There are more than 30 types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites known to cause STDs.
However, broaching the subject of STDs is a difficult task. Many people feel guilt and shame when faced with questions about STDs, even if they’re not to blame for getting infected.
Untreated STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, miscarriages, and an increased risk for certain types of cancer.
Since most STDs take years to cause symptoms, it’s important to get tested, especially if you’re entering a new relationship. It’s also important to convince your new partner to get tested.
Below, we asked our expert, Dr. John Macey, to share a few tips that will make the conversation a bit less uncomfortable.
1. Have a plan
Most conversations go haywire because the inquiring person doesn’t know what to say.
Therefore, before starting the conversation, write all of your questions on a piece of paper and focus only on the health aspect of the conversation. Talking without a plan may lead to a conversation where the other person feels attacked or shamed for having an STD.
Good questions include when was their last STD test, whether or not they plan to have intimate relationships with other partners while they’re in a relationship with you, and what contraceptive methods they use.
2. Pick a time when you’re both relaxed and in a good mood
It’s not a good idea to mention STDs when the atmosphere is tense. During this time, your partner may immediately assume you are judging their sexual past.
Instead, pick a time when you’re both relaxed and in a good mood. Some people may feel uncomfortable or defensive regardless, but they’re less likely to respond negatively if it comes from a place of care and understanding.
3. Don’t have any expectations
Begin the conversation without having any expectations for your partner, only for yourself. After all, if your partner is in good health, you’re safe, too. Mention your worries and the possibility of disease if both of you don’t get tested.
Some partners may not want to get tested. However, it’s better to know from the beginning what your partner is comfortable with, and then make an informed decision on whether you’d like to continue the relationship or not.
Learn more about STDs testing
If you’ve had a conversation about getting tested and have decided to go through with it, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Macey provides STD testing in Nashville, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas.