Open and honest communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship, especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as sexual health. Discussing Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) screening with your partner might feel uncomfortable, but it is a crucial conversation for the well-being of both parties, as well as the health of your relationship. Read on to learn practical tips on how communicating about STI screening can be done with confidence and care.
1) Educate yourself first
Before initiating an open conversation about STIs with your partner, take the time to educate yourself about the topic. Understand the various types of STIs, how they can be transmitted, common symptoms, and the importance of regular screening. This knowledge will not only help you explain the subject clearly to your partner but also allow you to address any concerns or questions they might have.
When you’re well-informed, you can discuss the topic confidently and provide accurate information. This also shows your partner that you are taking the matter seriously and approaching it from a place of care.
2) Choose the right time and place
Having a sensitive talk about STI testing requires careful consideration of the timing and setting. Opt for a time when both you and your partner are relaxed and can engage in an open conversation without distractions or time constraints. It’s best to choose a private and comfortable space where you both feel at ease.
Avoid discussing this topic during intimate moments or right before engaging in sexual activity. These moments might not be conducive to a thoughtful and focused conversation. Putting thought into selecting the right time and place demonstrates that you value the importance of the conversation and are committed to addressing it in a mature and responsible manner.
3) Share your intentions
Approach the conversation about STI screening with honesty, clearly communicating your intentions and reasons for wanting to discuss this topic. Emphasise that your motivation comes from a place of concern for both your well-being through STI communication, on top of the well-being of the relationship. Avoid making the conversation sound accusatory or judgmental. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and thoughts, which can help prevent your partner from becoming defensive.
For instance, you might say, “I believe that discussing STI screening is an important step in taking care of our health and building trust in our relationship. I wanted to have an open conversation about this topic to ensure that we’re both on the same page and can make informed decisions together.” Being open about your own feelings can encourage your partner to reciprocate and share their thoughts as well.
Bringing up the topic of STI testing with your partner might initially seem daunting, but it is a conversation that can ultimately strengthen your bond and foster a deeper understanding between the two of you. Remember that this discussion is not just about STIs; it’s about demonstrating care for each other’s physical and emotional health. Through effective communication, you can have this conversation about STI with confidence, reinforcing the connection you have with your partner.
Get in touch with the team at Thomson Specialist Skin Centre to learn about their STI screening services, and take a proactive step towards safeguarding the well-being of you and your partner today.