If you’re sexually active, it’s important to regularly visit a health care provider, like a doctor or nurse, to have sexual health check-ups and discuss sexual health issues.
What is a sexual health check-up? A sexual health check-up is an examination by a doctor or nurse for sexual health issues like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Who needs a sexual health check? Anyone who is sexually active should have a sexual health check-up. How often and when you need to have a check-up depends on your sexual activity, so a sexual health check is advisable sooner rather than later if any of the following circumstances apply to you:
- If you think that you might have an STD
- If you’ve had unsafe sex, including vaginal, oral and anal sex
- If you’ve had a condom break or fall off during sex
- If your partner has another sexual partner
- If you have more than one sexual partner
- If you’re starting a new sexual relationship
What happens during a sexual health check-up? A health care provider will usually begin a check-up by talking with you about your sexual history. Some of the questions your doctor or nurse will ask you might seem personal. You might feel uncomfortable telling the truth when answering these questions. But if you don’t give your provider accurate information, you might not get the best advice or be given the appropriate tests. This could mean your health could be seriously affected. Some STDs can lead to long-term health problems if they’re not treated properly.
Asking questions. Consider a sexual health check-up a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about your sexual health or discuss anything that’s worrying you.
For more information Check out STD Testing FAQ and How to Talk to Your Health Provider About Getting Tested.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.