Our STD Tests Came Back Clean. Is It Really OK To Have Unprotected Sex?

Can unprotected sex ever be safe? | Source: ShutterStock

Can unprotected sex ever be safe? | Source: ShutterStock

I just started seeing this guy and we both got tested for STDs and came back clean. (PHEW!) I’m on the pill and thinking of having sex without a condom. Is it safe? Are there some STDs that might not show up or be too new in him to show up on the test?

ChickRx expert Dr. Mandi Beman, Ob/Gyn says:

PHEW is right! That is good news that your std tests came back negative. You should always get tested for STDs before sexual contact and have your partner do the same. So, good work.

The bad news is that there are several STDs, such as HIV and herpes, that can take several weeks before they will show up positive on a test. So, a clean STD test doesn’t necessarily mean a green light for disease free unprotected sex. For example, if he contracted herpes from unprotected sex on Monday and got tested on Tuesday, he would likely test negative for herpes when in reality he has the virus and can transmit it to you. And diseases like HIV and herpes aren’t diseases you want to take risks with.

My advice is to wear a condom any and every time you have sex. Also, the pill is very effective for birth control when taking properly, but using a condom as well definitely can’t hurt for pregnancy prevention.

And remember, while condoms do significantly decrease your risk of contracting an STD and are the smartest choice you can make for birth control and STD prevention, they do not erase your risk entirely. Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing STDs. The only true way to protect yourself is abstinence. And you should take an STD test even when you’re having sex with a condom.

More from ChickRx:
Where exactly can I get HPV?

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