Talking about STDs may not get you in the mood; however, it is an important conversation for anyone who is planning on becoming or is currently sexually active. If you are sexually active or have had sexual contact with another person, it is important to get screened for STDs. What’s more, certain risk factors may put you at a higher risk for transmitting certain types of STDs. Therefore, it is important to talk with a medical professional about what STD screenings are right for you. Many STDs are treatable if they are diagnosed early on, but can cause significant harm if left alone. Therefore, it is always important to stay on top of your sexual health.
Why Should You Get Tested?
Many common STDs have no noticeable symptoms. In such cases, the only way to detect an issue is to get tested. Keep in mind that there are several different types of tests that are used to diagnose different types of STDs.
If you are sexually active, it is important to get screened. Early detection can help you access treatment and avoid potentially detrimental long-term effects of an untreated STDs. In the case that you test positive for an STD, it is important to seek out treatment and confide in your partner. It is highly likely that they will also need to be treated.
Common Signs and Symptoms of STDs
In the section below, you’ll find some of the early warning signs and symptoms of commonly diagnosed STDs. It is important to note that many STDs have little to no noticeable symptoms. On occasion, STDs are misdiagnosed.
Chlamydia: Women may experience unusual vaginal discharge and/or a painful burning sensation during urination or sex. Likewise, men may experience unusual discharge from their penis and/or a burning sensation during urination or sex.
Gonorrhea: Men and women may experience unusual discharge and/or painful urination. Many women do not experience any symptoms at all. Alternatively, some women develop a fever and/or flu-like symptoms.
Hepatitis A: Men and women may experience fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and/or pain in the days following exposure. On the other hand, some people experience no noticeable symptoms.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B rears its ugly head with a wide range of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, pain, and/or jaundice.
Hepatitis C: Full disclaimer: hepatitis C does not always show itself through symptoms. Nevertheless, some men and women may experience acute flu-like symptoms. When left untreated for several years, a Hepatitis C infection has the potential to cause serious liver damage.
Genital Herpes: Men and women with genital herpes may have painful, burning, or itching sores and lesions neither on their genitals, anus, or nearby surfaces.
Oral Herpes: When these sores and blisters start to appear on the lips and/or the skin surrounding the mouth, it is usually related to an infection caused by oral herpes.
HIV: HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a serious disease that can develop into the AIDS virus. Symptoms of HIV vary greatly but may include fever, headaches, rashes, sores, swelling, yeast infection, and other STIs. Treatment is imperative.
Syphilis: Syphilis can cause sores and chancres around the genitals, anus, and/or mouth. Nevertheless, this ailment is often misdiagnosed as the flu. When left untreated, it can be very detrimental to one’s health.
What if I Have No Symptoms
Believe it or not, you may have an STD even if you haven’t experienced any signs or symptoms. In some cases, STD-positive men and women may even mistake symptoms for being an unrelated illness. Some STDs flare up intermittently without ever fully dissipating. If you have experienced STD-like symptoms at any time and are sexually active, you should discuss your concerns with your primary care physician or gynecologist.
There’s no shame in having an STD. STD-like symptoms may even be related to another issue, such as a yeast infection, UTI, or infection. When you get tested, you are automatically one step closer to diagnosing your medical issue and obtaining a treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
The first step to getting tested is scheduling an appointment. For some individuals, it may be strange or uncomfortable for them to discuss their sex life with a stranger. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that medical professionals are trained to handle these situations in a professional manner and do so every day. The information you share with them is kept confidential. Therefore, it is important to always be honest about the type of sex you are having and types of contraceptive you use.
How Do STD Tests Work?
STDcheck.com helps you to locate a lab near you that is capable of doing a discreet STD screening. The company has performed more than two million tests. Users may use the “Find a Lab” search bar to discover a long list of labs near their zip code. Afterward, they can pay for their screening on the phone or via the webpage. STDcheck.com offers a wide range of STD screenings, including multi-STD test panels and individual STD tests.
After a customers orders a test, they must visit the appropriate testing center and meet with a medical professional. They will then be tested. This typically only takes a few minutes. Within one to two days, the results will be emailed to the customer. It neither is important to note that the results are never sent to a patient’s insurance company nor placed on their permanent medical record. If the test results are positive, the customer has the opportunity to consult with a doctor who may provide them with a treatment prescription or refer them to a specialist.
