The 5 Best Home STD Tests in 2022
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2 recommends that sexually active women be tested at least once a year for gonorrhea and chlymedia, while gay and bisexual men get tested for these two as well as syphilis. The CDC offers no official recommendations for straight men, which is frankly disappointing.
Over time, most medical professionals believe these recommendations to be ineffective. “It should go without saying, but men can get STIs and pass them on to their sexual partners, regardless of gender,” says Felice Gersh, MD, author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline to Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones, and Happiness.
So what is the best rule of thumb? Before each new sexual partner, according to Erin Flinn, NP and healthcare expert at Favor. “Patients should get tested for STIs – either in a clinic or using a home test— before having sex with a new partner and asking them to do the same,” she says.
People should get tested more frequently than that if they start experiencing unusual symptoms. Although the majority (almost 70%) of STIs are asymptomatic, people sometimes experience symptoms of STIs, such as pain when urinating, discomfort during intercourse, itching, lumps and bumps, blisters or unusual sores and discharge. If you have any of these symptoms or any other genital, anal, or throat abnormalities, you should get tested for any STIs.
Without treatment, some STIs can have serious consequences such as neurological disorders, infertility, scarring, etc., says Rymland. And of course, without treatment, there’s also the risk of passing the infection on to your other sexual partners, she says.