Sexual history During a sexual health check-up you will be asked questions about your sexual history. These are standard questions that your doctor will ask every patient. While many questions are of a personal nature, you need to answer as honestly as you can as the information you provide will enable your doctor to better support your health needs.
You can skip any questions you prefer not to answer. Your doctor must respect your confidentiality. There are a limited number of situations where they can be required to report information, for example if they have serious concerns about you or someone else's safety. When you turn 16 years old you have the same right to confidentiality as an adult. Examination and tests Physical examinations can be embarrassing but they are an important part of a sexual health check-up.
You may want to consider whether you feel more comfortable undergoing a physical examination by a male or female, and therefore choose your doctor accordingly. If you have concerns about a physical examination, discuss these with your doctor beforehand. Your doctor can explain what the procedure will involve.
A physical examination might involve: Remember you can say no to having any of these tests or have them at your next visit. Follow up If tests are taken, then it is important that you return to your doctor for follow up. This allows you to find out the results of the test.
Sometimes you may be able to get the results by phoning but for some STIs, such as HIV, your doctor will require you to attend in person. If you have had symptoms, returning for follow up allows your doctor to monitor your treatment. Informing partners If you do have an STI, it is often important to work out who else you have recently had sex with.
This helps in reducing the continual spread of STIs. Generally you will be asked to tell your sexual contacts yourself, but you may choose to ask your doctor to make contact instead. Your doctor will advise you on whether you should not have sex while your STI is treated or if the use of condoms or stopping specific sexual activities will protect your partners.
When should I have a check-up? You need to consider having a sexual health check-up: At the beginning of a new relationship, particularly if you don't plan to use condoms. If you have recently ended a relationship. If you have had unsafe sex or believe there was some risk to your health during a sexual encounter.
If you have genital symptoms such as pain, discharge, itching, etc. If you think you might have an STI. If your partner has recently had an STI. If you want information on preventing pregnancy. Regularly, if you get paid for sex work. Regularly, if you have frequent changes in sexual partners.
Regularly, if you have sex with people outside your relationship. If you are concerned about some aspect of your sexual health. Regularly, if you are sexually active and part of a population group in which there is a high frequency rate of STIs. Should I get tested? The decision to get tested for STIs is a personal decision. Your doctor can discuss with you what tests to have based on your sexual history and potential risk for STIs, but the decision of what tests to have remains yours to make.
Some people don't like to get tested because they are concerned about their confidentiality. All health care settings do their best to maintain and protect your privacy and confidentiality. A range of measures are used to protect your confidentiality and the law requires that consultations with your doctor or any health professional are confidential with some exceptions such as where someone is at risk of seriously harming themselves or somebody else, or if they suspect a young person is being subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Before getting tested it may be worth discussing with your doctor the advantages and disadvantages of testing. Some of the advantages of being tested include: Able to make better informed choices about your lifestyle and future plans. Ease of mind - comfort in knowing with certainty what illness you may or may not have.
Better able to make decisions about your sexual practice and safe sex strategies. If you have an STI, you can act to protect your sexual partners and tell former partners so they can act. Some disadvantages of being tested include: You may become anxious and concerned while waiting for the results. Some STIs may have implications for your insurance coverage.
Concern about others finding out about your health. Impact it may have on your partner, friends and family. You may become stressed or upset when you're informed about your STI testing results. What happens if I have an STI? If you have an STI, your doctor will talk to you about treatment options. Many STIs can be easily treated and cured. However, some do require ongoing monitoring and management. The STI section of this website provides information on how different infections are treated.
Some people become extremely upset when they find out they have an STI, particularly one that can't be cured. If you feel that way ask your doctor to provide information on what support services might be available to you. You can also check the who can I talk to section of this website. Can I still have sex? If you have an STI, your doctor will discuss your options for protecting and maintaining your health and that of your sexual partners.
Using a condom during sex can protect your partner from some STIs, with other STIs you should not have sex until the infection has cleared or you have had a follow-up appointment with your doctor. If you think you have an STI it is important not to have sex until you have seen your doctor. If you have an STI it is important that you do not pass it to your sexual partners.