We get it; talking about sex and getting your sexual health checked can be awkward, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
In today’s day and age, we need to put sex in a positive light. It’s happening; why not let it happen safely and enjoyably?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or, as they used to be known, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are prevalent and are nothing to be ashamed about.
With many STIs not having notable symptoms, a lot likely go undiagnosed, so getting an accurate figure on the amount of STIs in the UK is hard, but it is high. You must get a sexual health check-up. If you’re in London, check out one of the top sexual health clinics in London.
Why should I get tested?
As mentioned above, many STIs have either no or non-specific symptoms. This means they can often go unnoticed. There also is an underlying stigma that some people feel about sexual health, which discourages them from getting tested.
Any STIs can have long-term effects on your health if left untreated, from cancer to infertility. The only way to know if you have an STI is to get tested.
Apart from the fact that anyone sexually active is at risk of contracting an STI, here are some reasons to get tested:
- If you’re sexually active and have never had a sexual health test
- If you have never had unprotected sex or had something go a little wrong, such as a burst condom.
- If you’re showing any symptoms of an STI
- If you feel something isn’t right (never ignore your instinct!)
What are the symptoms of an STI?
The symptoms of an STI could include (but aren’t limited to):
- Pain when urinating or ejaculating
- Discharge from penis or vagina
- Pain during sex
- Blisters or sores on genitals
- Bleeding during or after sex
Various conditions could cause these symptoms, so if you have them and a check comes back clear, please make sure you follow up with your GP.
However, you must visit a sexual health clinic if you show any of these symptoms as soon as possible.
And remember, not all STIs have symptoms, so ensure you have a check-up if you are sexually active.
Other reasons I should consider getting tested.
While having symptoms of an STI should be an immediate red flag to visit a sexual health clinic and have a sexual health check-up, there are several other reasons you may want to get tested.
If you’ve entered a new relationship, it’s straightforward to get caught up in the excitement and decide to forego the condoms. While we advise that you keep using condoms until necessary if you want to skip the protection, ensure you get tested for your health and that of your partner.
Are you starting a family? It’s essential to ensure you get tested beforehand, as you will naturally have to stop using contraceptives, including condoms. This puts you and your partner at a higher risk of contracting an STI.
Do the responsible thing and get tested before you start trying for a family.
My partner or ex-partner has contacted me about an STI
When you’ve tested positive for an STI, the responsible thing is to contact your previous sexual partners. If your partner or a previous partner gets in contact to inform you that they have an STI, this isn’t necessarily a reason to worry.
It is a reason to get tested, especially before having even more sex. However, having sex with a person who has an STI doesn’t automatically mean that you’re infected. Make an appointment for a sexual health check-up and put your mind at rest.
Where do I get tested?
The good news is that there are many places to get sexual health check-ups, so you have several options.
Sexual health checks can be done at:
- Private Sexual Health Clinics, such as the London-based Harley Street Health Centre
- Your Doctor’s Clinic
- Some Student Health Clinics (For Students Only)
- Youth Health Clinics
- Sexual Health Services Clinics
- Family Planning Clinics
So, there you have it. There is no reason, or excuse, to not get your sexual health check-up as soon as possible.
If you are looking for a sexual health clinic, check out Harley Street Health Centre to make your online booking!