When starting a new romantic relationship, you want to know everything - their favorite TV show, their go-to take-out order, and maybe even their idea of an ideal Sunday afternoon. But their approach to sexual health and STI testing? That’s generally not something people are as excited to ask about.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide. If left undiagnosed and untreated, infections can have a major impact on your and your sexual partner's health. So while starting the conversation about STI (or STD) testing might not always be simple, it’s crucial to incorporate the topic of sexual health into a relationship.
This is everything you need to know about talking to your new partner about sexual health and getting tested plus the partner treatment options available with LetsGetChecked.
- The Importance of Discussing STIs With Your Partner
- How to Talk to Your Partner About STI Testing
- How Partner Treatment With LetsGetChecked Works
The Importance of Discussing STIs With Your Partner
Prioritizing health: Regular testing helps identify and treat infections early, reducing the risk of long-term complications. Speaking with your partner about getting tested can help ensure you both regularly check in on your sexual health.
Building trust: You would be surprised how much closer you will feel after discussing a delicate topic such as your sexual history. Not only can it help build trust and intimacy, it will show that you care about your partner’s health and well-being.
Reducing stigma: There is no shame in caring about your sexual health and having the conversation with your partner normalizes that!
Safety first: Keep in mind that some infections such as HIV stay with a person for life, and require long-term management plans. Knowing your partner's STI status will give you both the opportunity to make smart decisions about protection, prevention, and contraception
Related Article: Are You Using Condoms Correctly? 6 Common Condom Mistakes
How to Talk to Your Partner About STI Testing
#1 Choose the right time and place: Before approaching the topic, make sure you are in a private space where you both will feel comfortable speaking openly about your sexual health without distractions - try not to discuss it directly before or after sex.
#2 Be honest and open: Begin the conversation by sharing what you are comfortable with about your own personal STI history, past or present sexual partners, and your approach towards STI testing. This should help your partner feel comfortable to do the same.
#3 Avoid negativity: Try to keep the conversation as non-judgemental as you can. The purpose of the conversation is to hear and discuss each other's experience so remember to be considerate.
#4 Learn together: Your partner might be less informed about STIs than you are, let them know that you would be happy to learn together. Check out some reliable resources that can help make the conversation less intimidating.
#5 Discuss Testing Frequency: Remember to discuss how often and when to get tested - this will depend on factors such as your age, gender, sexual orientation, and lifestyle. You can learn more here. Talk to a healthcare provider about what screening tests are recommended for you.
#6 Contraception and protection: Always practice safe sex to reduce the risk of contracting any infections. Discuss contraception methods such as male and female condoms that work for you both and your individual wants and needs.
#7 Follow through: Once you both agree to regular screening, make sure to follow through! If you or your partner are hesitant about getting tested at your local doctor’s office, you can both get tested together with LetsGetChecked’s range of STI testing options. If one of you tests positive, and you are suitable for treatment, depending on the infection, we may be able to offer treatment to your partner following a virtual consultation. Please note that there is a fee for virtual consultations.
Related article: How do You Check For STIs From Home?
How Partner Treatment With LetsGetChecked Works
If your results are positive and you’re suitable for treatment, depending on the infection we can also offer treatment for your partner(s). All they will need to do is start a virtual consultation with us at an additional cost, if they are also suitable for treatment, we can then send medication directly to their home or prescribe it to their local pharmacy.
Treatment options can be provided by the LetsGetChecked pharmacy for the following infections:
Speaking openly about STIs and STI screening is a crucial part of any new sexual relationship. If you and your partner would prefer to test together from the comfort of your home, you can do so with LetsGetChecked’s range of STI testing options. The process is simple:
- The kit is shipped directly to you by next-day delivery
- Activate your kit and answer health-related questions
- Collect your sample at a time that suits you
- Send your sample back to our laboratory using the pre-paid shipping label provided
- Your sample will be processed in an anonymous and timely manner
- Your results will be reviewed by a member of the clinical team and should you need any support services, they will be provided
- If your results are positive and you are suitable for treatment, we can also offer treatment for your partner at an additional cost following a virtual consultation
You should consider testing if:
- You become sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
- You are entering into a new sexual relationship
- You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected