Sexual Health Examinations – Everything You Need to Know

An essential aspect of overall health and well-being is sexual health.  It covers physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  One crucial element of maintaining good sexual health is undergoing regular sexual health examinations.

This comprehensive guide will provide essential information about sexual health examinations.  We will talk about including when to get tested, what to screen for, various types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).   Along with symptoms and treatments and how to communicate with your partner about sexual health.

When Should I Have Sexual Health Examinations?

If you are sexually active,  it is so important to keep an eye on your sexual health. The best way to do this is by having regular sexual health checks from your doctor or a sexual health nurse.

You should visit a doctor at least every six months for sexual health checks, even if you feel nervous about it.

Remember doctors and nurses are professionals who are there to help.  They are used to talking about these topics so that should help you feel comfortable.

Reasons to Have Sexual Health Examinations

  • You think you might have an STD. 
  • Unprotected sex, including vaginal, oral, or anal sex.   
  • A condom broke or fell off during sex. 
  • You or your partner has more than one sexual partner. 
  • Injecting equipment (needles, etc.) was shared with one or more people.
  • You are at the start of a new sexual relationship


sexual health examinations
Doctor checking sexual health


What Should be Screened For in Sexual Health Examinations

During a sexual health examination, you will be screened for various sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other reproductive health issues.

Common STIs Found in Sexual Health Examinations

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Genital herpes
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

What Else Might We Talk About in Sexual Health Examinations?

  • Contraception, including long-term contraception options. 
  • Reproductive issues, such as fertility.
  • Your rights in sexual relationships.
  • Feelings about sex.

Getting Results from Sexual Health Examinations

This can vary depending on the test that was done and also the laboratory that is processing and testing the samples.  Generally, you can expect to receive your results within a few days to a couple of weeks.

If you test positive for an STI, you may be contacted by a doctor or nurse to discuss treatment options and any necessary follow-up appointments.

What Different Types of STDs Are There?

There are various types of STDs caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Common STDs


A bacterial infection that often has no symptoms but can cause pain, discharge, and infertility if left untreated.  It is easily treatable with antibiotics.


Another bacterial infection that can cause pain, discharge, and more severe complications if left untreated.  It can be treated with antibiotics but resistance to some medications is becoming more common.


A bacterial infection that progresses through different stages if left untreated.  It can cause severe health problems including damage to the heart, brain, and other organs.  Treatment typically involves antibiotics.

Genital herpes

A viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).  It can cause painful sores and blisters but is managed with antiviral medications.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

A viral infection that can cause genital warts and is linked to various types of cancer.  There is a vaccine available to prevent certain strains of HPV. 


A parasitic infection that can cause itching, burning, and discharge. It is treatable with antibiotics. 

Hepatitis B and C

Viral infections that affect the liver and can cause serious health problems, including liver damage and liver cancer.  Treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of the infection.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

A viral infection that attacks the immune system and can lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).  While there is currently no cure for HIV, antiretroviral therapy can help manage the infection and prevent transmission to others.

What Are the Different Symptoms and Treatments?

Symptoms of STDs are very varied.  Some infections may not cause any noticeable symptoms at all.

Here are some common symptoms of STDs to look out for.

  • Pain or discomfort during sexual activity or urination.
  • Sores, bumps, or rashes on or around the genitals, anus, or mouth.
  • Unusual discharge or bleeding from the genitals.
  • Itching or irritation in the genital area.

Treatments for STDs also vary depending on what you’ve got.  Many bacterial infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis can be treated with antibiotics.

Viral infections like genital herpes and HIV can be managed but not cured with antiviral medications.  In some cases, like HPV-related genital warts, treatments like topical creams, surgical removal or laser therapy might be helpful.

How Do I Tell My Partner If I Have an STD?

If you are diagnosed with an STD, it is really important to let your sexual partners know so they can get tested and treated if needed.

Open communication about sexual health is a really crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy relationship.  Here are some tips for discussing your STD status with your partner.

  • Be honest and straightforward.  Do not throw out blame and accusations.  
  • Share information about your STD like symptoms, treatments, and prevention methods.
  • Encourage your partner to get tested and seek treatment if needed.  

If you feel uncomfortable or afraid to have this conversation in person think about using an anonymous text message service to tell them.  A really helpful service is called  Let Them Know. 

Love vs. Sex: The Importance of Sexual Health in Relationships

Maintaining good sexual health is really important for a loving and fulfilling relationship.

Talk about your sexual health and make sure you’re both having regular sexual health examinations.  Make responsible decisions about using contraception and protection as it can contribute to a strong foundation of trust and intimacy between partners.

By making sexual health your priority, you can cultivate a deeper connection with your partner and enjoy a satisfying love and sex life.

Final Words on Sexual Health Examinations 

Taking care of your sexual health is a vital aspect of maintaining overall well-being and nurturing a healthy love life.

Regular sexual health examinations, open communication with your partner, and responsible choices regarding protection can help you safeguard against STDs and enjoy a fulfilling sex life.

If you suspect you have an STD or have been exposed to one, seek medical advice promptly, and ensure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your partner.


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