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 extended period of time, and most people are not aware they are infected until advanced symptoms appear. According to a recent CDC study, “STD screening is critical” in effectively stemming their spread. It’s also the first step toward getting successful treatment.
STDcheck has been a major player in revolutionizing the way we test for STDs, enabling more convenient service and the ability to access and process test results from home, while still having the test administered in a local certified lab. We’ve thoroughly tested STDcheck’s services and in this review will tell you all of the details about the value, quality, convenience, and privacy of testing with STDcheck.
- STDcheck offers the most discreet STD testing available – you do not even have to give your name if you do not want to.
- All STDcheck tests are FDA-approved, and all labs that perform testing are CLIA-certified.
- Tests are 99% accurate.
- STDcheck provides industry-leading customer support and the fastest turnaround times available (including same-day testing).
- With over 4,500 testing centers nationwide, chances are high that there is a center very close to your home.
- STDcheck offers the HIV RNA early detection test.
- STDcheck accepts FSA and HSA payment cards.
- STDcheck does not currently accept health insurance (which happens to also increase your privacy).
- Only available within the United States.
- STDcheck does not offer testing for trichomoniasis or mycoplasma genitalium.
If you want to test for STDs in a manner that is extremely discreet, convenient, cost-effective, and safe – and you want to have the test administered in a lab – then STDcheck should be at the top of your list. We are confident that you will not be disappointed. STDcheck is an industry leader and, in our testing, the best choice for in-lab STD testing.
With over 4,500 testing centers nationwide, STDcheck provides a logical alternative to inconvenient doctor visits and at-home test kits.
STDcheck specializes in STD testing, and it does it well. The company receives very high ratings in terms of Value, Accuracy, Privacy, and Customer Support.
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles. Our testing team has purchased and compared over 500 health-related tests to date, and we are constantly updating our reviews based on the latest test advances.
This guide, like all medical-related content on our website, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health-related service we review. We evaluate the entire customer experience from signing up to the use of the product or service, and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
STDcheck is a testing company that enables you to browse a selection of STD tests and order the test that you need, anytime, from the convenience and privacy of your home. You order the test from home, and you will ultimately review your results (and, in certain cases, consult with a doctor) from home, but the test will be administered in a nearby lab.
The STDcheck testing process is very straightforward and is as follows:
Step 1 - Order your STD test
Simply go to the STDcheck.com website and select which individual tests or test packages you want to order. You can also call them on your phone. All of these tests are FDA-approved.
Pay for the testing to complete your order. If you can’t afford the test at the moment, you can opt to “Pay Later”. But you will need to pay for the test in order to gain access to the test results.
Keep reading for our recommendations on which tests you might want to consider.
Step 2: Choose a test center
You will use the STDcheck website to find a testing center that will be convenient for you to visit. Enter your zip code or let the website search your location via GPS. The advanced matching system will show you a list of all the nearest testing centers. Nationwide there are a whopping 4,500 testing locations, most of which are open Monday-Friday during standard business hours. Some are also open on Saturdays. Select the center that is most convenient for you.
You will then be asked to give some optional personal information, such as your name, gender, date of birth, etc., along with your preferred method of payment and how you want to receive your test results.
Finally, you will be given a personal test code to write down. Please make sure to write it down.
Step 3: Visit the test center
To get tested, visit your local lab at your convenience. There is no need for an appointment and yet there is also no waiting involved. There isn’t even any paperwork to fill out when you arrive. You simply arrive, get tested, and leave. The entire test process usually takes only around five minutes.
Make sure to bring your personal test code. Otherwise, the lab will not know which test results are yours. Also note that the test centers do not accept payments. All payments must be made online.
Step 4: Receive your results
You should expect STDcheck to send your test results back to you within only one or two working days (though we find most users get their results back in less than 24 hours). This is among the fastest turnaround times available.
You can choose to receive your results via text or email. You can also opt to call in to receive your results (an especially convenient option if you share a phone or email account with someone).
You’re encouraged to contact the company’s Care Advisors (1-800-456-2323) at any time, and they will answer any questions you might have in regard to your testing results.
Step 5: Consult with a doctor (free of charge) if you test positive
If you tested positive, you can then call to schedule a free consultation with one of STDcheck’s doctors (1-800-456-2323), which we strongly encourage you to do. Take advantage of this excellent additional value, because the doctor can answer your questions about next steps, as well as potentially prescribe a medication to treat the STD if appropriate. In that scenario, the prescription(s) would be sent to your local pharmacy for an additional fee. In some cases, the doctor can refer you to a specialist for further management.
