Learning how to get tested for STDs, finding a reliable provider of STD testing services, and getting tested regularly are all essential in maintaining a healthy and responsible sex life. Sexually active adults and teens taking appropriate safe sex measures to prevent STD transmission are certainly at a lower risk. Unfortunately, short of abstinence, there is no way to 100 percent avoid contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Fortunately, getting tested for STDs is not nearly as complicated or inconvenient as you might think.
If you’re looking to get tested (and there’s never a bad time to do so) you’ll be pleased to know that you have several options to choose from and, while each has their own advantages and disadvantages, none are especially difficult or intrusive. If you’re beginning a relationship with a new partner, both of you should consider taking an STD test before taking things to the next step. If you’re not currently sexually active but you have been in the past, it still doesn’t hurt to take a test to know for sure. Remember, many STDs are asymptomatic and it’s not uncommon for men or women to go years without even realizing they’ve been infected. Regardless of how active your sex life might be, STD testing is always a responsible choice. Here are some tips for how to get tested for STDs today:
Where to Get Tested for STDs
The good news is that you have some options here. There are many providers of STD testing services that all do a wonderful job in providing patients with results they can trust. So when it comes to ensuring accuracy, you really can’t go wrong with any of these choices. When making your decision, you’ll want to weigh other variables such as price, convenience, location, turnaround time, and commitment to privacy. From there, you can make an educated choice as to which testing option is right for you personally. All that being said, let’s take a look at some of your most common options.
Urgent Care STD Testing
If you don’t have a primary care physician, urgent care STD testing is a good alternative. Urgent care facilities are located in most major metros across the United States, so chances are there’s at least one not too far out of the way for you. Most urgent care centers — which are typically small walk-in clinics that operate like an ER without long waits or in-depth procedures — offer testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. If you’re expecting your insurance company to foot the bill, you’ll want to double check on the specifics of your policy to ensure that it is accepted. Like a primary doctor visit, your insurance may not cover certain (or any) STD tests, and a co-pay is usually required when visiting an urgent care clinic. Most urgent care centers provide tests for common STDs, but some centers may direct you to visit a GP or other testing facility when it comes to the less common diseases.
Sexual Health Clinics
In most areas — rural, urban, and otherwise — there are typically a handful of sexual health clinics or community health centers for people who either don’t have health insurance or require an inexpensive testing option. Though often deemed “the free clinic”, services at these facilities may require a small out-of-pocket fee (although some are true to the moniker and, in fact, free of charge). In any case, area clinics typically do offer reliable STD testing services to their patrons. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective STD testing option, you may find what you’re looking for at your local community health center.
The major downside to visiting a sexual health clinic? The wait times. Due to, typically, a high volume of foot traffic, you may find yourself waiting a while to get tested and your results may take substantially longer to arrive as compared to other options on this list. Accurate STD, for example, takes around 24-72 hours to get patients their results depending on test type and the facility itself. You may need to wait much longer should you utilize the services of your local health clinic.
STD Testing at Home
If it’s convenience you’re looking for, you can certainly avoid the need to make an appointment and drive across town to a crowded facility by simply taking the test at home. There are a number of reliable STD testing options you can pick up at your local drug store or have delivered to your home. Typically these tests require you to package a urine, blood, and/or vaginal swab sample and mail it off to the laboratory for processing. Results, when available, are posted on a secure, password-protected website or a representative will call to discuss results over the phone. While you won’t have to leave your home, these tests do require a bit of careful and precise execution on your part to ensure you don’t accidentally contaminate your sample (not to mention, drawing one’s own blood by way of a finger prick may be a bit too much for some patients to handle). Because of the uncertainties surrounding collection methods, at-home tests are more prone to false positives or false negatives.
Online STD Testing Options
For discreet testing that you can trust, consider going online to connect with professionals like Accurate STD Testing for your private STD testing services. They’ll help you decide which STD tests make the most sense for your symptoms and sexual activity, and they’ll even identify testing facilities near you for easy access and convenience. The STD testing process is simple and no appointments are necessary. Upon arrival, all you need on-hand is a confirmation receipt provided by the online network you’ve partnered with. Then, you’ll receive your results discreetly and quickly through the online network.
Your experience is kept totally private and, through networks like Accurate STD Testing, your testing (and its subsequent results) are never reported to insurance. Even better? When you get tested through Accurate STD, the results — or the fact that you got tested in general — do not end up in your personal health records like they may when insurance companies get involved. Generally speaking, online STD testing services like Accurate STD combine convenience, reliability, and cost-effectiveness and produce results in a hurry.
How to Ask Your Doctor for An STD Test
You should never feel too embarrassed or ashamed to have an open and honest conversation with our primary care physician, and that goes double for STD testing. If you’re unsure about your potential exposure to an STD, or just want the self-assurance that only your physician can provide, consider scheduling an appointment to get an STD test at your trusted physician’s office. The benefits of visiting your GP include convenience, familiarity, and a decreased fear or worry of being stigmatized. It can be scary asking for help in a situation like this, but it’s necessary. Your doctor only wants what is best for you and they’ll be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the right treatment regimen to get you back on the path to wellness should it come to that.
It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each and decide which of these options is the right venue for your needs. If you’re looking for a free (or close to free) option, you might seek the services of your local clinic. If you’re not up for leaving the house (and finger pricks don’t bother you) then an at-home option might be your best bet. And if you’re looking for convenience, speed, and reliability at a fair price, we’d love for you to consider Accurate STD’s line of testing options. Of course, you can never go wrong by scheduling an appointment with your physician who will certainly get you the results and treatment options you need. Now that you know how to get tested for STDs, the next step is to do just that.