Sex Ed
Sex Ed

How Often Should I Get Tested?

Making choices that fit your lifestyle

How Often Should I Get Tested?

Do you ever ask yourself, how often should I get tested? Getting tested is an important part of safeguarding your sexual health but how often should you go? The answer is going to be a little different for everyone. The choice is a very personal one and there is no right or wrong answer. Each person needs to decide their own level of diligence based on their lifestyle and choices.

So what kind of things do you need to consider when deciding how often to get tested? You should basically be making the decision based on levels of risk. The higher the risk you experience, the more you may wish to consider getting tested.

What Risk Factors Affect How Often You Should Go?

The first thing to consider is whether or not you wish to engage in safer sex. The more you use safer sex methods such as condoms or barriers, the more you reduce the risk of contracting any sexually transmitted infections. If you are choosing not to use any barriers at all, then you may want to consider getting tested more often.

Another factor is how many partners you are with. There is nothing wrong with being open and enjoying the company of many people as long as everyone is aware and consenting. You just need to be aware of the risks of those choices. If your current lifestyle involves a lot of sexual contact with a wide variety of partners, you should consider being tested on a schedule of once every three months. It's particularly a good idea if these are all random partners where there is no commitment or much conversation about sexual health.

If you and your partner are in a polyamorous relationship, you need to discuss the level of risk with your partner. Each poly relationship will be different and it is up to you and your partner to determine what you both are comfortable with for your relationship.

So... How Often Should I Get Tested?

So you've had a chance to think about your risk factors but you're still trying to figure out how often you should go. If you are not at a high risk, you can go once a year or before every new partner. Some STIs can be contracted through other means aside from sexual contact. Even if you are at a very low risk, you may want to consider getting checked once a year or every other year just for peace of mind. Otherwise, before every new partner is also a solid way to go.

If you are experiencing a higher degree of risk you may want to go once every six months or every three months. You don't really need to go more than once every three months. STIs can take time to test positive in your system, between that and time it takes to process the results there is no benefit of going more than that. It would just be using extra resources and putting yourself through unnecessary, and potentially uncomfortable, screening procedures.

Ultimately, it is up to you. If you have a long-term partner, you should discuss it with them, particularly if you are fluid bonded with your partner. The choice to get tested is simply another safer sex method to mitigate your risks and protect your long-term sexual health. You are going to be the best person to decide how important that is to you as well as how often you need to go. Everything else is just recommended guidelines.

Taking Charge of Your Health & Sexuality

Getting tested is one of the ways you can take charge of your sexuality and health. You have the power to make decisions over your own body that will impact your overall health and quality of life. Make the choices that are right for you and your lifestyle and stay empowered by keeping any risks within your control. Your journey to sexual empowerment and ecstasy starts today.

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sexual wellness
Teela Hudak
Teela Hudak
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Teela Hudak

Teela is a Vancouver-based Sex Educator & Relationship Expert. Learn more at:

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