Step 6 (Optional): Send anonymous notifications
One additional feature that is unique to STDcheck is the ability to send 100% anonymous notifications to your partner(s) alerting them about the positive result. It will just advise them that they might also want to take a test.
Need to cancel your order?
If you change your mind about testing, or you need to cancel for whatever reason, here are your options:
- As long as you cancel within 21 days of purchase, you will get your money back minus a 20% cancellation fee.
- If you cancel later than 21 days after ordering your test, then you will be given credit to order other test(s) at a time of your choosing, rather than getting money back.
STDcheck currently tests for many different STDs, including:
- Hepatitis A
- HIV (I & II)
- Hepatitis B
- HIV RNA Early Detection
- Herpes (I & II)
- Hepatitis C
The company is different from other testing providers in that it allows test takers to customize exactly which STDs they want to test for. You can go down a checkbox menu and add any or all individual tests you like. No matter how many STDs you select, you will only have to visit the testing center once. This “a la carte” style of testing can be a very economical option if you sense that you have been exposed to, or are experiencing the symptoms of, a specific STD.
Most test takers, however, have no idea which STDs they may or may not have and are looking for one comprehensive STD test. For these people, STDcheck offers a test package with a catchy name: the 10 Test Panel [$139]. As its name indicates, this single test checks for 10 STDs. There are several things we really like about this test.
- It has been curated by physicians to test for many of the most common bacterial and viral STDs, all at once.
- You can save about 170% buying this all-inclusive package, as compared to the cost of purchasing all the single tests individually. If you were to test for all of these STDs individually, it would cost $497, compared to $198 for this package deal. We feel that this is a tremendous value.
- STD infections often happen in clusters, not as isolated infections. If you test positive for one, your chances of having another STD are higher. In fact, the inflammation and bodily stress caused by some infections also increase your chances of being infected with a different STD, too. Even if you have cause to be primarily concerned about one particular STD, it is safer to test for others at the same time.
For these reasons, we believe the 10 Test Panel is likely the best test for most people.
|Infection||10 Test Panel||10 Test Panel (w/ Early Detection)||Chlamydia & Gonorrhea||Herpes I & II|
|with Current Deal||$129||$248||$89||$69|
STDcheck fully respects your privacy and has crafted its services with privacy and anonymity in mind, to the greatest extent possible.
- STDcheck doesn’t accept health insurance. What does this have to do with privacy, you may wonder? It means your test-taking will not even be reported to any insurance company. This also prevents your test results from ending up in your medical records.
- Payment records are deliberately nondescript. There isn’t anything about STD testing on any payment record. Any payments and charges will appear as “HealthLabs.com”, which offers a multitude of different health tests (you can read more about their wide array of tests in our full HealthLabs review).
- Your data is protected. STDcheck uses the industry-standard HL-7 interface and 128-bit SSL encryption to protect your data and information.
- STDcheck only partners with respectful entities. Labs and health professionals adhere to the same rigid standards, by law, to protect your information and keep your testing private.
- Notification emails will come from “HealthLabs.com”. These messages contain no indication of the nature of the test. STDcheck will not call or text you at all unless you approve them to do so.
- Send anonymous notifications. If you test positive for an STD, STDcheck allows you to send a totally anonymous, untraceable message to any prior sexual partner(s) to suggest that they get tested. The message doesn’t come from you; it comes from STDcheck. This is completely anonymous – by design, there is no way for the prior sexual partner(s) to identify who initiated the message.
Do I need a doctor's prescription or any exam in order to test?
No, all you need to do is order the test.
If I'm concerned about recent sexual activity, when should I get tested?
If it’s been a while, then there’s no better time than the present. And if you’re noticing any kind of potential symptom - like pain while urinating, or odd rashes or bumps, or any kind of pain or discharge - get tested immediately.
It is true that different STDs have different incubation periods and window periods.
- Incubation period is the time between infection and when symptoms first appear.
- Window period is the period of time immediately following infection, during which a test could fail to detect that you’ve got an STD.
These periods are different from each other, because a disease can be present and detectable before creating noticeable symptoms. More modern and sophisticated STD tests also create shorter window periods than earlier forms of testing.
