Regular STI Check-ups- 3 reasons you still need it even if you play it safe

Regular STI Check-ups are still very necessary irrespective of the fact that one engages in safe sexual practices. Stephanie Nyong, The Health Teacher explains three reasons why you still get checked even if you play by the rules. Prevention still remains better and cheaper than cure!

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STI testing? I don’t need it. I’m always protected and by the way we are faithful to each other. I cant have an STI. These are responses we get all the time when we advise on the need for regular sexual health checks but I’ll tell you 3 reasons why you should still get checked even if you feel this same way. 

  1. Condoms do not protect against all STD’s : Many times we intentionally refuse to get tested because we have this impression at the back of our minds that we are fully protected because we go by the rules. Great! Do you know there are certain sexually transmitted infections condoms do not protect against. Yes you heard me right. Condoms are 98% effective in preventing certain STI’s like HIV, Hepatitis & Gonorrhea. However, infections spread through skin to skin contact cannot be prevented with the use of condoms because these infectious pathogens can be found on areas other then the genitals, around the genitals. Examples are Herpes, Syphillis, HPV, with different strains, some responsible for genital warts and even cervical cancers

Do you also know some STIs can be transmitted through means other than sexual contact. It could be through blood and blood products. 

So, where does this leave you? If you are sexually active, you should get tested regularly even if you practice safe sex.  Quit procrastinating. Get checked! Prevention remains not just better than but cheaper than cure

2. You may be faithful to an unfaithful partner: I also find it quite impressive when partners visit the clinic to get tested at the beginning of a relationship. That’s good but it shouldn’t just be one off. It should be done routinely and that because a lot of things may change as time passes. 

No one ever wants to find themselves in such a situation but this is the sad reality. And because many people are faithful to their partners, they just assume their partners should be too. There’s a reason why it is said these diseases can be prevented if one is “ being faithful to a faithful partner” Now, how do you know if your partner is faithful?” Were you expecting me to answer the question lol…I definitely don’t have the answer to that question. 

If you suspect it, it may be happening. You should speak about it..Nicely but most importantly,Get tested and if tested positive, make sure your partner gets treated as well. So you don’t have to keep getting infected. Your health should be your priority!

3. Many STI’s are asymptomatic (They do not show signs early): If you still think “what you dont know wont kill you”, I’ll tell you why you should have a rethink. We see these very sad stories of people dying from health issues that could have been prevented and we go “aww how sad!” many of these infections do not show any signs at its early stages and infections left untreated can lead to serious complications years down the line. and its the same mistake we make when we run away from check ups

Guess what! 

A Regular breast examination or routine test could have helped that lady discover abnormalities in her breasts early enough when it could still be taken care of. 

A routine cervical screening could have helped the other lady in detecting a HPV infection on the cervix early enough to prevent cervical cancer. 

How about a lady who could have had a proper test to know the real cause of an infection rather than go to get medicines on her own that wouldn’t help but cause it to get worse which could lead to complications years down the line. 

Your health is your asset and no one else but you has the responsibility to take care of it. Prevention is better than cure? 

Join us in our monthly and quarterly clinics in Abuja and Lagos where women of all ages come together to learn through our educative and interactive sessions on several health topics. You also get the opportunity to get tested, treated and even vaccinated to stay protected.

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Stephanie Nyong
About Stephanie Nyong 68 Articles
Stephanie O. Nyong is a seasoned health educator and content strategist at Health Platforms International where she empowers individuals especially women and girls with knowledge and skills to prevent and manage a number of health conditions. She is the founder of BE-ME Africa, a Breast Examination and Menstrual Education project for young girls. Stephanie also organises pop-up clinics regularly to provide affordable quality healthcare services to a target population. She is admired in the industry and has the capacity to deliver on the current demand for health literacy for improved health outcomes in Nigeria. You can connect with her across all social media handles @stephanie_nyong

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