I caught an STI what should I say to my girlfriend? This can be one of the scariest situations you’ll face in a relationship. STIs are never a fun event, and opening yourself up to your partner about it can feel intimating. Depending on the circumstances, it might also end your relationship. So how do you tell your girlfriend you have an STI without ruining everything?

The first and most important thing you need to do is get tested, if you feel you have symptoms of an STI.

If a previous sexual partner tells you that they’ve been positive for an STI, go get tested.

Many people leave getting tested because they are too embarrassed, but it’s not something that will simply go away if you ignore it. In fact, by not treating it in a timely manner, you’re leaving yourself to even more risk.

If you don’t want to go to your GP or regular doctor, you don’t have to. There are lots of sexual clinics that are open exactly for testing STIs. You can make an appointment, although there are a lot which also have a walk-in option. These are anonymous and you can feel safer.

Getting tested also ensures that you do have an STI, and not just a normal infection. A lot of symptoms can be similar between and STI and a bacterial infection. Get tested and figure out what exactly it is you have.

You’ll also need to inform any recent sexual partner you’ve had that you’ve tested positive for an STI. These are people that are also at risk of having the STI, either catching it from you, or having it already and you’ve caught it from them.

Telling your potential girlfriend

There are two situations that means you need to tell your girlfriend you have an STI

The first is when you are entering a relationship, and you have an STI from a previous partner. Of course you need to tell your potential new partner that you have an STI. It would be dishonest and unfair to keep it hidden. The fear is that by telling them, they’ll decide they don’t want to date you.

Most STIs are treatable, and common ones such as Chlamydia are curable. If you have one of these, then you could consider treating the STI first before entering a relationship. You can tell your partner you simply want to take it slow. You’ll have to make sure you don’t have sex before you’re given the all clear. Condoms do work towards protecting yourself and your partner from transmitting STIs, but they’re not 100% so it would be your choice to take that risk.

Otherwise you should just be open to your partner, and hope that they’ll be understanding and wait for you. If you have an STI that isn’t curable, but at least treatable, then you need to understand that they might not want to be in a relationship that could potentially put their health and risk.

STI as a result of cheating

The second situation is getting an STI from cheating on your girlfriend.

Getting an STI is already a stressful situation. Having to reveal to your girlfriend that you’ve cheated on her can be even more stressful.

You might be tempted to simply treat the STI and hope your girlfriend never finds out. This is the cowardly way out. Unless you plan on not having sex with your girlfriend for the entire time between getting tested, treatment and then confirmation of the all clear, it can also be quite unrealistic. If you don’t tell your girlfriend, and have sex with her, you are putting her at risk. It’s really not an option.

If you have had sex with your girlfriend since sleeping with the person who you believe gave you the STI, then you’ve already put her at risk at also having the STI. If this is the case, you really have no choice but to tell her so she can get tested.

It’s not a pleasant situation, but it’s one you’ll have to face. She might already suspect something, so it’s better to be open and honest straight away than wait for it to blow up in your face. Imagine if the situations were reversed, and think about how you would feel and how you would want your partner to tell you.