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How Can I Find Out if My Partner Has an STD?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs, are infections that spread from person to person during vaginal, oral, or anal sex; using fingers ("fingering"); or by other sexual contact.

STDs don’t always cause symptoms, so you can’t tell if your partner has one by asking or looking. People may not know they have one themselves. That’s why you both should get tested for STDs before having sex, if you haven’t already.

Where Can We Get Tested for STDs?

You can go to your doctor’s office or a health clinic like Planned Parenthood for STD testing. Getting checked is easy, and some places offer free or low-cost testing and treatment.

Plus, you can get tips on how to help prevent STDs, like using condoms or other barrier methods like dental dams or finger condoms every time you have sex. Doctors can also talk with you about types of birth control to use along with condoms and how to avoid accidental pregnancy.

What Else Should I Know?

Talking with your partner about STDs is the first step if you want to protect yourself. It may be a little awkward, but you'll get past it the more you talk and listen. And knowing that STD testing will help keep you both safe will make it worth it. Suggest that you and your partner go for STD testing together to support each other.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD
Date Reviewed: Jan 1, 2024

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