Talking about STD testing with your partner – 4 Tips to make the process a lot more easier

Truth be told, having this conversation can be really difficult but what if your approach could make it easier and give you the results you need, that is having your partner subscribe to you both being tested for STD’s in order to have a safe and healthy relationship.

This article outlines below 4 very helpful tips that will make this process a walk in the park for you.

1.Bring it up at the right time: “Is this the right time to bring up this topic?” If this never crosses your mind, then you must be among the very few people who are totally gifted when it comes to rating their communication skills. While this question is highly unavoidable, bringing up such conversations at the right time is key in ensuring a smooth flow and for many, it will never ever seem like the right time.

So, lets get straight to it…. When is the right time?

I’ll say make sure this conversation never comes up just before or during the act when hormones are already heated up, in a romantic getaway or even at a surprise dinner put together by one partner (and other very romantic gestures that can come from a partner who cares). You may end up ruining everything.

This is a conversation that should been brought up at the early stages of any relationship before the start of any sexual activity between partners. Many couples at different times have visited clinics at the beginning of a sexual relationship to get tested, just to be sure they are both safe. It’s okay to have these tests conducted and the beginning but its also very important to have them done routinely- a lot of things change down the line and some STD’s can be transmitted in ways other than sexual activity.

It can also be brought up at times when you feel your partner may have been unfaithful. I know we definitely never want to think that a partner may have been unfaithful but if you ever feel this way then it’s only proper that you speak about it… of course not coming from the angle of accusation but a simple honest conversation. Try to be as nice as possible.

2. Free yourself of negative emotions: I’ll like you to know it’s absolutely normal to feel weird when thinking about bringing up conversations like this. Most times your thoughts will go this way; “ Wouldn’t this make him/her feel like I think they are unfaithful?, Wouldn’t he/she think I don’t trust him/her?” …… and the thoughts, which all can’t be stated in this article goes on and on.

Research has shown that while a couple may visit the clinic to get tested for STD’s, women are mostly likely to suggest it which is okay. So, if you are a lady reading this , its not wrong to suggest that you and your partner need to get tested for STD’s. The feeling of being at peace with yourself knowing that you and your partner are both free of STD’s will always be better than that of not knowing.

3. Be sincere and hit on why its important to you: Let your partner know how you feel. More importantly, let them know you know exactly how they may feel as a result of you bringing up this conversation and assure them that isn’t the case. Tell them why you need this to be done before you both engage in any form of sexual activity. Feel free to tell your partner when last you were tested and what the result was. Have you treated an STD before? You may also want to tell your partner so they understand where exactly you are coming from. You can even show a copy of recent test results to encourage your partner.

4. Be prepared: You have to be prepared majorly for two different ways this conversation could go. The first will be being prepared to answer every single question your partner will have. If you want to convince your partner to get tested for STD’s , then its only fair that you have ready answers to every single question he/she may have for you. One very common response you will get will be; “but I’m clean. You don’t have anything to worry about.” What then will you do in cases like this? You need to be prepared!  I’ll be happy to give you the perfect response for free:

“Many people who haven’t been tested always think they are free of STD’S. This is because many times these set of infections show no symptoms until or cause complications. Guess what! This is exactly the same reason why these set of infections are no longer referred to by many as STD’s but STI’s. You can’t know when you haven’t been tested. And the earlier you know the better, as infections treated early enough have much better outcomes.” You can also learn more about prevention of STD’s on this website or join in any of our monthly clinics to get educated, tested and vaccinated.

The first aspect which I’ve explained above will be coming from a partner who is absolutely concerned about your welfare and your feelings too.

The second aspect you need to be prepared for is a partner who may find this annoying, insulting etc. and will tell you he/she isn’t interested and not willing to take the test. A partner who outrightly ignores your concerns and feelings may not have been right for you in the first place which means you may need to have a rethink. Mind you such a partner may actually have something to hide. STD testing isn’t much of a big deal anymore. Nowadays, you even have testing kits that can be used at home. There are also treatment and management options for those that can’t be entirely cured.

For example, HIV patients live very healthy now- so healthy that you wouldn’t even have the slightest idea when you come in contact with one. These patients wouldn’t be healthy if they never had a test done at its early stages. Many people  fear this disease including the idea of testing so much that they do not realize that there are other diseases which could be worse. Hepatitis, a viral liver disease which can be sexually transmitted also doesn’t show any symptoms at its early stages.

Not just that, there is also cervical cancer, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Human Paillomavirus which also doesn’t show any signs at the beginning until its late stages though some women reported experiencing these 6 signs.

The importance of talking about STD testing with a partner cannot be over emphasized. You do not have to be embarrassed or sorry about it. It’s your health and your body. You owe yourself that much.

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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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