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For Teens: Get Checked for STDs

Remember: Any kind of sex puts you at risk of STDs. Look for signs of STDs on you and your partner. Get checked if you’re not sure. And if you do have an STD, get treated! Tell your partner so he or she can get checked, too.

Female doctor consulting with young girl.

Look for symptoms

Not all STDs have symptoms you can see. For example, chlamydia usually has no or only mild symptoms. But knowing common signs, such as irritation, feeling sore, and pain, will help. Pay attention to your body and your partner’s body. If either of you see or feel something that seems like a symptom, get checked.

Get checked

Getting checked is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD. You can get tested at a health clinic or healthcare provider’s office. Tests may include:

  • Physical exam

  • A sample (swab) of discharge from the penis, vagina, mouth, or rectum

  • Urine and blood tests

  • A sample of tissue, cell, or saliva

  • A pelvic (vaginal) exam, or rectal exam

Get treated

Many STDs can be cured or treated with medicine. Early treatment can help keep things from getting worse. Follow all your instructions for treatment. And remember to:

  • Avoid sex for as long as you’re told. Otherwise, you could infect someone else. 

  • Take all your medicines. And don’t share medicines with your partner unless you’re told to.

  • Go back to your healthcare provider or clinic if your symptoms don’t go away (or if they come back).

  • Get treated for each STD you have.

Talk to your partner

If you have an STD, tell your partner so he or she can get checked. It may be embarrassing. But if you don’t talk about it, your partner could end up having serious health problems. He or she could also pass the disease back to you or on to others. If you’re not sure what to say, ask your healthcare provider or nurse.

Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2017
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