At home, STD testing kits provide an accurate diagnosis more often than not. However, do they completely eliminate the need for people to see a doctor whenever they have symptoms resembling an STD?
At home, STD test kits do not eliminate the need to visit a healthcare professional for your symptoms, even if you get an accurate test result at home. This is because when it comes to diseases, diagnosis is just the first step of a multistep management process. At-home testing kits may provide an accurate diagnosis of your disease status. Still, they cannot provide you with any medical guidance on the treatment of said disease, at least not one that holds merit and is tailored for your symptoms specifically. Moreover, at-home STD testing kits, however accurate, can still be wrong, and a healthcare professional may still be needed to make an accurate final diagnosis.
To understand the importance of a healthcare professional in making an accurate diagnosis, it is best to try to understand the disease management process as a whole.
WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE A POSITIVE STD AT-HOME TEST?
At-home STD tests are surprisingly good at making an accurate diagnosis without ever having to visit a healthcare professional. These testing kits allow an individual to take a sample, send it for testing via mail, and receive the test results in return, all from the comfort of their homes. Some STD testing kits don’t even require the sample to be sent out to a testing facility and can simply analyze the sample right there and then.
However, making an accurate diagnosis is just the first step. Getting effective treatment that is tailored to your symptoms and curated for your comorbid diseases and health status is essential to get rid of whatever symptoms you might be experiencing. While at-home STD test kits can provide you with a correct diagnosis based on your symptoms, they cannot actually help treat any of them. Therefore, visiting a healthcare professional becomes extremely important as a core component of the disease management process.
Another good reason to visit your healthcare provider if you have a positive at-home STD test is that your healthcare provider can actually help validate your test results. Although at-home STD test kits are highly accurate, they are still prone to making errors. Moreover, human error can also occur when interpreting the test result of an at-home STD testing kit.
Your doctor can take a look at your symptoms, take a careful history, conduct a physical examination and then validate the accuracy of the test result returned by your at-home testing kit. This physician validation further reduces the chance of error and allows individuals to be completely sure of their diagnosis.
Your doctor may also provide valuable guidance and insight about your diseases that may help you cope better with your new symptoms. While at-home testing kits provide you with a diagnosis from the comfort of your home, your doctor can guide you to various facilities and support groups where you can find better help to manage your symptoms. Your doctor can also provide valuable tips to help you prevent acquiring an STD in the future as well.
SHOULD YOU USE AT-HOME STD TEST KITS AT ALL?
It may now seem that at-home STD testing kits are simply useless because you will eventually have to visit your healthcare provider to manage your STD effectively. However, that’s far from the truth. While at-home STD test kits cannot provide you with complete and effective care on their own, they do solve several problems associated with an STD diagnosis efficiently.
For example, at-home STD test kits help people avoid the stigma associated with an STD diagnosis. Most people do not feel comfortable talking about their symptoms with other people and even their doctors. At-home STD test kits allow these people to be sure of their STD status from the comfort of their homes. These kits provide people with STDs a chance to diagnose their problems without having to worry about judgment of any kind.
At-home testing kits can also prove beneficial in ruling out unwarranted worry associated with the onset of new and complex symptoms in individuals. Many people develop symptoms that vaguely mimic those of STDs and start to worry about their STD status. At home, STD test kits can help alleviate these worries by testing for STDs and becoming sure if you have the disease that you think you do.
HOW MUCH DO AT-HOME STD TEST KITS COST?
At-home STD testing can prove to be expensive, especially because not a lot of health insurance plans cover their cost. An at-home STD testing kit that can detect up to 3 or 4 STDs can cost around $100. More elaborate STD testing kits can cost up to $400-$500.
However, many regional Planned Parenthood clinics provide free or low-cost STD testing. Most of these clinics also provide at-home STD testing services that also cost little to nothing. Some STD clinics also provide cheap or even free STD testing.
Talk to your healthcare provider about STD testing. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with a comprehensive list of options for you to get an STD test for little to no cost. They may also direct you to organizations and groups that can help you manage your symptoms more effectively.
CAN STDs BE TREATED AT HOME?
No, STDs cannot be treated naturally at home without ever consulting a healthcare provider. Sexually transmitted diseases are often chronic, debilitating diseases that continue to progress until something is done to stop their progression. These infections can linger on for years or even a lifetime and continue to damage a person’s health if no approved treatment is started to halt their ill effects.
Despite the claims you’ll find on the internet, no natural or herbal remedies are proven to be effective against sexually transmitted diseases. In almost all the diagnosed cases of STDs, a course of either antiviral drugs or antibiotics needs to be given to provide effective relief. In some cases, these treatment regimens may even cure the patient altogether. When these medications cannot cure the disease entirely, they at least stop the progression of STDs and thus relieve the patients of their symptoms.