What are STD tests?
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests are quick and painless examinations that can diagnose and study possible sexual diseases, in case the result is positive in the patient.
STD tests allow to diagnose or rule out sexually transmitted diseases
sexually transmitted diseases in a simple and painless way.
What do they consist of?
STD tests will differ according to the sexually transmitted disease; that is, each STD has its own test. The tests include:
- Buccal swab, scraping the inside of the cheek with a soft swab. This will be used to test for HIV
- Blood test
- Physical examination, where the doctor will examine the genital area and look for sores, warts, rashes, discharge or irritation.
- Sore analysis. For this purpose, the physician will take a sample of internal fluid with a swab.
- Use of a swab to take samples of secretions or cells from the vagina, penis, cervix, urethra, throat or anus.
Why are they performed?
STD tests are not always part of a regular gynecological or health check-up, so they are often specifically requested. It is important to be honest with the specialist, who may be an expert in Clinical Analysis, Gynecology, Family Medicine or Urology. It is estimated that most people suffer from an STD at least once in their lives, so getting tested will show that we are taking care of our health.
The doctor or nurse will help the patient determine the necessary and appropriate tests for each case based on:
- The patient’s symptoms
- Possibility that the person or partner has already had an STD.
- Number of persons with whom sexual intercourse has taken place
- Type of sex had (vaginal, anal or oral)
- How often protection is used
- Other habits that may increase the likelihood of some infections (e.g., sharing needles)
Some STDs are similar and manifest in similar ways, so testing for other infections may be performed.
Preparation for STD testing
No special preparation is necessary. In the case of a blood test, the patient may be asked to fast and, in the case of a urine test, the patient will be asked to urinate into a small container.
What does the test feel like?
STD tests are simple and, as a rule, painless, so the patient will not feel any particular discomfort in any case.
Meaning of abnormal results
The specialist may be able to tell the patient immediately if he or she has an STD, but some test results may take a few days or weeks. For HIV tests, results can be known within 20 minutes in some clinics.
If the patient is told they have an STD it can be a strong emotional shock. It is normal that, at first, you may feel embarrassed or angry, but the doctors will make you understand that you will be fine and you will not be alone. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions at all times, and to tell everyone you have sex with the news so that they can also get tested and treated if necessary.
There are many sexually transmitted diseases that are easily curable, so you just need to comply with the treatment and go about your day-to-day life as normal. In the case of STDs that cannot be cured, there are ways to treat the symptoms so as not to pass the disease on to the people with whom you have sex.
It is important to note that people with STDs can still have sex and lead a normal life. There is no need to feel ashamed because it does not mean being a “dirty” or “bad” person. Anyone who has sex with anyone else can get an STD, which means that almost everyone in the world can get one.
If you need to get an STD test, you can buy one online and choose the lab closest to you.