Health is the one thing everybody can agree needs constant attention and monitoring. This point applies to sexual health too. You can either have STD testing in a hospital or have at-home STD testing, which is commonly known as self-testing. The latter option is popular because it is discrete; it appeals to those who have privacy concerns.
For years, self-test kits have been around to cater to women’s health, including those who don’t have time to visit a doctor in-person, want to maintain privacy, or don’t want to do a test in a public space for any other reason. With reports of more than one million cases of STDs daily, it makes sense to monitor your sexual health and treat anything that shows up in a test.
Did you know that there is more than one option available at nearby pharmacies and on the Internet? The online versions can deliver easily to your home and the packaging is discrete to maintain your privacy.
How an at-Home STD test works
If this concept is new to you, here’s what is important to know. Firstly, every STD requires a different approach.
Depending on the type, you might have to take urine samples, oral swabs, or blood tests. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhea require either an oral or anal swab, while HIV and herpes type 2 require a finger prick for blood.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to memorize this info or other details of how to do an at-home test. The kit you buy will have instructions on it for how to properly do it and tips for how to make using it more comfortable. The best one to use depends on the STD, as you’ll see in the next section.
Secondly, once you follow the instructions carefully and have taken the samples, send your results to your clinical team or the diagnostics expert from whom you bought the kit. The clinical team will then analyze and follow up as needed.
4 types of at-home STD tests
Conveniently choose between STD self-testing packages, as listed below. The options include:
1. The Total STD Test Kit
You can use this kit to test for 10 STDs. Some examples are herpes type 2 (HSV-2), chlamydia, HIV, and gonorrhea.
2. The Complete STD Test Kit
Discreetly check for seven common STDs at home with this testing kit. You can test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, herpes type 2, hepatitis C, and trichomoniasis.
3. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea & Trichomoniasis Test Kit
As the name suggests, the kit is specifically for the three STDs that are in its name.
4. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test Kit
You can only test for chlamydia and gonorrhea using this kit. The process requires you to use an oral swab.
Is at-home STD testing right for you?
Speak to a health professional to advise you appropriately. Know that if you are on any medication, it may affect your results.
Hence, you’ll need a medical expert for guidance, a proper reading of results, and alternative options, if necessary. They can also help you choose the suitable self kit for you, depending on factors like your health and age. Also, professional advice can go a long way toward helping you decide if at-home STD testing is right for you.
When you get the results
Please visit a hospital after getting the test results, especially if the results come out positive for any STD. You will need support to interpret the results and get the right treatment.
Since self-test kits are not 100 percent accurate, under no circumstances assume anything once you get the results. A health professional is the safest bet at this point to prevent delayed treatment and misinterpretation of the results.
Think carefully before taking an at-home STD test. While it has many advantages, including convenience and privacy, it comes with the limitation that it is not 100 percent accurate. Remember always to involve a medical professional in the process to help you.