Nobody likes discussing STDs and certainly no one jumps at the opportunity to get tested. Although this topic is often avoided, It’s very important to get tested if you think you have an STD, because some STDs can cause serious health problems if you don’t treat them. Also, having an STD makes you more likely to get other STDs, like HIV. And it’s best to find out right away if you have an STD, so you can avoid giving it to other people.
STD Symptoms and Testing
As if dealing with STDs wasn’t uncomfortable enough, the situation is made even more ambiguous when there are no signs that you’ve even been infected. The truth is, many STDs have no symptoms at all. This means many people may have them and could be passing them on without knowing. So even you’ve been in a monogamous relationship for years and have been 100% faithful to each other, there’s still a chance one or both of you could have an STD if you haven’t been tested.
The main point is to emphasize that even if you haven’t had sex in nine months, it’s a good idea to get tested for common, symptomless infections, especially before you become sexually active again.
Chlamydia, is the most common STD and you can become infected through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Condoms do a good job at preventing the spread of Chlamydia, but even if you use a condom every time, it’s still a good idea to get tested because oftentimes you won’t show any symptoms at all. Luckily, Chlamydia testing is done with a simple urine sample or self-collected vaginal swab, so you don’t even have to get a pelvic exam. The Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) recommends annual Chlamydia testing for all sexually active women aged 14-25, even if you’ve had the same partner for many years or haven’t had sex in a while. Chlamydia is the only test that is routinely recommended for all sexually active young women, but even doctors need a reminder sometimes. Make an appointment to see your provider (or find one in our health center finder), and get yourself tested.
It’s also a good idea to test for gonorrhea because it can be done from the same sample as your Chlamydia test. One trip to the bathroom, two tests. How simple is that? Gonorrhea is another common infection that often goes undetected and can cause some serious issues if left untreated. And then of course there’s HPV (human papilloma virus), which can be detected from your annual pap smear. If you stay up on your lady-part exams, you’re good to go on that one.
There are some other, more rare STDs that you may want to consider being tested for. The CDC recommends that all sexually active people have an HIV test at least once, but not regularly unless there are other risk factors (like many partners, partners who use IV drugs, or men who have sex with men). Similar deal with hepatitis and syphilis: only recommended for folks at risk. Testing for herpes is not recommended unless you think you may have it (painful sores are the key indicator) or because you know your partner has it.
3 Top Rated ways to get tested
After searching the internet, reading blogs, and comparing reviews, these three testing sites were consistently rated the best:
Here is how their process works:
1. Order STD Testing (several options available)
STDcheck.com makes getting tested for STDs a simple and convenient process. Order testing by phone or online. Test centers are open Monday – Friday, with some locations open on Saturday.
2. Visit test center
They have over 4,500 test centers nationwide so finding one near you is easy. There is no waiting, paperwork or appointment needed- you are in and out in minutes.
3. Get Results
Receive your test results in your online account within 1-2 days. Their Care Advisers are available at 1-800-456-2323 to answer your questions or address your concerns. For all positive test results, their doctors are available for a phone consultation.
STD Test Results in 1-2 days
Your results are ready within 1-2 days and can be accessed in your secure online account. They make STD testing fast and easy.
If your results are positive, you will receive instructions on how to schedule a phone consultation with one of their physicians. During the consultation, their physicians will explain what your results mean, answer any questions you have, and can prescribe treatment at their discretion.
STDcheck.com is the only service that offers an FDA-approved HIV RNA Early Detection Test. You can be confident that they follow all federal and state government testing guidelines.
Everlywell.com offers a wide range of testing options including a discreet test for seven common STDs.
They will check for 7 sexually transmitted infections that could harm you if left undiagnosed, all from the privacy of home. If positive results are detected, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with their independent physician network and may receive treatment.
Measures – Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis C, Herpes Type 2, HIV, Syphilis & Trichomoniasis
Collection Method – Finger Prick Blood and Urine
myLAB Box is your lab in a box. Their experts have designed a home testing program that makes screening for common conditions and infections easy, convenient and private. Skip the lab visit and take control of your health with a click from the comfort of home. Their tests are a fraction of the cost of conventional lab testing and have no hidden fees or co-pays. Best of all if you ever test positive, treatment via telemedicine is free and just a call away. Test whenever and wherever – you are in charge. And, of course, shipping and results are discreet!
1. Order Online
No need to go to a lab or book appointments.
2. Test At Home
Collect and mail your sample in 5 minutes.
3. Get Results
Results as accurate as those done in a clinic.
4. Free Consults
Same-day treatment phone consultations.
Get tested Because You Respect Yourself and Your Sexual Partners
Still, the best reason to get tested for STDs is that doing so helps you to have open, honest, and accurate conversations with sexual partners about STD risk and safe sex. Unless you’ve both gone to your doctors and asked for STD testing, there’s no way to know whether you have any infections that you’ll want to disclose to each other.
While it’s a good idea to play safe even in low-risk situations, it’s also really nice to be able to make informed choices about your sexual health. You can’t determine whether someone has a sexually transmitted infection just by looking at them or based on what they do. The only way to know what’s going on is to seek out testing. It may not be perfect 100 percent the time, but it’s far more accurate than relying on guesswork or assumptions.