Monthly Archives: March 2021

When and How Often Should I Get Tested?

“Women should be tested for chlamydia on a regular basis. Some gynecologists test for it automatically, but not all do,” Hook says.

For other STDs, including HIV, syphilis, and genital herpes, blood testing is most accurate.

To test for HPV, a sample of cervical or anal cells must be collected.

How often an individual needs to be tested for STDs depends on their level of risk for infection.

The CDC recommends the following for testing for chlamydia:

Annual screening in sexually active women age 25 and younger and in older women who are at an increased risk for infection because of a new sex partner or multiple sex partners
Annual screening in men who have sex with men, based on exposure history, with more frequent screening in people at the highest risk
Screening in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC’s recommendations for gonorrhea testing include the following:

Annual screening in sexually active women who are at risk for infection, which includes women ages 25 and younger
Annual screening in men who have sex with men, based on exposure history, with more frequent screening in people at the highest risk
Screening in all pregnant women under age 25 and older women who are at an increased risk
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC’s recommendations regarding screening for syphilis include these guidelines:

Screening in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
Annual screening in men who have sex with men
Annual screening in sexually active people living with HIV
The CDC has additional recommendations for other STDs.

In all cases, more frequent screening or screening for additional STDs may be appropriate for certain individuals, depending on their risk factors, including sexual behavior and how common a particular disease is in their area.

A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP MEANS TWO HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS

“Understand that it is up to you to make yourself happy, it is NOT the job of your spouse. I am not saying you shouldn’t do nice things for each other, or that your partner can’t make you happy sometimes. I am just saying don’t lay expectations on your partner to make you happy. It is not their responsibility. Figure out as individuals what makes you happy as an individual, then you each bring that to the relationship.”

– Mandy

Everyone talks about “sacrifices” in a relationship. You’re supposed to keep the relationship happy by consistently sacrificing yourself to your partner and their wants and needs.

It’s true that every relationship requires each person to consciously choose to give something up at times. The problem comes when all of the relationship’s happiness is contingent on the other person, and both people are in a constant state of sacrifice. Just read that again. Doesn’t it sound horrible? A relationship based on constant and mutual sacrifices can’t be sustained and will eventually become damaging to both individuals.

“Shitty, codependent relationships have an inherent stability because you’re both locked in an implicit bargain to tolerate the other person’s bad behavior because they’re tolerating yours, and neither of you wants to be alone. On the surface, it seems like [a case of] “compromising in relationships because that’s what people do,” but the reality is that resentments build up, and both parties become the other person’s emotional hostage against having to face and deal with their own bullshit (it took me 14 years to realize this, by the way).”

– Karen

A healthy and happy relationship requires two healthy and happy individuals. Keyword here: “individuals.” That means two people with their own identities, their own interests and perspectives, and things they do by themselves, on their own time.

This is why attempting to control your partner (or submitting control over yourself to your partner) to make them “happy” ultimately backfires—it allows the individual identities of each person to be destroyed, those very identities that attracted each other and brought them together in the first place.

“Don’t try to change them. This is the person you chose. They were good enough to marry so don’t expect them to change now.”

– Allison

“Don’t ever give up who you are for the person you’re with. It will only backfire and make you both miserable. Have the courage to be who you are, and most importantly, let your partner be who they are. Those are the two people who fell in love with each other in the first place.”

– Dave

But how does one do this? The answer comes from something hundreds and hundreds of successful couples said in their emails: