STDs & Safe Sex

Should I get tested?

STDs are sneaky — and many teens have a high chance of catching at least one of them. You should get tested if you have any of these STD risk factors:

  • You didn’t use a condom the last time you had oral, vaginal or anal sex
  • You had sex (oral, vaginal or anal) with two or more people in the last three months
  • You had sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) with a new partner in the last three months
  • You’re a guy who has had oral or anal sex with another guy
  • You had an STD in the past year
  • Someone you had sex with has an STD

Find: A free, teen-friendly health center

Read: If I get tested, will my parents find out?

STD Symptoms

While its a good idea to get tested if you’re at high risk for catching an STD even if you don’t have symptoms, be on the look out for anything unusual. Talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner about getting tested if you or someone you’re having sex with have any of these STD symptoms:

  • It hurts or burns when you pee
  • If there’s liquid leaking from your penis, vagina, or rectum (butt)
  • If you see or feel blisters, open sores, warts, a rash, or swelling in your genital or private area, anal area, or mouth
  • If you have on-going flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, aching muscles, or swollen glands
  • Are a girl who has pain in the abdomen (stomach)
  • Are a guy who has pain in the penis
  • If your butt or legs hurt

Find: A free, teen-friendly health center

Talking to your partner about getting tested

In a healthy relationship you, can talk about anything, including STDs and getting tested. If you’re not sure how to bring it up, try one of these on for size:

  • “I’m kind of nervous to put this out there… but I think it’s important that we go get tested together.”
  • “1 in 4 teens have an STD right now, and most of them don’t even know it. The only sure way for us to know is to get tested.”
  • “Getting tested before we have sex will protect both of us. Why take a chance when we can know for sure?”

Teens can get tested at many of Pennsylvania’s reproductive health centers for free.

Find a teen-friendly reproductive health center near you.