Numerous tests for detecting STDs are available. The types of tests used to diagnose STD depend on the particular disease. Testing also depends on your sexual history, your past medical history, and the symptoms you are presently having. STD testing is often painless, readily available in the United States, and free through Independent Medical Group!
HOW IS STD TESTING CARRIED OUT?
There are different tests to identify different STDs. The choice to apply a diagnostic test for an STD depends on the type of disease, your current symptoms, and your past medical history.
Usually, the process of diagnosing an STD, or any disease for that matter, has two phases. The first phase is the clinical history and examination. This is where your doctor will look for any signs and symptoms that might give him an idea about your disease. The doctor may ask you a series of questions about your sexual history, the method of protection used (if any), and the number of your active and past sexual partners. There might also be other questions depending on the type of disease.
The second phase is where your doctor takes some samples and sends them out for investigations. Depending on the type of infection, your doctor might take:
- Blood samples
- Urine samples
- Stool samples
- Swab samples from your mouth, genitalia, and blisters or open sores
The process of taking samples is painless. Usually, test results can be received in 5-7 days. Most hospitals and clinics have onboard testing facilities. Others send these samples out to labs, causing a slight delay with your test results. Some STDs can be tested rapidly in the clinic using rapid diagnostic methods, such as for HIV.
IS STD TESTING PART OF REGULAR MEDICAL CHECKUPS?
As readily available as they are, STD tests are not part of a regular medical checkup. Therefore, you should always ask your healthcare provider to test you for STDs if you suspect having one. Moreover, if you have an active sex life that involves multiple partners and the “occasional” lapse in protection use, you should get checked for STDs regularly.
Asking your doctor upfront to get an STD test is always a good idea. However, most people don’t feel at ease doing so. Although it can get awkward for many people, asking to get tested for STDs is a fundamental health right and is always encouraged. Remember: STDs have a high prevalence in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Most people have encountered at least one STD in their lifetime which is why it is essential that you get tested regularly.
SHOULD YOU GET TESTED FOR AN STD?
STDs are extremely common in the United States and also some other parts of the world. If you have an active sex life that also includes intercourse with multiple partners, you should regularly get tested for STDs. If you don’t use protection regularly, that’s one more reason to get tested regularly. Moreover, STDs can also manifest without any apparent symptoms. Such cases become silent carriers and should be screened out to reduce STD transmission.
Your doctor can guide you about your STD testing needs by assessing your risk factors for an STD infection.