Do You Have to See a Doctor to Find Out if You Have an STD?
A guy I had sex with a few weeks ago is telling me that he thinks he got an
STD from me. A while ago, I had unprotected sex with someone, and I don't know
if that person has an STD or not. How can I know if I have an STD without getting
checked by a doctor? Or is that the only way to find out? – TJ*
The only way to be sure about whether or not you have an STD is to get
tested and examined at a doctor's office or health clinic.
Many STDs don't have obvious
symptoms. Lots of people don't even know they have an STD until their doctor discovers
it. Even a bump that looks like an ingrown hair could be something more.
When you go for your exam, tell the doctor or
that you had unprotected sex in the past. (Don't worry about how he or
she will react — medical professionals are trained to help people, not judge them.)
The doctor or nurse practitioner can check you for any STDs with a simple exam and
a blood test or urine test.
If it turns out that you do have an STD, the doctor or clinic can start treating
you. It is really important to treat STDs as early as possible so that you stay healthy
and don't have any complications.
Because many STDs don't have symptoms, you won't be able to "see" that
someone else has an STD either. That's why the best way to protect yourself and anyone
you sleep with is to use a condom.
And if you're having sex, get regular checkups and STD screenings.