sti
Credit: Marie Claire

 

It’s about time someone told you the REALITY about sti tests!  People keep telling you that you should be getting regular checks? Well I’m here to reveal the TRUTH.

The truth is, they are painless.

They are free. They take no more than 20 minutes. Sometimes, you don’t even have to go into a clinic, you can pee is a pot and put it in the post. Nobody shames you or tuts their tongue, nobody is going to stick something huge and painful up your bum, and YES, they are totally worthwhile.

1 in 4 university students will have a sexually transmitted disease before graduating! (Nursing Journal) You don’t need to scream and panic, it will almost always be treatable and leave no lasting damage, but don’t take that risk! The most common sexual infection in young people is chlamydia. Often, it has  no symptoms in men, so it can take a long while before people realize they have it. For women too, you could have absolutely no idea you have it for years, but if left untreated it can lead to infertility… WHY TAKE THE RISK?!

You can get STIs even if you use condoms in sex, for example they can be passed through oral sex. I would recommend you getting a check after every new sexual partner. It doesn’t mean you think they’re dirty, it doesn’t mean you’ve been shagging around, it means that the two of you are respectful enough to put each other’s health and wellbeing before 20 slightly embarrassing minutes in a free clinic.

If you sleep with one person, you are essentially sleeping with all of their past sexual partners in terms of infections. And all of the partners of the partners. And all the partners of those… you get it. By sleeping with one person (even with ‘little’ sexual experience) you are putting yourself into a potential ‘infection web’ that could include hundreds or even thousands of people.

Don’t panic, and for goodness sake don’t swear yourself off of sex, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting it. I’m just saying, use a condom for casual one off partners, because they can help protect you from potential infections.

No lying involved, they could be completely unaware that they have a life-changing infection like HIV (in the very worst of cases). Then, you could both get a quick check before deciding to stop using condoms if you would prefer not to use them.

To be honest, your sexual partner will probably be impressed that you’re mature and matter of fact about sex. If not, are they really mature enough to be going anywhere near your genitals?

Thanks for reading! If you want some help getting an appointment, check out this NHS advice.

You might be interested in my article about hormonal contraception, click here!

Or, for a review of the fantastic ‘vaginal ring’ contraception, click here instead!

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