When you think of STD testing, the first thing that probably comes to mind is an examination by a doctor or nurse. That’s one option, but it doesn’t have to be the only one. There are many other ways to learn if you do have STD, and they’re all easy to do and take very little time. Here are some STD testing options:
- Genital Warts (HPV) or Herpes (herpes labialis) are by far the most common STD. These are easy to get, and often the first signs of infection are red, itching, burning, or swollen skin around the genitals. Most of the time, you’ll know if you have genital warts if you see a rash, itchy bump, or sores. Usually, these symptoms go away on their own after a few days. However, in some cases, genital warts may spread and cause sores or open sores. In this case, it’s important to see your gynecologist or other STD doctor to get an STD test.
- Regular Strep testing. In most states, you must receive a standard STD examination every year to be tested for Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Your provider will examine you and perform a physical exam, gather a urine or blood sample, and perform a screening for abnormalities using a special swab. Once your provider diagnoses your condition, you’ll be advised of treatment. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as itching or burning around the genitals, you should be seen right away for STD testing My lab.
- Urinalysis. This is another common STD test that is performed to detect gonorrhea and Chlamydia. A swab of the vaginal discharge or urethra is inserted into a urine bag. The swab is then returned to the doctor for examination. Depending on the results, your physician may order a urinalysis specimen. These tests are usually done annually.
- Blood test. Some STD tests may also require a blood test. A special device will be used to draw blood from your arm. Depending on the specific test, your provider may collect any visible or invisible blood cells with a disposable swab. If there are visible or blood cells in your semen or vaginal discharge, you may need to be tested for gonorrhea or Chlamydia.
- Pap smear. If your provider orders a Pap smear, he or she may also request blood tests. A pap smear is often used to detect cervical cancer. It’s used to check for abnormal growths on the cervix and for inflammation or warts near the cervix. Your provider may use one of two types of pap smear tests: The genital warts specific test, or the non-specific venereal pap test.