Talk with Your Doctor or Gynecologist
If your test is positive for an STD, it is important to discuss the results with your doctor or gynecologist. They can discuss treatment options and make referrals to specialists. If you have an established relationship, they will be able to reference your medical history to find a treatment plan that works best for you. What’s more, it will prevent the development of a hole in your medical history.
Types of Tests
Most STD tests are quick and painless. In some cases, they are even free. The labs served by STDcheck.com are also highly recommended and incredibly discreet. In fact, the company offers customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. What’s more, care advisors are on-call 24/7 to answer any question you may have.
Still wondering about how STD tests are performed? Read along to learn about the most common types of tests used during panels and single STD screenings.
Urine Test: Have you ever peed in a cup? This is probably the easiest and most straightforward test on our list. Kudos to you if you come with a full bladder, this makes the testing process move along even smoother.
Blood Test: If you’ve ever had a blood test before, you know that a quick draw of blood from your arm or a finger prick can be performed in a matter of minutes. Some phlebotomists are definitely more skilled than others, but this test is straightforward and minimally invasive. Most blood tests do not require fasting or additional preparation.
While many practitioners require physical examinations or swabs to diagnose STDs, at STDcheck.com, all of the tests are completed using small urine and/or blood samples. This eliminates the need to undress or undergo uncomfortable treatment. Most tests do not require any preparation. Most tests can be completed in less than 5 minutes.
How Soon Can I Get Tested?
If you recently engaged in sex that left you questioning whether you contracted an STD, you may need to wait a minimal amount of time before getting tested. For example, the best time to test for chlamydia is 1 to 5 days after exposure. With that being said, you should wait at least 24 hours before taking the test. Beyond that, individuals who are retesting for an STD after being treated will need to wait a specific amount of time.
Chlamydia: Patients should wait between 1 and 5 days after exposure to get tested. Patients should wait 21 to 28 days before retesting.
Gonorrhea: Patients should wait 2 to 6 days after exposure to get tested. Patients should wait 21 to 28 days before retesting.
Hepatitis A: Patients should wait 2 to 7 weeks after exposure to get tested.
Hepatitis B: Patients should wait 3 weeks after exposure to get tested.
Hepatitis C: Patients should wait 8 to 9 weeks after exposure to get tested. Patients should then retest 3 months after exposure.
Oral Herpes Patients should be tested 4 to 6 weeks after exposure.
Genital Herpes: Patients should be tested between 3 to 6 weeks after exposure. They should be retested 3 months after exposure.
HIV: Patients should be tested 2 to 3 weeks after exposure. Alternatively, they can take the HIV RNA Early Detection Test between 9 and 11 days after exposure.
Syphilis: Patients can be tested 3 to 6 weeks after exposure.
As you can see, it is important to gauge the time of exposure when planning to be tested for a specific STD. The earlier you detect an issue, the sooner you can treat it and the damage it will do to your body. What’s more, it is important to retest for some STDs.
In most cases, test results are made available within 1 to 2 days. These results are typically emailed to you. In the case that a test comes back positive, you will receive a call from a medical professional. You will have the opportunity to engage in a discreet phone consultation with a doctor. The doctor may provide you with a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist. As soon as your order a test, you can visit the lab nearest you to complete the test. STDcheck.com offers 4,500 lab test sites scattered across the United States.
Where Can I Get Tested?
With the help of STDcheck.com, you can discover a long list of screening labs near you. To discover the nearest medical facility, simply type your zip code into the “Find a Lab” search tab at the top of the page.
You can walk-in or schedule an appointment. However, don’t put aside too much time. The vast majority of lab visits last under 5 minutes. On occasion, a busy lab may experience some delays. In such cases, the results of your STD screening may be delayed.
How Much Does it Cost
At STDcheck.com, all individual and package prices are listed online for anyone to see. There are no hidden fees or extra charges. Prices range from less than $100 for a single test to less than $200 for a 10-test panel. Most test results are available quickly, within one to two days.
Will the Results Effect My Insurance?
At STDcheck.com, the results of your STD test(s) are completely confidential. We don’t even share them with your insurance or primary care provider. Of course, a positive STD test should enable you to seek out treatment. As such, our expertly trained doctors are happy to consult with you about an STD-positive result.
How Do You Talk to Your Partner About STD Testing?
