How Often Should I Get Tested for STIs?

April 26, 2016

Unfortunately, STIs have a negative connotation when they shouldn’t. Realistically, we should all be more knowledgeable about STIs, their prevalence, and how they affect us. Regardless of your sexual activity, how often should you really get tested for STIs?

What Is an STI?

STI stands for Sexual Transmitted Infections, formerly known as STDs, but later changed because infection is a more accurate term. Someone may contract an STI through sexual contact, and it is caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.

STI Testing: What’s Right for Me?

STIs are actually very common. To be safe, it’s recommended to get tested once a year, even if you are practicing safe sex and using protection. It should be noted that not every time you go to the doctor, you will get an STI test. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns about STI testing.

Here are some guidelines for specific STI Testing:

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

– You’re 25 or under and sexually active.

– You’re older than 25 and are at risk for STIs, which may include new or multiple partners.

– You have HIV.

This type of testing is usually done through a urine test or through a swab. It is then taken to a lab to be analyzed.

HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis

It is recommended that you get tested for these infections annually. They are not as prevalent, but if you think you are at risk or have had previous STIs then consult your doctor and arm yourself with knowledge.

Genital Herpes

While there are generally not any concrete tests that can be done to detect genital herpes, a blood test may be able to help detect a herpes outbreak, but the results are not always conclusive. There are two strands to herpes, Type 1, which typically causes cold sores, but may also cause genital herpes, and Type 2 which is the strand that typically causes genital sores.


Certain types of HPV can cause cervical cancer while other types of the virus can cause genital warts. Actually, most sexually active people become diagnosed with HPV at some point in their lives, while never developing symptoms. The virus typically leaves your body within two years.

Women may be tested for HPV through a Pap test or an HPV test. You should get HPV tested every few years if you have had abnormal pap tests in the past.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for Answers

The dedicated staff at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch is passionate about bringing all of our patients peace of mind. If you or a loved one has any questions about STIs, what they are and how to treat them, please contact us today.