No one likes to go to the doctor for tests, especially for a sexually transmitted disease (STD). That definitely crosses over into the “none-of-your-business” and “this is super intimidating” territory.
You can always choose to do an STD test in the privacy of your own home, but at-home STD testing kits can be expensive. So is STD testing really necessary?
In a word, yes. Yes, yes, yes!
Women are less likely to get tested for STDs than men are, even though women are at greater risk for STDs because of their anatomy. And, in case you wondered, STDs don’t discriminate. They don’t care who you are, where you live, how old you are, what color your skin is, or if you’re not currently having sex. Even if you have never had vaginal sex, you can still get an STD.
Before you say, “That person didn’t look sick,” you should know that is normal. People with STDs look just like you, like your neighbor, your mom, dad, sister, best friend, and anyone else you can think of.
The near-invisibility of STDs contributes to its spread and less overall concern than if it caused a big rash across your face or stomach. It’s much easier to deny something you can’t see.
Keep reading to learn about why women put off STD testing and why STD testing really is necessary.
6 Reasons People Put Off STD Testing
If you have put off STD testing, you are not alone. Let’s look at six common reasons we hear from women about why they choose not to get it done. Can you relate to any of these?
1. You’re in denial
Thinking there is no way possible you could have an STD is only an option if you’ve never, ever had sex. If you have, then snap out of it. Denial is not your friend and can only lead to chronic pain and infertility problems down the road.
2. You have no symptoms
Saying you have no symptoms is great on the one hand because who wants any? But, on the other hand, it’s like the perfect way for STDs to lie to you — give you a disease but don’t tell you about it.
The thing is, it is possible (even probable) to have no symptoms and still have an STD. You can look and feel fine while nasty bacteria are doing untold damage. It’s better to know for sure and get treatment if you need it!
3. You are embarrassed
If you feel too embarrassed to get tested, we understand. But here is the truth: healthcare providers choose their profession to help you, not judge you. And so what if anyone judged you? Wise people get STD testing because staying healthy is more important than worrying about what anyone else might think.
4. You don’t think it’s important
STDs have become so common that their seriousness has gotten lost. An untreated STD can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause lifelong problems like chronic abdominal pain, increased cancer risk, and infertility — the CDC says at least 24,000 women with untreated STDs become infertile each year.
5. You don’t know what to do
We know things can become confusing. To make it easy for you, follow the CDC’s recommendation and get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. They are the most common, and we can offer you STD testing for these at Willow Womens Center.
6. It’s too expensive
Did you know that no-cost STD testing is available? You do not have to worry about not having health insurance or extra money on hand because STD testing is available to you at no charge.
Now that we’ve talked about common reasons people resist STD testing, we will discuss six reasons you need to have STD testing.
6 Reasons Why STD Testing Is Necessary
1. It is impossible to know if your partner has an STD by looking at them.
One of the most common STDs, chlamydia, is known as “the silent infection.” According to the CDC, only 10% of men with chlamydia have any symptoms. You cannot tell if your partner has an STD by looking at them.
As awkward as it is to talk about, some partners cheat. And that puts you at risk. Many women have contracted an STD while they thought they were in a monogamous relationship.
2. You can preserve your reproductive health.
As we have discussed, an untreated STD can lead to severe problems with your reproductive health. Getting STDs diagnosed and treated early gives you a chance to protect your reproductive health.
3. You can protect other people.
1 in 5 people has an STD, and there are more than 26 million cases documented each year. This does not include those who are not diagnosed.
If you have an STI with no symptoms and have sexual contact with someone else, their health is at risk. Remember that you can have an STD if you have had sexual contact with someone, even if you have never had vaginal sex. Do your part to protect yourself and others.
4. You will put your mind at ease.
Why wonder if you have an STD? Testing is quick and easy with a painless urine sample. You deserve the peace of mind of knowing for sure.
5. You can be treated.
Did you know that most STDs are treatable with a straightforward course of antibiotics? It can be that easy to prevent lifelong consequences from an untreated STD.
6. You are worth it.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, you are worth it. You are worth protecting! So get your STD test as soon as you can!
Get Your No-Cost STD Testing
Yes, STD testing really is necessary, but we’ve got you covered and provide the testing for you confidentially and at no cost. We are committed to making sure women facing an unexpected pregnancy have access to all of the information and resources they need.