Guide to at Home STD Testing

Last Updated: October 18, 2018

At Home STD Test The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are almost 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) each year. STD infections can persist for an extendedperiod of time, and most people are not aware they are infected until advance symptoms appear. According to a recent CDC study, “STD screening is critical” in affectively stemming their spread. When caught early, most STDs can be cured or at least managed with proper treatment.

Luckily, with the proliferation of many new direct-to-consumer STD test kid providers, screening yourself or a loved one in the privacy of your own home has never been easier. We tested and evaluated each test from the top providers. The guide below was designed to share with you what we learned and help you find that best STD test to ensure your future health!

What is the best at home STD Test?

Here is a quick summary of the tests we recommend for each STD:

What types of at home STD tests are available?

The first thing to consider when choosing an STD home test is whether you want to take a multi-disease test or whether you want to test for a specific STD. Generally, unless you are experiencing specific symptoms or have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to a specific STD, the multi-disease tests would likely be your best option. However, as you might expect, the individual tests are almost always less expensive. If you are in doubt, we recommend getting the advice of your own physician.

Out of all the companies that offer STD test kits online, our three favorites are myLAB Box, EverlyWell, and LetsGetChecked. You cannot go wrong with ordering a test from any of these companies as they are all rated highly in terms of accuracy, privacy, and customer service. It is important to note that both EverlyWell and myLAB Box are based out of the United States and LetsGetChecked is based out of Europe.

Multi-STD Tests

All three of our recommended at-home STD test companies provide single tests that test for multiple STDs at once. They are all similar. We found that the tests from EverlyWell perhaps offer a slightly better value, however the “Total Box” test from myLAB Box includes HPV (for women over 30) and Mycoplasma. If you live in Europe, you should go with the Standard 6 test from LetsGetChecked. Here is how the most popular tests compare:

  EverlyWell STD Test Male/Female myLAB Box Uber Box myLAB Box Total Box LetGetChecked Standard 6
Standard Price $199 $269 $369 €119
Current Price See latest See latest See latest See latest
Chlamydia
Syphilis
Gonorrhea
HIV (I & II)
Trichomoniasis
 
Hepatitis C
 
Hepatitis B      
Herpes
 
HPV    
 
Mycoplasma    
 

Individual STD Tests

HPV

Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) are sexually transmitted viruses that can cause chronic infections and warts. Some strains can even cause cancer if left untreated. You can find more info about HPV tests offered by the top 3 providers here: EverlyWell ($89), myLAB Box ($69), and LetsGetChecked (€59).

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis is a disease that affects the liver, and can be contracted through exchange of bodily fluids. Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of liver cancer and can often produce no symptoms, meaning that patients can have the disease for many years before getting diagnosed. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer standalone Hep C tests.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that does not always produce symptoms. It’s important to routinely screen for Chlamydia, as it can cause serious health problems, and is thankfully very easy to test for. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer standalone Chlamydia tests.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if left uninfected, can cause serious health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer standalone Gonorrhea tests.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection that only causes symptoms in around 30% of infected individuals. It can also cause inflammation that makes contraction of other STDs much easier. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer Trichomoniasis tests.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection that often causes sores, rashes and fever. This infection is especially dangerous to pregnant women, as it can have fatal effects on the unborn baby. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer standalone Syphilis tests.

HIV

HIV is a viral infection that attacks the body’s immune system. By killing off immune cells, HIV causes weakened immunity and can make the infected individual much more susceptible to other infections and diseases. HIV cannot be cured, but can be effectively managed. It is crucial to detect the virus early to ensure that AIDs isn’t developed. If you take one (or a number) of these tests and receive a positive test result, many providers will offer a free retest to confirm the result. Both EverlyWell ($69) and myLAB Box ($79) offer standalone HIV tests.

Herpes

Herpes is a viral infection that can be caused by two types of viruses. Often referred to as oral or genital herpes, the viruses often produce cold sores and painful blister-like sores on the genitals and anus. There is no cure for herpes, but treatment can help infected individuals cope with the virus and minimize the possibility of spreading the infection to others. As of now, only myLAB Box ($79) offers standalone Herpes tests (and only for Genital Herpes).

Why test for STDs?

There are many reasons why you should get tested for STDs. Here are some of them:

It is part of preventive health care

Everyone deserves a healthy body, mind, and sex life. Getting yourself tested for STDs is one of the primary things you can do to improve and protect your general health. If not treated, some STDs can lead to serious health complications such as infertility, reproductive health problemsor certain cancers.

Most STDs can be treated

The sooner you know that you are infected, the sooner you can undergo treatment. Like many diseases, early diagnosis of an STD means that any treatment is more likely to be successful. If the infection goes extended periods of time undetected, effective treatment becomes more challenging and complicated, and the chances of reversing the damage are much lower.

Some STDs show no symptoms

Many STDs go unnoticed. You can’t tell someone has an STD just by looking at them. Most are asymptomatic, at least until the later stages of illness. For example, on average, people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) do not develop symptoms for a couple of years. The only way to prevent future complications is to get tested regularly to ensure early detection is more likely.

Why you should consider testing with an at home test kit

You can only be certain that you have been infected with an STD if you get tested. If you are worried about acquiring an STD and are too busy or embarrassed to visit a clinic to get tested, collecting a sample within the privacy of your own home could be a better option.

Convenience

By choosing an at home test, you no longer need to book an appointment with your healthcare professional, and your sample collection kit will arrive straight through your postbox, meaning that it won’t affect your daily routine.

Privacy

Most people, especially young adults, are embarrassed about discussing STDs; others don’t want the stigma that’s associatedwith getting an STD test. With home test kits, anyone can collect a sample and get reliable results without involving a healthcare professional, and it can be done in the privacy of their own home.

Accuracy

According to research, home test kits are accurate and reliable with a specificity of 95% to 98% and sensitivity of 98% to 99%.

EverlyWell STDTest

How Reliable Are the Tests?

While some companies sell kits that are FDA-approved, others claim that although their tests aren’t FDA-approved, their tests use “FDA-approved technology.” Most companies partner with laboratories that are certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). If your results are negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re STD-free. Incubation periods vary for STDs, so if you’ve recently been exposed, it may mean that the STD can’t be detected yet. This is one reason why it’s important to regularly test for STDs. Companies remind patients that tests are meant to provide information and education, not to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Tests shouldn’t replace a consultation with a healthcare provider. It’s recommended that you share your results with your doctor to obtain medical advice and treatment.

What is the at home STD Testing Process?

The whole testing process is pretty simple and straightforward. Once you choose which test to take, place the order. Your testing kit should arrive in the mail in 3-5 business days.

Follow the instructions carefully and take your sample, usually it is either a urine sample, a pin-prick blood sample, or vaginal swab.

Send the sample to the lab in the pre-paid postage box that is included. Within 5 business days, you should receive an email that your results are available for viewing online.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about about about the individual STD test, other home health tests, or the direct-to-consumer testing companies themselves? Please see these additional guides InnerBody has published:

STD Tests

Other Home Health Tests

Testing Company Reviews

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