Getting an STD is never something someone wants to have happen. But that doesn’t mean it’s shameful either. Sometimes things just happen even if you do everything right. The question you might be asking yourself is if it’s possible to have an STD without symptoms.
Researching STDs online often leaves you with a list of things to look out for. Certainly if you notice the red flags you read about you should definitely talk to your doctor. But do you need to disclose unprotected sex with a new partner if you don’t have symptoms? Let’s talk about it.
Can You Have An STD Without Symptoms?
The truth here is that it’s definitely possible to have an STD without symptoms. Sometimes there are no sores, itching, or pain with urination. There’s also a chance you mistake mild symptoms for something else, like a basic yeast infection.
Not all STD occurances have symptoms. This is why it’s important to get tested regularly if you are sexually active. It’s especially important to get tested after having unprotected sex with a new partner, or before having sex with someone new when possible.
Testing is the only way you’ll know you’re STD free. Relying on the absence of symptoms alone is just not a great idea. While symptoms may occur sometimes, they don’t occur every time. Talk to your doctor and get tested just to be safe. It’s better than staying in the dark.
Related: 3 Signs Of An STD You Shouldn’t Ignore
How Often Does Someone Have An STD Without Symptoms?
It’s not a regular occurence but it happens often enough to bring up concerns with your doctor. Even if you think you don’t have symptoms you may be experiencing a symptom without realizing that’s what it is. Anytime you have a new partner, it’s a good idea to use condoms until you know you’re both clean.
If you have a one night stand and don’t use protection, it’s time to get tested. You likely will be okay if you don’t have symptoms but again, it’s not a sure thing. Get tested and make sure you’re okay. Untreated STDs can cause other health problems, even if you don’t have symptoms.
What Should I Do If I’m Worried About Having An STD?
If you’re worried about having an STD it’s time to talk to your doctor. You need to get tested as soon as possible. The sooner you’re treated the better. If you don’t have a regular doctor you can look for a clinic in your area. Places like Planned Parenthood often offer free or low cost STD testing quickly and discretely.
Not all STDs have symptoms. It’s entirely possible to have an infection and not know it. The key is to get tested whenever you’ve engaged in high risk behavior. Treatment for most STDs is pretty painless and it’s better to get treatment sooner than later. Don’t feel ashamed. You’re taking care of your sexual health and that’s always a good thing.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.