How to Communicate With Your Partner About STIs & Your Sexual Health
Many people don’t talk about STIs, but the truth is that they are fairly common and can affect anybody of any age or gender. If you’re sexually active, it’s important to take responsibility for your sexual health and make sure you’re taking all possible precautions to prevent contracting an STI, as well as make sure your partner(s) also know how to protect themselves from becoming infected. Read on to learn how to broach this discussion with someone.
Talking to your partner about STIs can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, an STI (sexually transmitted infection) isn’t something that you choose to get, you catch it inadvertently through sexual contact. Whether you have an STI or are just worried about getting one, there are many precautions you can take to reduce your risk of spreading or contracting an infection.
The first step is open communication with your partner(s). That might sound terrifying at first, but by talking about sexual health issues openly and honestly, you’re doing yourself a service and helping others do the same.
How Do I Start The Conversation?
How do you tell your partner you have an STI? Simply put, you just have to have ‘the talk’. If you can find a quiet place in a neutral location to have this discussion, you may both feel more at ease. Though you won’t know how your partner will react, having this conversation is important. It’s okay to feel nervous when trying to start a conversation like this. Remember that if your partner truly cares for you, they’ll be able to have a respectful and honest conversation with you about this.
What Should I Say?
If you have an STI, it’s crucial to be honest with your partner. However, opening up to someone about your sexual health can be difficult. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed of their diagnosis—which makes sense. Getting tested is uncomfortable enough; talking about it with a partner is understandably terrifying. Despite this, not telling your partner can put both of you at risk for transmitting infection.
Remember to be honest, calm, and confident when having the conversation. Try saying something like, “This is difficult for me to say but I need to tell you something.” Come prepared with information about the condition to make sure they leave the conversation informed rather than in a panic.
It’s important to take steps to prevent STIs–you can even order preventative medication online through services like Prep2Me. Even so, STIs are quite common. If you think you might have been exposed to an STI, don’t freak out. Instead, keep these tips in mind about how to communicate with your partner about STIs and your sexual health to make sure you both remain in good health.