The First Thing You Should Do When You Find Out Your Partner Has An STD

There are certain topics that can be harder to discuss than others. Many of us feel uncomfortable when discussing finances. Others start to squirm when asked about their health. Almost all feel a sense of unease when there is a discussion on the table about sex. According to Psychology Today, conversations about sex, even with your partner, can make you feel vulnerable, awkward, or even ashamed. To avoid discomfort, a key tip is to pick the right time when you know both you and your partner have the energy and patience to see through the whole discussion.

Not all sex talk is difficult. Talking about your desires and needs can even be fun, but there is one sexual issue that brings few laughs between couples: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you or your partner has one, or a few, there is no reason to feel isolated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that they are very common, and millions of new cases of infection occur every year in the United States. As awkward as it may be to tell your partner you have been diagnosed with an STD, it might be even more difficult to hear that you have been exposed to one. If you've just received this stunning news, here's what you should do first.

Your health should remain top priority

According to Verywell Health, there is no way of knowing for certain you have been infected with an STD until you get tested. Until you can get the results, you and your partner should start practicing safe sex. It's not a full-proof method of prevention, but it does decrease the risk of being infected by your partner's STD. If you don't want to take any chances, you and your partner should stop having sex until you get your test results.

It's hard to plan for what sort of reaction you might have if you have just heard the not-so-welcome news. Rady Children's Hospital reminds us that everyone will react differently, from full-blown panic, to anger, to curiosity. Just remember, if your partner was brave enough to tell you, it likely means they want to have an open line of communication with you. You don't have to decide how you feel about the unsettling news right away. You can even tell them you need a few days to digest the information.

Discussions about sex can be difficult, even with a committed partner, and finding out they have an STD can leave you both feeling vulnerable. However, it's important to keep your health a top priority. If you make an appointment to get tested and start practicing safe sex or abstinence right away, you'll be able to stay focused on how you and your partner will manage the future.