While the thought of your teen engaging in behavior that could result in the acquisition of an STD is likely enough to keep you up at night, it’s important to realize teens can and do get them. If you believe your teen has engaged in risky behavior, an STD test may be a wise choice. A test for sexually transmitted diseases will prompt immediate treatment and ensure she doesn’t suffer from the ill-effects of the condition in the future.
Tackling the Topic
Your teen is probably even less eager to talk to you about his sex life than you are inquiring about it. If you feel you must approach the topic of sex and sexually transmitted diseases, do so carefully. Avoid being confrontational at all costs, as your teen will likely put up a wall if he feels you’re grilling him. Instead, make it clear that you are concerned about him and merely want to ensure that he’s healthy and happy.
The Testing Process
Depending on the type of STD for which your teen is being tested, the testing process will differ slightly. Some tests require only a urine sample, while others require a blood sample or a swab from the genital areas, reports Avert.org. If your teen seems nervous about the prospect of receiving an STD test, discuss the testing process with her doctor and relay the process to your teen, so there will be no surprises on testing day.
Teens who feel that they may have contracted an STD can, in many cases, receive an STD screening without parental consent. If you know your teen will be unwilling to share information about his sex life with you, but you want him to receive a screening, let him know he’s able to get a screening of this type without your involvement. While it’s certainly better for you to be involved rather than ill-informed, it is better for your child to get tested independently rather than not at all.
Depending upon your child’s age, you may be able force her to receive an STD test. In most cases, you can speak to your child’s pediatrician and ask him to perform this test. As long as your child is under the age of 18, you can mandate this type of testing, because you’re responsible for his medical well-being. Mandating testing may not be the best idea, though, because it may create an adversarial relationship between you and your child.
At-Home STD Testing
Some teens shy away from receiving an STD test out of embarrassment. If your teen is avoiding a test of this type because she doesn’t want to venture to a clinic, an at-home test may prove the best option. The online resource DontThinkKnow.org offers free at-home tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Visit this organization’s website to complete this free test with your teen.