If you haven’t already begun talking about STDs with your partner, now is the time to start. In fact, the best time to discuss STDs and get tested is before beginning a sexual relationship. In a healthy relationship, honesty is imperative. While talking about STDs with a new partner can feel a little uncomfortable at first, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Your partner will probably appreciate your ability to step up and be honest too.
Don’t let STD testing become a burden in your relationship. It is important to be familiar with your body and be aware of any underlying conditions you may have. Sex is an intimate experience and if your partner is not willing to open up about their health, they may not be the best fit for you.
Where Do You Start?
Sometimes the hardest part about talking about STD testing is getting started. Remember, honesty is the best policy. If you feel like it is an appropriate time to discuss STD testing, then it probably is. If your partner is upset or hesitant about getting tested, be understanding. The most difficult aspect of getting tested for an STD is the possibility of getting a positive result. It is important to remember that there are many safe and effective treatments available for both curable and incurable STDs.
We highly recommend that sexual partners get tested together. If your partner is hesitant to get tested or share their results with you, you may want to consider whether the risks outweighs your long-term health.
Here are some easy ways to open up to your partner about STD testing:
Ask Outright: “Have you been tested for STDs?” Do this in a way that fits into the natural flow of you and your partner’s conversation. Once your partner answers the question, ask yourself if you are satisfied with the answer.
Suggest Testing: Consider getting tested at the same time as your partner. You can be supportive of one another and know that you are starting your relationship out on the right foot.
Share Your Own History: Being honest can be scary. However, if you are recovering from or tested positive for an STD in the past, you may want to consider disclosing that information to your partner. Oftentimes, honesty is the glue that holds together a relationship, even when it reveals undesirable information.
Facing the Facts Together: If you or your partner is STD-positive, it is important to educate yourself regarding the STD. Is it treatable? Should you or your partner be retested after treatment or a certain amount of time elapses? What are the best ways to prevent the spread of the STD? Do you need to abstain from sex for a certain amount of time? Ask yourself important and even difficult questions. When questions remain, seek the help of a medical professional.
Discussing Test Results
If you’ve tested positive for an STD, it is important that you disclose this to your sexual partner. Not only is this the correct thing to do in this situation, it is also vital that you do this for your partner’s health. In addition, you should reach out to any previous sexual partners you may have had to ensure that they also get tested.
Steps to Responding to a Positive STD Test
1. Learn About the STD It can be scary to learn that you have an STD, but don’t let the hype behind the subject scare you. Don’t feed into common STD misconceptions and urban myths. Just like any other disease, STDs are a health issue that requires medical treatment and care. Talk with a medical professional about your STD. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
2. Be Practical: A positive STD test may not be enough to turn your world upside down, but you still may want to do a little tweaking. Consider using an appropriate barrier to minimize the spread of STDs. Barriers stop the spread of bodily fluids and even minimize some skin-to-skin contact. Abstinence is one way to completely stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but it’s not realistic for most sexually active people.
Discuss your Situation: If you’ve tested positive for an STD, it is important to take time to discuss this with your partner(s). Oftentimes, these conversations aren’t easy. Take the time to educate yourself properly about the STD you have contracted. Bring factual information and honesty to the conversation. Offer support to your partner and recommend that they also get tested.
Recommended Tests for Sexually Active Individuals
Remember, you may have an STD even if you do not have any symptoms. If you are unsure of whether you are overdue for a screening, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) provides helpful STD testing recommendations. Many of these recommendations address specific risk factors.
- All adults and adolescents should be tested for HIV at least once
- Anyone who engages in unsafe sex or shares drug equipment should be tested for HIV once a year
- All pregnant women should be screened for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B
- At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea
- All sexually active women should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea once a year
- All men who have sex with men should be tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea once a year
- All men who have sex with multiple men should be tested for HIV frequently
If you are sexually active, especially with multiple partners, it is crucial to get tested for STDs. As noted above, many STDs are rather sneaky. In fact, some do not even have noticeable symptoms. If you’ve never been screened or unsure of what tests to have done, see the CDC recommendations above.
Many people assume that their doctor or gynecologist will perform all the necessary tests upon their visits, but this is not always the case. When you order STD screens through STDcheck.com, you get fast, affordable, and discreet service. Most tests are painless and noninvasive. Meanwhile, results are made available to you and only you within a few days’ time. While coping with a positive STD result can be scary, it’s important to address and treat any potential health issues you may have. It’s also important to be open and honest with your sexual partners.