Women often assume they are checked for sexually transmitted diseases during their annual well women exams. However, this is not the case. In fact, the majority of doctors do not carry out these tests unless specifically asked to do so. Other doctors test for the most common STDs but not all. For this reason, every woman should ask their doctor about these tests, their risks when it comes to STDs, and any other women’s health concerns they may have. A woman cannot be too informed when it comes to her health.
Women should have yearly tests carried out, and the same is true when they are starting a new relationship. These tests include HIV and gonorrhea. An HIV test detects AIDS early and prevents it from causing additional issues. Gonorrhea is a disease that often remains hidden in the body for a period of time before symptoms develop. Not only can this disease cause serious health issues for the person infected, it can be spread to both partners and babies. Finally, every woman should be tested for chlamydia every year. This is a common infection that often has no symptoms but may also lead to serious health issues.
A Pap smear should be done according to the current guidelines issued by the government. This test detects the presence of HPV, a known cause of cervical cancer. Women need to know men cannot be tested for this virus, and their partner may have it and not even know it. Multiple sexual partners may increase the risk of contracting HPV, and women should speak to their doctor to see what they recommend in terms of scheduling pap smears.
Less Frequent Tests
Certain tests are only needed when a person suspects they have been infected. These include tests for syphilis, genital herpes, and bacterial vaginosis. Hepatitis B also falls into this category. Speak to your doctor today if you believe you have had any sexual contact with a person infected with one of these diseases to be tested right away.
Make an appointment with your doctor to determine if you need to be tested for any STDs. He or she is the best person to discuss this with, as they have access to your full medical history. Don’t put this off, as these diseases can come with no symptoms yet do serious harm to your health.