Screening Guidelines

July 12, 2018

You always visit a gynecologist or other physicians for your annual checkup. You, therefore, assume that you would know if you were positive for an STD. The matter is… there’s a fantastic chance you are mistaken.  Many, if not most, private doctors do not automatically screen for sexually transmitted diseases. They may check if you specifically ask them. However, they likely won’t if you have not made the petition.

Thus, the next time you go in for your yearly trip, ask your doctor if they’ve been, or are, screening you for STDs. Then, if they say yes, then ask what STDs they are planning on screening you for.

Even physicians who examine their patients frequently, don’t necessarily test for all common STDs. There are good reasons not to test for genital herpes and HPV in individuals who don’t have signs, But there are issues too. For one, not testing for these STDs can give some people a false sense of safety. Therefore, it is important to know precisely what diseases you’ve got and haven’t been tested for. In reality, it’s just as important as knowing the last time you were tested.

What should you be analyzed for and how? To some extent, std screening depends on your individual risk factors. Still, some general guidelines are below:

I. There are lots of STDs your doctor should check you for annually . These will also be STDs it’s good to be analyzed for before beginning a new sexual relationship:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV (this signifies a shift in CDC guidelines, which recommend universal testing)

II. There are also STDs you should be tested for frequently, but not annual.

  • III. There are STDs for which testing isn’t generally recommended unless you understand you have been subjected to them. You should also be tested for all these STDs in case you have symptoms:

    • Syphilis
    • Trichomoniasis
    • Genital Herpes
    • Hepatitis B
    • Chancroid

    IV. Finally, there are STDs Women Should Be Tested For During Pregnancy:

    • Chlamydia: All women should be analyzed at the initial prenatal visit. High-risk ladies, and women <25 years old should be tested again in the third trimester.
    • Gonorrhea: Young girls and high-risk girls should be analyzed at the initial prenatal visit. High-risk women should be tested during the third trimester. Women in areas with lots of gonorrhea ought to be considered high risk. 
    • HIV: Women should be tested at the initial prenatal visit. They must also be tested in the third trimester. Girls who weren’t tested during pregnancy ought to be quickly examined at the time of delivery. These would be the CDC guidelines. However, HIV testing during pregnancy is not mandatory in most countries.
    • Syphilis: Girls should be analyzed at the initial prenatal visit (all girls ), during the third trimester (high-risk girls only), also at shipping (all women).
    • Hepatitis B: Women should be tested at the initial prenatal visit. They must then be analyzed again in the third trimester if they are high risk
    • Hepatitis C: Girls at risk ought to be tested at their first prenatal visit. 
    • Bacterial Vaginosis: Several studies suggest that asymptomatic women at high risk for preterm birth should be examined for the sexually correlated state bacterial vaginosis. However, the data is controversial. Testing is not supported for asymptomatic women in general.