Before we move on and discuss top things everyone should know about STD screening and tests, let’s make one thing clear – if you have an active sexual life that isn’t monogamous, you are at a high risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, you should be screened, regardless of whether you have noticed any symptoms or discomfort whatsoever. As per several studies, most STDs don’t have any overt symptoms so saying that you don’t show any signs of a diseases isn’t a good enough reason to skip screening for STDs.
1. Don’t confuse screening with testing
Although both terms are used interchangeable, in this context, testing isn’t the same thing as screening. Testing is when your doctor conducts a test after noticing symptoms of an STD such as sores or warts on your genitals. While, on the other hand, screening is when you don’t show any symptoms of STDs but your physician asks you to get yourself checked based on your sexual activity.
2. There are different screening methods for different STDs
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a single blood or urine taste which tells whether you have an STD or not. There’s a distinct screening process for different types of STDs. For instance, for chlamydia you would need a urine sample, a throat swab along with a rectal swab. It all comes down to your sexual activity – if you are engaging in unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex, every type of activity warrants a different type of screening method.
3. Screening isn’t painful
You may have heard about urethra swabs – where you had to stick a cotton swap inside your urethra, the hole at the tip of your penis. That’s a thing of the past now. Now, STD screening is carried out through urine samples.
4. Screening is fully covered by your insurance
If you are worried about the costs involved in getting screened for STDs, don’t be – insurance covers all types of testing and screening processes for STDs. Even if you don’t have insurance, you can opt for free screening facilities which are located in most big cities and towns – operated by the government or charities to promote safe sex and sexual wellness.
5. You don’t need to fast or do anything before your screening procedure
Unlike other screening tests such as the one for diabetes which requires fasting for hours, you don’t need to do anything before you get screened for STDs. Although, you may need to avoid going to the toilet for at least 2 hours before the test so you can accumulate enough urine for the screening process. It’s the urine at the beginning which consists the majority of DNA which is required for a reliable screening result.
6. You don’t have to wait longer for your results
If you are concerned about how long it would take to get results – it doesn’t really take longer than 48 hours. It’s understandable that you won’t want to wait for weeks to have sex.
7. In some cases, you may require addition screening
Some STDs can be identified within the first round of screening but some require extensive testing for which you would be required to show up for second round.