The US Preventative Services Task Force has come up with some new guidelines regarding STD testing for women that we should all be made aware of. Even if you think that you know everything you need to about going to the OB/GYN you should still read on as the recommendations have changed and with good reason. These new recommendations were published recently in The Annals of Internal Medicine.
The USPSTF is now recommending that all women who are age 24 and younger and s*xually active get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. This is due to the fact that at a young age you are more susceptible to contracting STDs than older women are. The hardest part about these two STDs is that there are often no symptoms at all so you don’t know that you have them until it is too late and you have potentially spread the STD to quite a few people. Behavior that puts you at a higher risk for transmitting the disease includes having unprotected s*x, s*x with multiple partners, or being with someone who has been with a lot of people.
These recommendations are not very new as the time frame for them has not changed over the years. The thing that is new however is the fact that they recommend that women who are active go through behavioral counseling to stop potentially destructive behavior in the bedroom. They recommend that anyone who increases their risk factors, for example a woman who sleeps with multiple people within a short amount of time, go through a behavioral counseling session with their gynecologist. If needed they will be referred on to a behavioral health therapist to help them work out their issues. The gynecologist can help them by giving them advice on how to make their bedroom lives a little safer and what they can do to decrease their risk of getting an STD. Their recommendation is a half-hour session with your doctor to go over all of the information that you will need to avoid contracting an STD. From there if they feel that you need more counseling they can refer you.