What Should You Expect During STD testing?
STD testing checks for infections that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, like HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. You can get STD testing if you experience abnormal genital discharge, genital pain, pain during intercourse, fever, or abnormal changes around your genitals, like bumps and sores. You can also go for Las Vegas STD testing if your sexual partner tests positive for an STI or has active symptoms of an STD. Your doctor can recommend regular STD testing if you have mutual partners. STD testing helps stop the spread of STDs, protects your unborn baby from infection, and helps you get early and effective treatment.
Which infections are screened during STD testing?
During STD testing, your doctor may screen for one or more diseases. These diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
How are STD tests performed?
Depending on your sexual history, your healthcare provider may recommend several tests to check for STIs. These tests may include:
Blood and urine tests
Most STDs can be tested through blood and urine samples. Your doctor can recommend urine or blood tests to check for gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV. Sometimes urine and blood tests are not as accurate as other types of tests. For example, if you contract HIV, it can take several weeks or a few months for HIV to be detected in blood samples.
Doctors mostly use vaginal, cervical, and urethra swabs to check for STDs. If you have a vagina, your provider can use a cotton applicator to take vaginal and cervical swabs during a pelvic exam. Doctors use urethra swabs for both men and women. If you engage in anal sex, your doctor may recommend a rectal swab to check for infections in your rectum.
Your doctor can combine physical examination with other tests to diagnose STDs like herpes and genital warts. A physical exam includes your provider looking for sores or bumps around your genitals or mouth. If your doctor finds abnormal signs, the provider can take samples and send them to a laboratory for testing. Ensure you notify your doctor if you have any changes on or around your genitals or your anus and rectum if you engage in anal sex.
HPV testing screens for Human papillomavirus infection. If you have persistent HPV infections, you are at an increased risk of cervical cancer. There are many types of HPV, but HPV 16 and 18 and the ones related to cervical cancer.
What happens if you test positive for an STD?
If you test positive for an STD, your doctor will develop the right treatment plan. Depending on the STD you have, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, antivirals, or topical medications. Your doctor will teach you safe-sex practices to prevent infections in the future or reduce the risk of infecting your partner. It is also essential you notify any recent sexual partners if you test positive for an STD and encourage them to get tested.
STD testing checks for infections that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Testing may involve blood or urine tests, swabs, or physical examinations. Schedule an appointment with Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, for STD testing to prevent severe complications from untreated infections.
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