What are the first things that pop into your mind when you think about a potential partner? He’s so good looking. She’s so smart and funny. I can’t wait to spend some alone time with him. Maybe you are looking for that Russian bibliophile or that other owner of the 100 best philatelic nudes ever printed.
However, as a gyno, I’m as concerned about your sexual health as your intellectual health. And frankly, without both, nope, there’s no staying together. So, before you get that alone time with your partner and get out a large magnifying glass to examine your…ah….. relationship and where it is going, there should be a frank discussion about sexual histories and sexual health.
Although you want to trust the person that you are spending time with, you need to consider the fact that many people aren’t completely open and honest about their sex lives. And, when it comes to STDs, you or your partner may both appear to be symptom free and believe yourselves to be symptom free.
Here are some heartwarming statistics straight from the CDC: only 1 out of 10 Genital Herpes carriers know they are infected and only 25% of all Chlamydia carriers have any symptoms at all. Unless you both get tested, you may never know if one of you has an STD.
The rate of STDs is climbing; in the U.S. alone, there are 40 million Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections and over 1 million Chlamydia trachomatis infections. It is important for everyone to take control of their sexual health. It is always a good idea to test before any sexual contact or as soon as possible after you start having sex. You may also need to retest at a later time because you won’t test positive the morning after; that is a project for a couple of weeks later. For HIV, you might need a test a few weeks later just to be sure.
So, instead of lunch and a movie, make it lunch and a screening…for STDs. Whether you are in a new or established relationship, everyone knows that communication, honesty, and trust are as key to keeping a relationship going as that perfect chili recipe or love of Taylor Swift. What better way to show your commitment than for you and your partner to talk about sex, talk about your future sex, and be screened!
For information regarding Women’s Health Practice Clinical Research Studies: http://www.womenshealthpractice.com/research.htm