The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says everyone who's sexually active should be tested annually for STDs, and those who engage in risky behavior like unprotected sex or who have had sex with more than one person should be tested every three to six months.
Depending on what you're being tested for, STD testing can include a visual examination of your genitals or other areas where you may have noticed symptoms like sores. Blood and urine are typically tested for the presence of STDs as well. Swabs may be taken from your genitals or from your cervix during a pelvic exam.
Different types of STDs can cause different symptoms. Some can cause sores or rashes around the genital area, pain or burning during urination, discharge from the penis or vagina, bumps or fleshy growths around the genitals, or discomfort in the genitals or lower abdomen. Some can even cause fever or mild flu-like symptoms. In some cases, symptoms may also affect the mouth or throat if you've performed oral sex with someone who was infected. Still, other STDs may cause no or few symptoms until they progress to more serious stages or you have a flare-up.
First, STD testing is important to help you stay healthy. Without treatment, many STDs progress to more serious stages that can cause long-term health effects. And second, because so many STDs cause few or no symptoms in their early stages, it's easy to unknowingly pass a disease to another person. Being screened regularly helps ensure you and your partners stay healthy and free of disease.
No, you need to request screening. Based on your lifestyle and behavior, ask the doctor if screening is recommended.
If you have any insurance related questions, please contact our office.
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