How Does STD Testing Work?

STD Testing

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are caused by Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). The terms are often used interchangeably. One question on the mind of many young patients is ‘How does STD testing work?’. And for anyone who is visiting an STD Clinic for the first time, this is a very important question to ask. Understanding what happens during STD testing and realising that it isn’t a painful or embarrassing procedure can help ensure that more people get tested and that we slow the spread of STD’s here in the UK.

With that being said, we are going to take a look at how STD testing works and why you should get tested.

Do I Need to Ask My Doctor for an STD Test?

STD testing is typically a quick and painless procedure which isn’t usually included in regular medical exams. You need to request STD testing from your private GP or visit an STD Clinic for testing. When asking about STD testing, be honest with the doctor about your sex life. This will help them decide which STD tests are best for you.

How to Know What STD Tests Are Needed

After you request STD testing, your doctor will recommend which tests you need. This will depend on a wide range of factors including:

  • Your age
  • Any symptoms you or your partner have.
  • If you or your partner has ever had an STI before.
  • If you have had unprotected sex with a new partner.
  • The kind of sexual contact you’ve had.
  • If you use barrier contraception, like condoms.
  • Other things you do that increase your chances of getting certain infections.

What to Expect from STD Testing?

Typically, most STD tests are quick, easy, and painless. There is no one single test which covers all STDs, and each STD has its own test. STD testing can include:

  • A urine test — you simply pee into a sample container.
  • A swab — you can take a swab from the throat, genitals, or anus yourself, or a healthcare professional can help you.
  • A blood test — a healthcare professional draws a blood sample.
  • A physical exam — your doctor will examine your genital area to check for warts, sores, rashes, irritation, or discharge.

Most tests take a few days for results to come back from a lab. Be sure to call your STD Clinic if you have not heard back about your results. If you have typical symptoms of an STD, your doctor might start treatment before the results come back.

Contact Northway Clinic

To learn more about STD testing, contact Northway Clinic today and speak to a healthcare professional who can answer any questions you might have.

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