How to talk to your partner about STDs
It’s the talk that no one wants to have — the one about sexually transmitted diseases. Although it isn’t easy, STDs should be the topic of your next conversation. STDs are more common than you think, which is why it is very important to talk about them.
There are many myths surrounding STDs like you have to have sex with lots of people or you could get infected with close physical contact which can cause you to get discouraged and not get tested. However, learning about your partner’s sexual history and being proactive about testing are ways to keep your body healthy.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 2.5 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2021. Sexually transmitted diseases are common public health concerns, especially among millennials. More than 50 percent of STDs occur in people younger than 26.
Surprisingly, you don’t even have to have sexual intercourse to get an STD. As a matter of fact, some STDs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact. Here are some tips to help you bring up STDs with your partner.
First, read up on STDs to make sure you have the facts. Learning about STDs will help you avoid common myths and misconceptions that could derail your conversation. Learn more about reproductive health, preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and family planning. View valuable information from reliable websites like the CDC, World Health Organization, Planned Parenthood, or your local health department.
Choose the right setting
Pick the right place to talk about STDs. Also, be open to conversation with your partner about getting tested and discussing sexual health. Don’t bring up the conversation of safer sex in the middle of dinner at your favorite restaurant. Choose a quiet, calm setting where there will not be any interruptions. If possible, arrange a quiet and comfortable set-up at home. Be ready for any negative reaction and do not reciprocate. It is important to understand that not everyone will be immediately accepting or forgiving.
Pick the right time
The earlier that you have the talk in your relationship, the better. Raising the topic while you are getting intimate in bed is not a good idea. Likewise, this is not something that you want to wait to discuss until after the condom breaks — by then it’s way too late.
Initiate the conversation early. That way, you and your partner will have time to process the information. Then, make an appointment together for STD testing.
Honesty is an important factor in relationships. It is the building block for a healthy long term partnership. So, be honest about how many partners you have been with and your sexual health.
It is not advisable to keep secrets from your partner. It will only cause problems later. If you have had an STD in the past, tell your partner. Being honest about your own history can help your partner feel comfortable sharing things with you, as well.
Get tested together
Most STDs are curable. Treatment can help manage or minimize the symptoms of incurable STDs. Going to a health care facility, sexual health clinic, or urgent care clinic with your partner can help make the process a little easier. When a partner is supportive and encouraging about testing for HIV and STDs, it can help minimize stress and pressure.
Are you ready for your STD test?
Whether you’re coming in for your first STD test or you’ve been getting tested regularly for years, come to Nao Medical for the high-quality care and service you deserve. At our urgent care clinics, we provide comprehensive STD testing, prevention, and treatment. So schedule an appointment or visit a Nao Medical location near you today!