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Can You Test Yourself for STDs?

Highlights  

  • You can test yourself for STDs in the comfort of your home with STD test kits.
  • Order a kit, follow the instructions, and send your samples to a lab for testing.
  • Your lab-certified results will be securely posted online.
  • At-home testing is private, convenient, and accessible for everyone.
  • At-home STD tests are accurate enough to help you keep tabs on your sexual health.

Can you test yourself for STDs? Yes, you can test yourself for STDs and eliminate the need to see a doctor. If you are sexually active, regularly testing for STDs is a good idea. Here, we’ll answer your questions about how at-home STD testing works, how accurate it is, and what to do if you get a positive result.

How Can You Test Yourself for STDs?

It’s simple: Get an STD test kit. You can order these online, and most test kit providers deliver their merchandise discreetly. Some may even ship your kit for free.

Once you receive your kit, you will have to collect one or more samples. You may have to provide a urine sample, a blood sample, a nasal or oral swab, or an anal swab, depending on the STD you’re testing for.

Your kit should contain everything you need to collect your samples, and the instructions will tell you exactly how to use the included tools. Follow the instructions exactly when taking the sample.

Enclose your samples in the envelope that comes with the kit, fill out the required forms, and send it to the lab. The lab will analyze your samples and determine your results. In two to five business days, you should know whether or not you are infected.

Why Should You Test Yourself for STDs?

Testing for STDs should be a must for everyone who’s sexually active. It’s good to be aware of how sexually healthy you are for several reasons:

  • Many STDs don’t produce any symptoms or signs. You can have an STD without knowing it.
  • STDs are more widespread than most people realize.
  • Knowing that you have an STD early allows you to seek treatment sooner and avoid embarrassment or serious health consequences.
  • Being aware of an STD lets you protect others by refraining from sexual contact or using adequate protection.
  • Most STDs are treatable.

Why should you consider testing yourself? For many, STDs, or even the likelihood of a sexually transmitted infection, carries a heavy stigma of shame. Self-testing lets you collect the samples in the privacy of your home. You don’t have to face a medical professional when you hand over your samples for analysis.

performing a test
Keeping tabs on your sexual health is always a good idea.

Self-testing is convenient and allows you to test for multiple STIs at once. Test manufacturers try to make the testing process as painless as possible; many guarantee that their tests are 100 percent pain-free.

Other advantages of at-home STD testing include:

  • It’s discreet. With some online STD test providers, you can sidestep insurance. You pay out-of-pocket for the testing, and the lab does not put your results on your medical record.
  • It’s convenient. Many high-risk men are more likely to test themselves for STDs than to go to a clinic for testing.
  • It’s flexible. Online STD testing allows you to pick the STD you want to test for. STD testing is also available in kits that let you test for multiple STDs at once.

The Disadvantages of At-home STD Testing

The accuracy of at-home STD testing relies on your judgment and sample-taking skills. Because you are most likely not a medical professional, you may make mistakes. For this reason, home testing may not be as accurate as on-site testing done at a clinic.

Are At-home STD Tests Accurate?

No STD test can promise 100% accuracy. Both at-home and clinic-based tests can result in false negatives and false positives. However, when done correctly, lab-certified at-home STD kits — like those from myLabBox — are highly accurate at 92% or better. Accuracy for some tests may even be higher than those you would get from a clinic.

However, accuracy depends on following specimen collection instructions exactly. To avoid wasting your money and ensure a trustworthy result, take the time to read and re-read the instructions before collecting your sample.

What Type of STD Test Kit Do You Need?

The tests you should do and your testing frequency depend on your risk factors. If you are sexually active with multiple sexual partners, you should test often and for multiple STIs.

Many at-home STD tests available on the market cover a wide range of STD tests. With a single kit, you may be able to test for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), hepatitis C, HIV, and trichomoniasis.

STD Risk Factors

If you are a sexually active young man with multiple sex partners or a man who has sex with other men, you are at an increased risk of gonorrhea and chlamydia infection.

According to the CDC, sexually active adolescents and young adults should test for HIV more frequently. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you’re at higher risk for hepatitis C. Drug users and men who have sex with men are also more exposed to these infections.

woman with thumbs up and thumbs down
Some STDs are symptomless

Herpes, in particular, can slip under the radar because there are no clear screening protocols for it.  Everyone is a potential carrier, and it seldom generates any symptoms. Unless you have never had sex, you may want to test yourself for HSV.

What to Do if You Test Positive?

If your test turns out positive, meaning that you have an STD, do the following:

  • Contact your doctor and start treatment as soon as possible.
  • Consider further testing to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Let your sexual partners know about your diagnosis. They may have contracted the same STD.
  • Be prepared to deal with emotions. You may feel anger, disappointment, shame, or fear.

How can eDrugstore Help You?

We carry high-quality, lab-certified at-home STD test kits from myLAB Box for most STIs. You can choose tests for individual infections or combination tests that test for several STDs at once to help you monitor and maintain your sexual health.

We deliver quickly and discreetly, and shipping is always free with eDrugstore. Our U.S.-licensed doctors can help you with the prescriptions you need to treat STDs and other sexual health conditions, including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and more.

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