How Can I Find Out If My Boyfriend Has an STD Before We Have Sex?
My boyfriend has already had sex, oral sex, and mutual masturbation with multiple
partners. I think we're ready to have sex, but I'm nervous that I will get pregnant
or get an STD. How can I prevent these and get over my self-consciousness? Also how
can I tell if he has an STD without asking him? – Sophie*
You're right to consider these possibilities. Having sex is a huge decision, and
an STD or unplanned pregnancy can change your life.
Condoms are the best way to prevent pregnancy and STDs, so be sure to use a condom
every time you have sex (including oral or anal sex). Like most things in life, though,
condoms aren't 100% guaranteed. That's why you need to talk to your boyfriend
about your concerns before you have sex.
Your boyfriend has been honest about his past sexual partners, and that's a sign
he'll be open to talking about STDs. Try to work up the courage to talk. You can start
by asking your boyfriend if he's ever worried about STDs and if he's been tested.
Lots of people have this conversation with their partners. Still, it's normal
to be nervous when you first start talking. If your boyfriend cares, he'll want to
help you feel comfortable in your relationship. Sex is about sharing as a couple,
not one person's pleasure. Most people admire partners who respect themselves enough
to protect their own health, even if it means asking tough questions.
There's no way to tell by looking if a person has an STD — even people who
have STDs sometimes don't know it. If you've had sex before, you and your boyfriend
can get tested together at a local health clinic like Planned Parenthood. Or you
can offer to go with your boyfriend for support if he wants. While you're there,
ask for advice on birth control, since there's still a chance you can get pregnant
even while using condoms.
Testing is easy and usually inexpensive (some states even have free testing programs).
Testing for the most common STDs can now be done with just a urine sample. There's
one thing to bear in mind when getting tested, though: Although tests check for STDs
that carry the most serious health risks, not all tests check for every STD. So keep
using condoms every time you have sex. People should also get checked anytime they
have a new partner.