4 Things That Typically Happen During STD Testing

4 Things That Typically Happen During STD Testing

If you’ve nev­er have been test­ed for STDs, you may be a bit scared. There’s no real rea­son to be at least when it comes to get­ting test­ed. After all, it’s a key part of being sex­u­al­ly healthy, as being igno­rant about your body’s health is not a good thing. Some of your anx­i­ety stems from not know­ing what hap­pens when you go on for STD testing.

Gyne­col­o­gist Dr. She­lia Loan­zon said most of the STD test­ing is neg­a­tive, but a per­son can give them­selves some peace of mind get­ting the test and know­ing for sure if they are neg­a­tive. Since STD symp­toms are often asymp­to­matic (mean­ing no symp­toms at all), it’s impor­tant sex­u­al­ly active per­sons get test­ed for STDs. She said it’s impor­tant to know and get treat­ed, and know­ing that a per­son is neg­a­tive gives them some comfort. 

Loan­zon said there are many ways in which to test a per­son for STDs – lab work is done for HIV, hepati­tis B and C, and syphilis. A urine test or cul­ture swab is need­ed to test for chlamy­dia and gonorrhea.

What Could You Expect When You Go For STD Testing?

Doc­tor Deter­mines Risk Factors

Before an STD test is ordered, your doc­tor is going to ask you sev­er­al ques­tions. They are ask­ing them to deter­mine the like­li­hood of an STD. Some of these risk fac­tors include a new sex­u­al part­ner in the last two months, more than one sex part­ner, lack of con­dom use, sex with pros­ti­tutes or oth­er sex work­ers, trad­ing sex for drugs or mon­ey, age, pre­vi­ous STD his­to­ry, ille­gal drug use, etc. 

Test­ing For STDs

Some STDs need a blood sam­ple to test for the dis­eases, but with oth­ers, you may have to under­go a vagi­nal screen­ing of your cervix. Accord­ing to Loan­zon, a specu­lum is placed inside the vagi­na and a swab inside the cervix. The swab will not pain, but the specu­lum is known to cause some dis­com­fort when insert­ed. A vagi­nal cer­vi­cal screen­ing is done for both chlamy­dia and gon­or­rhea, which should be done if a per­son is 25 years old or younger.

The swab sam­ple is then sent to a lab, and the doc­tor may choose to do a pelvic exam to ensure there is no pelvic inflam­ma­to­ry disease. 

Blood Test

If you choose not to do the cer­vi­cal screen­ing, blood tests will be done for syphilis, hepati­tis B, hepati­tis C and HIV

Results In 48 Hours or Less

Once test­ing has been done, you’ll need to wait for the results. This can take up to 48 hours. When they get the results, they may ask you to come back into the office or have some­one call you about the results. If a test comes back pos­i­tive, the results are giv­en to you as well as the Pub­lic Health office of the com­mu­ni­ty you reside in. The key for this is to track the infec­tions to ensure it doesn’t become a health crisis. 

Her­pes is the only STD that isn’t includ­ed in rou­tine cer­vi­cal screen­ing or blood tests. So, if a per­son believes they may have gen­i­tal her­pes, they need to inform the doctor.

Loan­zon said even though peo­ple under­stand what hap­pens at an STD screen­ing, they may still have anx­i­ety. If this is the case for you, you need to deter­mine what is trig­ger­ing your stress and anx­i­ety. This will help you to fig­ure out what can ease your fears and mind. If going alone is what scares you, con­sid­er going with a part­ner or trust­ed friend. STD test­ing should be noth­ing to fear, and get­ting screened means you regain con­trol of your health.


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