Guide to at Home STD Testing

By: Lauren Browning
Last Updated: August 05, 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 (STD) 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 CDC’s study, “STD screening is critical” in effectively stemming their spread. Luckily, with the proliferation of several 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.

What is the best at home STD Test?

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

  • Best comprehensive STD Test for Women: EverlyWell
  • Best comprehensive STD Test for Men: EverlyWell
  • Best HIV Test: Private LetsGetChecked
  • Best Syphilis Test: EverlyWell
  • Best HPV Test: EverlyWell
  • Best Mycloplasma Genitalium Test: LetsGetChecked
  • Best Genital Herpes Test: myLab Box
  • Best Chlamydia + Gonorrhea Test: EverlyWell
  • Best Hepatitis C Test: EverlyWell
  • Best Yeast Test: myLAB Box
  • Best Trichomoniasis Test: EverlyWell

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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