Can I Get Checked for STDs Without My Parents Knowing?
Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is important if you’re going to have sex or have already had it. These infections spread from person to person during vaginal, oral, or anal sex; using fingers ("fingering"); or other sexual contact.
But sometimes you may feel like you can’t talk with your parents about getting checked. You still need to make your health a priority, though. Here are some tips about how to keep STD testing private.
How Can I Get Tested for STDs Privately?
Ask your doctor to talk only to you. In most states, once you’re 13, you can get tested and treated for STDs without a parent knowing. Many doctors will agree to treat patients this age and older confidentially. That means they won't tell parents or anyone else unless you say it's OK. So you can ask if your own doctor will do so.
Visit a health clinic. Sometimes you may not want your doctor to do STD testing. Instead, you can go to a health clinic like Planned Parenthood. The visit is private. Some schools also run health clinics, but ask first to make sure things will be kept between you and the doctor or nurse.
What Else Should I Know?
Just as being tested for STDs is important, so is preventing them. The only way to completely avoid getting STDs is to not have sex. If you do have sex, use condoms or other barrier methods like dental dams or finger condoms every time. Unprotected sex can lead to STDs and sometimes accidental pregnancy. Wherever you go for testing, you should also be able to get information on STD prevention and birth control.
If you'd like some support when you go to get checked, ask a trusted adult or friend to go with you.
Even if you’re not comfortable talking with your parents about STD testing, know that they can likely give you good advice on lots of other things.