According to the CDC, nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur each year in the United States alone. Half of whom are teenagers or young adults between 15-24. Millions of people have STIs and many struggle with how to talk about them with their partners.
If you need help dealing with an STI, Dr. Staci McHale at New Beginnings OB-GYN can help with testing and care.
Here are some things to consider when talking about this delicate issue:
There's a lot of stigma around getting an STI, despite it being so common. People are judged for being infected and even considered immoral. These negative opinions make talking about STIs difficult.
The truth is, many STIs, like HIV and herpes, are treatable. Other STIs can exist for a while without showing any symptoms, so people may not even realize they have them.
An STI is a health issue, not a statement about a person’s ethics or character.
Before starting any conversation, people should see a physician and research the many sexually transmitted infections. There are a lot of misconceptions about STIs and it’s easy to get the facts wrong. It's important to get all the available information about STIs and treatment options before discussing it with your partner.
The setting is very important in trying to deal with such a delicate issue. You want to be able to sit down and discuss the topic in an effective way. Make sure you have the time and are in a private setting so you and your partner can have a thoughtful conversation.
It might be a good idea to rehearse what you want to say beforehand, so you feel more comfortable. Remember to remain calm. This will help keep the atmosphere understanding and assuring.
Practicing safe sex will help prevent passing STIs. That said, STIs don't always have symptoms. You could have one without realizing it. If you want to be safe, get tested regularly.
It's not easy to talk about STIs, but it's an important topic if you and your partner are sexually active (or plan to be). It’s normal to be anxious when talking about such a serious issue, but the more you talk, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
If you need treatment for an STI or want more information about sexually transmitted infections, make an appointment with Dr. McHale at New Beginnings OB-GYN today.