Whether you just started a new relationship or are single and casually dating, getting tested regularly for STDs needs to be a part of your dating routine. This is because, when left untreated, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to serious health complications, such as infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and organ damage. Here are the top three STD tests every thirty-something should be getting.
Chlamydia is a common and treatable STD. Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the infection. Pregnant women can also transmit chlamydia to their children. While chlamydia rarely causes symptoms, it can cause long-term health complications in women when left untreated.
People with chlamydia are often asymptomatic. In addition, a person who is symptomatic might not experience symptoms until weeks after their initial infection. Because of this, testing may be the only way to know if you have chlamydia.
If left untested and untreated, chlamydia can cause dangerous health issues, especially in women. Women with untreated chlamydia can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Symptoms of PID include the development of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, infertility, abdominal pain, and ectopic pregnancies.
Gonorrhea is an STD that affects the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is spread through sexual contact with a person who has gonorrhea. Pregnant women can also transmit the infection to their children through childbirth. While gonorrhea is common, it can cause serious health issues if left untreated. In addition, you can get gonorrhea more than once.
Most men and women with gonorrhea are asymptomatic. If women experience symptoms, they are often similar to and mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. Symptoms can include increased vaginal discharge, spotting, or a burning sensation when peeing.
Many people with gonorrhea do not experience symptoms. Therefore, getting an STD test may be the only way to determine if you have gonorrhea.
If left untested and untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious health complications in women. Untreated gonorrhea in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Symptoms of PID include the development of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes, infertility, abdominal pain, and ectopic pregnancies.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. It causes round, painless sores to develop on the body, commonly around the mouth and genitals. It is curable and initial symptoms typically resolve on their own. However, treatment is necessary to prevent syphilis from progressing to its advanced stages, which can cause long-term health complications.
Syphilis is most commonly spread by contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, oral, and anal sex. However, it can also be spread through casual contact with contaminated objects like hot tubs, bathtubs, swimming pools, shared clothes, and shared utensils. Pregnant women with syphilis can give the infection to their children through childbirth.
Since syphilis sores are painless and go away on their own, you might not notice them. However, this does not mean someone is free of syphilis. It can stay present in the body for years, and you need treatment to stop it from progressing. If syphilis is left untreated, it can progress to its advanced stages and cause health complications, including organ damage and even death. The only way to know if you have syphilis is by getting tested.
Now that you know which STD tests every thirty-something should be getting, you might be wondering how often testing is necessary. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that sexually active people who are 25 years or older should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Anyone who is pregnant should receive syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia testing early in pregnancy. In some cases, testing multiple times throughout pregnancy may be necessary.
- Women who have new or multiple sexual partners should receive gonorrhea and chlamydia testing at least once per year.
- Anyone who has a sexual partner with an STD should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea each year.
- Men who have sex with men should be tested for chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea once per year. Those with multiple partners should be tested every three to six months.
Getting tested for STDs is essential for safe sex. It allows you to treat STDs early on and prevent long-term health complications.