making a test tube

Home Test Kits for STIs [What You Need to Know to DIY]

Highlights 

  • Home test kits for STIs allow people to check their sexual health from the comfort of their home instead of visiting a doctor or clinic.
  • STD rapid test kits check for various diseases, including herpes, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Some test kits are done entirely at home and give users results the same day tests are administered, while others require testers to mail their sample to a lab with results available within the week.
  • Regular STD testing helps people discover and treat their STDs at earlier stages, when they may still be asymptomatic.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are important so people can avoid long-term health consequences from STIs, including fertility problems.
  • When taking at-home STI tests, it’s important to follow the directions exactly to get the most accurate results.

Home test kits for STIs allow users to check their sexual health in the privacy of their own home. At-home tests screen for STDs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes and deliver results without having to visit a doctor’s office. Here, we’ll discuss why it’s crucial to test for STIs, the types of at-home STI test kits available, and how the at-home testing process works.

Home Test Kits for STIs: What You Need To Know

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections passed through sexual contact. They can be spread through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Common STDs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, genital herpes, HIV/AIDs, and syphilis. People of any age and ethnicity can contract and spread STIs.

It’s important for anyone who is sexually active to get regular STD screening to protect their health and the health of current and future partners. This is true even for people who use condoms and other safe sex practices. Cases of STIs have been on the rise every year since 2014, with the number of cases now reaching an all-time high of 2.6 million.

Regular screening for STDs helps people stay aware of their status and seek treatment quickly after an infection is detected. Many people get STD testing done at their doctor’s office as part of their annual physical, while others may rely on clinics that focus on sexual health and STI testing.

Using at-home STI testing kits allows people to test on demand in the privacy of their home. Testing for STIs at home can save time and money, especially for people who lack health insurance.

std test tube

How At-home STD Checks Work

Screening for STDs at home is simple. First, order the test kit online and wait for it to arrive. Instructions are included in the test kit on collecting and securing a sample. It’s essential to follow the directions on the kit, as poor sample collections can lead to inaccurate results.

Sample collection varies between STI tests may include:

  • Blood from a finger-prick
  • A urine sample
  • An oral, vaginal, or anal swab

Depending on the type of test, you may need to mail your sample to a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified lab for results. The lab tests the sample and delivers results in several days. Other test kits contain rapid tests, which give same-day results at home.

Accuracy of Home Tests

Home tests mailed to and processed by a lab offer the same accuracy as STD testing provided by doctors if you follow the sample collection instructions exactly. Samples that are contaminated or taken improperly can result in errors and false negative results.

Types of At-home STD Test Kits

There are a variety of STD test types to choose from. You can choose from bundles that test for numerous STIs or opt for infection-specific tests. For some tests, rapid at-home STI kits are available that give same-day results.

STD Rapid-test Kits

Rapid home STD tests work like home pregnancy tests. You will collect the sample yourself, and results appear in minutes rather than days or weeks. A positive rapid test will allow you to seek treatment immediately, but some rapid tests are more accurate than others and may be less accurate than laboratory tests.

Bundled Kits vs. Individual Tests

If you’re looking for regular screening of multiple STDs, you may opt for a bundled kit. These test kits use one sample to test for a wide range of infections. Multi-test kits are available for men and women.

If you know you’ve been exposed to a specific STI, you may prefer to buy an individual test. Unlike bundles, an individual STD test only checks for one type of infection, such as HIV or herpes. They’re typically recommended for people who believe they’ve contracted the infection and not as a preliminary screening tool.

checking for stds

When To Test for STDs

People who are infected with an STD may not notice symptoms immediately. It’s only as STDs progress that symptoms can appear or worsen. STD symptoms vary between men and women and even between patients of the same sex. Anyone who experiences symptoms of an STD should get tested immediately.

STD Symptoms for Men

Men experience different STD symptoms than women. They may not have external signs of an STD, depending on their infection type. Common symptoms in men vary but can include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes around the groin
  • Swollen testicles
  • An itchy rash
  • Pain while urinating
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • Blisters that may appear on the penis, testicles, rectum, or upper thighs

Regular screening for STIs is advised because many infections don’t cause noticeable symptoms until they reach later stages. Current STD testing guidelines from the CDC are based on a person’s sexual history.

Without treatment, STIs can cause long-term health problems, including infertility. By regularly screening with home testing, you can catch an STD early and begin treatment to avoid future health complications.

STI Symptoms in Female Partners

Many common symptoms of STIs in women are similar to other conditions and can be confused for a urinary tract infection (UTI) or bacterial vaginosis. Women need to get tested for STDs if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Any vaginal odor or discharge
  • Itching or burning inside the vagina
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Burning or pain while urinating or having bowel movements
  • Needing to use the bathroom more frequently
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
  • Any bumps, blisters, or sores inside the vagina, mouth, or anus

eDrugstore Carries STD Test Kits

Home test kits for STIs help people screen for infections more conveniently. They’re an excellent testing option for those wanting more privacy and anyone with less accessible healthcare options. People looking for STI test kits should consider ordering oiline with eDrugstore.

We offer a wide variety of home test kits for STIs, including bundles designed for women. Our testing kits always ship for free and in discrete packaging to protect your privacy.

As always, we also carry the FDA-approved sexual health and erectile dysfunction medications you need to enjoy a happy and healthy love life.

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