I’m Married. Should I Still Get Tested for STDs?
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There’s an unfortunate myth that the only people who get sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are promiscuous. That simply isn’t true. STDs don’t pick their carriers based on virtues. People in monogamous and married relationships can test positive as well. STDs affect everyone.
They can be transmitted in various ways beyond unprotected sex with risky partners. It is possible that you or your partner was infected before your relationship, or that one of you has been unfaithful.
The Silent-Symptom STD
The only way to truly know your status is through regular testing for diseases and infections. Certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may take months to show symptoms. Other STIs may never show symptoms at all. Leaving the possibility of infection up to chance means that if you are positive, the infection is left untreated. This makes it more likely that the STI will spread without your knowledge, even when you are in a new relationship. Untreated infections can lead to serious complications, such as certain cancers and infertility.
Often, STDs can be treated with a simple antibiotic or prescription. With myLAB Box, those who test positive in qualifying states will have access to a telemedicine call with a physician and can be prescribed their medication right then and there.
Regular Testing is The Best Defense
It doesn’t matter how chaste you and your partner were before marriage or your relationship. Any intimate activity, even kissing or oral sex, can expose you to an infection. It takes just a single encounter to pass an STD. And while condoms can decrease your level of risk, they are not 100 percent effective.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 50 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 44 have never been tested for anything except HIV. This means that many people get tested for HIV (often only once) and then treat this as a perpetual clean bill of health. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is important and necessary to get treated for a full spectrum of possible infections. Entering into a new partnership when you have not been tested thoroughly can cause the spread of that undiagnosed STD to your new partner.
How you get tested can be as critical as what you get tested for. For example, STDs affecting your throat or anus may not present in a genital test. Extragenital testing is the only way to spot certain localized infections and stay truly safe. Otherwise, these infections can go undiagnosed as well, even if you get a genital test.
In a Monogamous Relationship? Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
Many people go through life wrongly assuming they are safe from STDs simply because they are in a monogamous relationship. This is a situation that we hear from a lot of our customers and on our social media accounts. Unfortunately, this is also a myth. To be fair, living monogamously will make you safer, but you still need to be regularly tested.
Here’s an uncomfortable statistic: a study from “Truth About Deception” recently estimated that 30 to 60 percent of married individuals will engage in some form of extramarital sex.
In a perfect world, sure, we would all live happily ever after. Unfortunately, we live in a world of frequent infidelity, so we can never be too careful. With dating sites at our fingertips, every adult must remain proactive and monitor their own sexual health with the same commitment as they do with their body hygiene.
The goal here isn’t to spread doom and gloom. Testing is about taking care of your body. We don’t stop showering when we get married, so we should not stop testing either…
Beyond peace of mind, getting tested regularly will guarantee a healthy sex life for both members of the couple. Testing together, from the comfort of home, is the best practice for a safe, happy marriage. It can be fun and sexy!
Don’t wait. Get tested with your partner.
Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA
- Acute Hepatitis C in a Contemporary US Cohort: Modes of Acquisition and Factors Influencing Viral Clearance. Journal of Infectious Diseases. November 2007. .
- A Prospective Study of New Infections with Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2. New England Journal of Medicine. 1999. .
- Prevalence of pharyngeal and rectal Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections among men who have sex with men in Germany. Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2014. .
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