How To Deal With Anxiety Over Getting Tested For STIs, According To Experts

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There are lots of reasons why you might be nervous to get tested for STIs, but especially so if you suspect you have one. It can be a tense time as you worry about your health, and wonder about the future. But there are plenty of things you can do to move past this anxiety, and get the testing and treatment you need.

While it's incredibly common to feel worried, the last thing you want is for nerves to get the better of you. "You should learn to manage STI testing anxiety because it can potentially scare you from getting tested," Dr. Ross Kopelman, a resident at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island, tells Bustle. If you feel too nervous to go, you'll be doing your health — both physical and mental — a disservice.

"Getting screened for STIs will either bring you a great sense of relief because you don’t have any, or it can help you get the treatment you need if you do end up testing positive," Kopelman says. "Treatment will prevent the infection from getting worse and keep you from infecting other people." So, with that motivation in mind, read on for a few ways to feel less anxious about STI testing, according to experts.