. STD Testing Can Protect Your Future Children

If you’re planning to start a family, get tested for STDs. Many STDs can pass to the baby during pregnancy or birth and cause serious birth defects, low birth weight, and even neonatal death.

Ideally, you’ll get screened for STDs and, if necessary, undergo treatment before a planned pregnancy. If you discover you have an STD while pregnant, quick treatment can improve outcomes for you and your baby.

8. A Quick Test Can Give You Peace of Mind

You may ask yourself, “Is it possible I have an STD?” A fast, confidential test will help remove your doubts and fears. You will know where you stand and can take steps toward prevention or treatment and continue your life knowing you have your sexual health under control. 

9. Anyone Can Contract an STD

The fact is that even virgins and people in long-term exclusive relationships can be STD carriers, and you won’t know for sure until you get tested. Don’t assume you’re safe because you haven’t had any new partners in years. 

10. STD Testing Protects Public Health

By getting an STD test, you’re doing your part toward disease prevention. You’re protecting vulnerable populations and slowing the spread of STIs. 

The Right Time To Get Tested

So, when is the best time to get tested for STDs? Keep in mind that different STDs have different timeframes for showing up on tests. For example, while you can often detect chlamydia and gonorrhea within a few days, diagnosing HIV may take several weeks to three months.

In general, it’s best to get tested as early as possible so you can start treatment and avoid spreading the infection to others. However, if you undergo testing too early, the test could miss the infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may recommend getting another test after a few days or weeks. 

Most health authorities recommend getting tested for STDs if you:

  • Had unprotected sex, especially with a casual partner or with several partners. Don’t wait to feel symptoms because this might only happen much later, if at all. 
  • Started an exclusive long-term relationship. If you’re in a monogamous relationship with a new partner and want to stop using barrier contraceptives, both you and your partner should get tested for STDs for your mutual protection. 
  • Are planning a pregnancy. As we mentioned earlier, undetected STDs can have devastating consequences for pregnant mothers and infants. If you plan to start a family, get tested for STDs and take extra precautions against contracting STIs while pregnant. 

Talking to Your Doctor About STD Testing 

It can be embarrassing to discuss your sexual life with your healthcare provider, even if you’re seeing a doctor who treats you with attention and respect. Some doctors won’t bring up STD testing, so be prepared to broach this topic yourself.

If you feel uncomfortable talking to your GP about STDs, you may visit a discreet sexual health clinic, like a Rapid STD Testing center near your location. 

Once you get treatment recommendations, follow them precisely. You must start treatment right away and complete the prescribed course of antibiotics or other medication. If your provider recommends re-testing after a period, do this to make sure the infection has cleared up. 

Protect Your Health: Contact Rapid STD Testing Today

No sexually active person is immune to STDs. Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship and have experienced no unusual symptoms, you may unknowingly carry widespread STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, or HIV.

Getting tested for STDs is the only way to know with 100% certainly whether you’re a carrier. It’s also the responsible thing to do when you consider how much damage untreated STIs can cause. 

Quick, discreet, same-day STD testing will help you gain peace of mind and protect your health and your partners. Get a comprehensive check by ordering our 10-panel STD test today.


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By: RSC Editorial Team
October 5, 2023

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