Many of us avoid using condoms in steady relationships. Then we have a regular sexual partner, with whom we share an exclusive relationship, we either don’t care much about contraceptives, or prefer other methods. After all, it’s not like we have to protect ourselves from STSs, right? Not really!
Even when you have a steady partner, STDs are fairly common. Often women show symptoms of STDs that are asymptomatic in men. When you end up with a bad UTI, or Chlamydia, or HPV, or some such, the first instinct is that you got it from your partner. But most of us hesitate to broach the issue. We either ignore our symptoms or get treated without addressing the fact that perhaps our partner also needs to get tested.
But once you find out you’ve got one, it’s hard to know how t start handling it responsibly. If your health care clinic reveals you’ve contracted an STD, here are the first steps to take to make sure you’re keeping yourself and your partners safe.
See a doctor: Ask your doctor or another health care provider every question you can think. Don’t hold back – they’ve heard everything. Also, ask where you can look online if more questions come up. Do your best not to self-diagnose or fall down the Internet spiral, because there is a sea of misinformation, harmful and shaming and factually inaccurate information out there about STIs and treatment. So save yourself the trouble and stick to professional advice. If you feel like your doctor is judgmental, find another one or join an online forum for support.
Get treatment right away: If you don’t take care of STD right away, for instance, it could lead to major problems. So head to the drugstore ASAP once you have a prescription. Even if your symptoms go away, you still need to follow the treatment plan your healthcare provider prescribes strictly. The absence of symptoms does not mean the STD is gone. You should also do all the things you normally would take care of your body like sleeping, eating well, etc.
Tell your partner ASAP: You need to discuss this with your partner if you haven’t yet. Start with the facts and only the facts: your test came positive for STD, and there is a chance, or you are sure that it came from your partner. Just talk to your partner.
Practice safe sex: Hold off on having sex until you’ve talked to professional. After that, use condoms for sex. Talk to new partners before you sleep with them and figure out an arrangement you both agree on. There’s no single right way to handle this scenario – it just depends on what you’re not comfortable with.
Don’t assume Oral is okay: Some STDs can be passed on with oral sex. It’s less likely you’ll catch it when he doesn’t have an outbreak, but still possible. Before a guy forms an actual ulcer, he sheds virus and may infect you.
Ask him to get tested: When a guy tells you that he had an STD in the past, you won’t be sure that he now has a clean bill of health. The safest bet is to wait to get busy until you’re both successfully treated and re-evaluated.