Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as you know, are very common. Many young men and women tested for STDs test positive, often showing no signs or symptoms.
Talking to your partner about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be rather uncomfortable or embarrassing. We understand that the discomfort associated with discussing STDs often prevents people from having open and honest discussions. It often prompts avoidance of testing and treatment which may cause negative effects in someone’s health and life.
SelfCollect is here to give you tips on how to go about getting tested and what to say to your partner about STDs.
Getting tested is the first step to knowing if you have an STD. While you may not be able to fully prevent STDs, you should use protection (whether it be dental dams or condoms) to help avoid contracting anything. Whether you have one partner or multiple partners, it is recommended to get tested every few months. If you are uncomfortable seeking medical advice, consider ordering a kit and testing yourself in the privacy and convenience of your home.
No matter if your tests come back positive or negative, you want to be certain that you continue to be tested regularly. It is smart to be tested before beginning any new relationship to be certain you are safe to have sex. However, even if your results come back negative, you should still talk about STDs with your partner.
Talk to Your Partner Prior to Sexual Intercourse
Before speaking with your partner, you want to get the facts about any STDs you may have yourself. You want to perform research and speak with your doctor about the facts to be sure you are confident before beginning the conversation. Remind yourself to stay calm and that this is simply a health issue, not a judgement issue.
Before having sexual contact, discuss the possibilities of STDs. If you have herpes, you’ll want to be honest, and ask the same of your partner, and talk about it before engaging in sex. No matter where your relationship stands - casual, serious, or a one-night stand - you want to have an open and honest conversation to take precautions.
Prepare to Talk
You want to think of a place where you are comfortable to talk about STDs with your partner. This can be either of your homes, a cafe, or a park - whatever you prefer. Be sure that you pick somewhere you feel safe and confident. Pick a place and time that will allow you both to be relaxed and not be interrupted.
Once you have picked the place and time begin to practice what you are going to say. Practicing can help you to be less nervous about discussing sexually transmitted diseases. Whether you want to practice with a friend or in the mirror this will help you to stay calm. Also consider setting a check in time with a friend or family member after having the discussion - again always practice safety! If you are unsure how your partner will react speak with a friend on whether the best way to have this talk is in person or over the phone. If you do not feel 100% confident in your safety of this discussion also consider having a friend sit nearby in a public setting.
Begin the Discussion
Start off by telling your partner that you care about them, their health, and their safety along with yours. You can also ask them the last time they were tested and their sexual history and be honest about yours. If neither of these seem good to you and you just want to “rip the band-aid off”, tell them you have an STD and ask if they have any STDs or have any symptoms that might be related to an STD.
Of course it is embarrassing to talk about STDs at first, but once it is out on the table you will feel better. Not only will you feel better, but you most likely have opened communication that much more between you and your partner!
In the End Be Proud of Yourself
We know just how scary it can be to be honest and open in a relationship with a new partner or one you’ve been seeing for a while. Now is the time to pat yourself on the back! Discussing STDs is not an easy feat and you did it. No matter the way your partner reacts this is a difficult conversation and you deserve to be proud of yourself!
If you are experiencing symptoms or haven’t been tested in awhile, order a kit from SelfCollect today! We have kits covering a wide range of STDs for both males and females. We ensure complete privacy and security both when you send in your samples and receive your results. So don’t be afraid. Be smart. Get tested!