I recently had a discussion with someone about the need for an STI check-up (Sexually Transmitted Infection). The debate centered on the need for a "down there" talk and test with your doctor after each new intimate partner, especially when engaged with multiple partners. I was asked if it was okay to gauge one's sexual health by the negative test of a partner's STI exam. The logic being "if she was tested and is clear, I must be, too."
1. Lab results occasionally misread. They are not a specific science and are based off of blood, saliva and urine samples taken from your doctor. Better to have the peace of mind that both of you are negative than assume all is good.
2. Some infections, such as Chlamydia, can take months until a warning sign appears after being infected and by then it could have spread across the body.
3. Assuming that your new partner's word-of-mouth is accurate leads you vulnerable. What if they assumed a previous partner's word-of-mouth assurance of an STI free check-up and used this as a basis for being STI free? Now you both may be in danger....Hmmm. Things to ponder.
Never stop enjoying each other and sharing life's passion with those that intrigue and fascinate you. But please be safe about this. Safety (using protection, getting your annual Pap and STI tests) ensures that you have many more years of adventurous fun to come!
For more information on which annual checks are necessary for certain people, check out this link from the Mayo Clinic.
Stephanie P. Bathurst, MA, LCMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist