It’s key to know your STD status when you’re trying to conceive. Many infections show no symptoms at all, yet you’re at risk of passing them on to your partner or even your soon-to-be baby. The most severe STDs can cause infertility if left untreated. A few simple tests now can save you a lot of heartache later.
Through your health insurance coverage, you’re eligible for the following counseling and screenings free of charge:
- Chlamydia infection screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
- Gonorrhea screening for all women at higher risk
- Sexually Transmitted Infection counseling for sexually active women
- Syphilis screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually active women
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing every 3 years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older
Why get tested?
As long as you’re sexually active, even if you’re sleeping with one person in a monogamous relationship, you should get tested. You aren’t using contraception anymore because you’re trying to conceive, which means you could be sharing both reproductive cells and–unfortunately–infections.
If left untreated, both chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility in 10-15% of affected women. Most people with these infections don’t ever realize they have them because there aren’t any symptoms.
Don’t worry too much if tests reveal that you do have an STD: almost all of them are easily cured or treated so their impact on your life is almost nonexistent. The stigma surrounding STDs is often worse than the symptoms. The best thing you can do for yourself (and your future family) is to know your STD status and gain control over it.