<

Error
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 16197



Getting a Sexual Health Check

— By 07 September 2015
4285 VIEWS

There are a lot of positives to having sex. It’s good exercise, reduces stress, improves your mood and it feels good. Obviously it’s not for everyone, but for those that like to dabble in some good old hanky panky from time to time, there are a lot of upsides!

That said, there are a few risks involved in having sex, so it’s always best to be safe. The obvious thing to do is to wear protection, such as condoms and dental dams, but even then you’re not totally risk free.

The solution? Get a sexual health check up! It can seem a bit daunting and scary, but it’s a habit that you need to get in to so read on as we answer some of the common questions associated with getting a sexual health check up! 

Where do i get a sexual health check?

Any GP or health clinic will have the necessary equipment to perform a sexual health test, however not all are created equal. 

There are some clinics that are well known for this sort of thing, with specially trained nurses and staff who can make the whole experience a lot less awkward. Some of the best ones are;

Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic

Family Planning Victoria’s Box Hill Clinic

Family Planning Victoria’s Action Centre Clinic

Don’t worry too much about confidentiality when visiting any of these clinics. Any medical professional that you see will respect your rights and keep things confidential. Even if it’s the same family doctor that you have been going to for years and was a guest at your mum’s last birthday, by law they are not allowed to tell anyone except you the results of your test. This can still be a little bit tricky if your parents pay the bill or you are still on their Medicare, so if this is an issue for you then raise it with the clinic and they will find a solution. 

WHat does it involve?

The test itself is actually not that bad. These days you can either do it yourself in the bathroom of the clinic or at home if you get a take-home-pack. If you’d rather, though, the nurse or doctor can assist you and walk you through the tests. 

Depending on what’s relevant, you will have to take a number of swabs, for example from your urethra, vagina, anus or throat. 

You’re probably going to have to pee into a little bottle and you may have to show any affected area to the nurse or doctor, but only if you feel comfortable to do so. 

You may also have to undergo a pap smear or have some blood taken, both of which can be a little uncomfortable. Just trust your nurse or doctor, let them know how you’re feeling and it will all be over quickly.

Now there’s just the waiting for the results to come back!

what happens if i have an sti?

Depending on the STI you have contracted, there are a number of different treatment options available. Generally you’ll go back to the clinic that performed your check-up and they will have a discussion with you about your options. 

The main thing to remember is to not freak out. Something like chlamydia or gonorrhoea, which can seem really scary, can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. 

Not all STI’s have a cure, such as HIV or genital warts, but most can be managed effectively in a number of different ways, so talk to the doctor and try and work out what’s best for you- and your partners.

do i have to tell my previous partners?

Yes. Well, kinda. 

Any person that you have been physically intimate with in the last 3 months needs to be notified in some way so that they can also get a sexual health check-up. You don’t have to do it personally. You can get someone else to do it, or you can even use an online service that allows you to anonymously send someone a message alerting them to the fact that they may have an STI. This can get a little bit tricky if you don’t have the contact details of the person, so just do the best you can. 

This isn’t have to turn into a blame game where you accuse people of knowingly giving you an STI. Not every person displays symptoms and some can remain dormant and undetected for a little while, so don’t make assumptions of someone’s knowledge. Just inform them that they should get a sexual health check and leave it at that. 

how often should i get checked?

In an ideal world, every time you have a new partner you should get a check-up, regardless of whether or not you used protection. Keep in mind, some tests need to be done up to 6 weeks later to ensure everything will show up. 

If you’re someone that sees new partners too regularly to get tested that often, or if you aren’t seeing new partners often at all, aim to get tested every 3 months. Using protection is good but doesn’t protect from every possible STI, so make sure you make the habit of getting regular check-ups and you’ll have peace of mind for days! 
 

That’s just about everything! Just remember, testing isn’t a substitute for staying safe- use condoms and make sure you’re being as careful as possible. 

Read 4285 times