How to do an At Home STD Test
In this article, we are sharing a few nuggets on how to do an at home STD test. It’s only natural that if you need to get tested for an STD, you would feel timid about doing a doctors’ visit. We get it; it’s awkward looking at a stranger (or maybe that doctor is a family friend), whichever the case may be, discussing your sexual habits is awkward. Understandably, some people prefer to delay treatment or dismiss it entirely, potentially leading to severe complications.
But seeing as you’re reading this right now, I assume you know that at-home STD tests are a necessary and practical happy medium. Tag along with us as we help you navigate your options.
Can you test yourself for STDs at home?
In short, yes, you can do an STD test at home.
Even if you need to test for multiple diseases, you may not have to surrender to an uncomfortable visit to a lab or your doctor’s office. Several brands have designed at-home STD testing kits that provide results for multiple diseases. All you need to do is purchase the test online, follow the included instructions, and send the test to the lab for analysis.
How accurate are at-home STD tests?
Each brand produces in-house reports regarding the accuracy of their at-home STD tests. The industry average of these is 92%, making the accuracy of at-home tests comparable to that of tests conducted in health care facilities.
Additionally, many at-home test providers use CLIA-certified laboratories to process samples. Assuming the sample is collected correctly, there is little reason to doubt the quality of the results.
Symptoms are not a prerequisite for STD testing, and some individuals may benefit from regular testing. STD test kits provide a discrete and accurate way to monitor your sexual health confidently.
How can I do an at-home STD test?
At-home STD tests are generally user-friendly, and they all come with step-by-step instructions for you to follow. That being said, some factors should be considered for successful testing.
Not all at-home STD test kits are created equal. Some require different sample types, like vaginal or penile fluid or blood. Some of these differences are due to gender or the nature of the disease being identified. If the test you are taking is gender-specific, it will be labeled as such. Despite their differences, there is a predictable process regarding at-home STD test kits.
- First, search for a reputable company and register with them online before purchasing your at-home STD test kit.
- Once you receive your test, read the instructions and collect your sample as directed. Bear in mind that rushing this process may lead to mistakes.
- Next, package your STD test sample in the provided envelope or bag and ship it to the indicated address for laboratory processing.
- Finally, you can access your results either by email or your online account with the test manufacturer. Results are usually ready within five-seven days of sample submission. Should you test positive, seek treatment and inform any sexual partners right away.
Depending on your result, some companies will provide either clinical support or a referral for your convenience.
Most common sample types
They include blood, urine, and discharge. Each requires a different collection method.
- Blood samples are typically collected via finger-prick. You will puncture the tip of your finger using a tiny needle, then collect the blood into a small container.
- Urine samples require peeing into a sample cup. Instructions are included to ensure error-free collection.
- Discharge samples are collected by wiping either your vaginal or penile area with a specialized cotton swab.
All instructions should be followed as written to facilitate proper sample collection and an accurate result. False positives or negatives resulting from faulty sample collection can be dangerous for you and any of your sexual partners. Be mindful of the expiration date of at-home STD testing kits, usually four months after sample collection, so don’t delay turning in your sample. Note that your test kit may recommend a waiting period between sexual activity and sample collection.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of at-home STD testing, it’s time to move on to where you can find reliable kits. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best at-home STD test kits, so you don’t have to.
There are countless companies with their hands in the at-home STD testing industry. However, that doesn’t make all of the tests the same. Some are more reliable, while others are more user-friendly or perhaps more affordable. Our list takes all of that into account so you can confidently select the right test for you.
Your sexual health status is personal, and you should have the option to maintain it from your living room if you so choose. Provided that you follow the directions carefully, at-home STD testing kits make that a practical and safe option.