Knowing the different window periods for STD tests is important, to make sure we are testing properly for recent sexual activity and are not misled by test results. Below is a handy chart explaining the minimum window periods for the available STD tests.
|Infection||Window period||Need to retest after positive result?||If need to retest after positive result, when?|
|Chlamydia||5 days-2 weeks||
|3 months after completing treatment|
|Gonorrhea||5 days-2 weeks||
|3 months after completing treatment|
|3 months after completing treatment|
|Hep A||2-8 weeks|
|Hep B||1-9 weeks|
|Hep C||4-10 weeks||
|6 months after initial exposure to double-check the earlier results|
|Oral herpes||2-6 weeks|
|Genital herpes||2-6 weeks|
|HIV (antibody test)||23-90 weeks|
|HIV (RNA test)||10-33 days|
If you’re at all concerned, then the time to get tested is now. You can and should re-test later, and it’s important to keep in mind that if you’re at risk for one STD, you’re probably at risk for the rest. Chlamydia and gonorrhea both are detectable via testing after 7 days. So, to be safe, use protection but also get tested comprehensively and routinely.
Do I need to get retested at some point after testing positive?
Whether and when you re-test depends on the STD. See the incubation chart above for more information. Your consulting physician will also have advice to follow.
Can I get multiple STDs at the same time?
Yes - actually some infections (such as herpes and syphilis, to name a couple) make you more susceptible to get additional STDs simultaneously. This is another reason to test more comprehensively rather than less.
How frequently should I get tested?
If you’ve already tested positive for certain STDs and received treatment, you’ll want to re-test at a certain time following treatment (see the chart above).
We should all get tested routinely, but the recommended ‘bare minimum’ testing routines can vary based on our practices and exposures. The CDC offers information based on various populations, and below we’ll summarize their advice in a chart. All sexually active people should be tested AT LEAST yearly. Depending on your level and type of activity, you may need to get tested more often.
Here are the suggestions for testing at a bare minimum. (Emphasis on BARE MINIMUM.)
|Who’s testing||How often to get tested at the very least?||CDC recommends at least the following tests:|
|All sexually active people||Yearly||HIV|
|Sexually active women age <25||Yearly||Gonorrhea and chlamydia|
|Women age >25 with multiple partners or at-risk/infected partner||Yearly||Gonorrhea and chlamydia|
|Pregnant women||Early in pregnancy and periodically throughout||Syphilis, HIV, hep B|
|Sexually active gay and bisexual men||Yearly||Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV|
|Sexually active gay and bisexual men with multiple partners||Every 3-6 months||Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV|
If you’re experiencing any symptoms or noticing anything odd - like pain while urinating, or odd rashes or bumps, or any kind of pain or discharge - then you should get tested immediately, rather than waiting for any kind of routine, scheduled testing.
And don’t forget: it never hurts to get tested more frequently. There are reasons why even monogamous couples should get tested at least each year. This is one of those situations where you’re better off erring on the side of doing more rather than less.
Can I get the same STD again in the future, even after treatment?
Yes. Successful treatment doesn’t prevent you from being re-infected in the future. Also, it’s very important to finish your treatment; otherwise, you may never successfully get rid of the original infection. Lastly (with the exceptions of hepatitis A and B, herpes I and II, and HIV) make sure to retest at the recommended time after completing treatment, in order to confirm that you’ve gotten rid of the STD.
In our extensive reviewing of health testing companies, STDcheck is our top choice for in-office STD testing.
- You can order the test you need from the convenience and privacy of home.
- Lab testing is done in a totally controlled environment; your specimen doesn’t leave or have to go through the mail.
- You have no responsibilities to collect your own specimen. It’s in the hands of experts at the lab.
- Labs are certified to meet high standards for quality.
- This enables the quickest results; you can head to your local lab as soon as STDcheck gives you your unique test code (which happens very fast) and, from there, it’s 1-2 days until you have results.
All of this gives many people extra peace of mind and removes any shadow of doubt about the test results. If you suspect that you’ll doubt the results of a test that you self-administer – even if the test process is straightforward – don’t feel silly; the truth is that you’re not alone. Many people feel this way, and it’s perfectly normal, particularly when it comes to something as serious as STD testing.
However, at-home testing is also worth considering if the above statements don’t really describe you. Why?
- Labs are certified to meet all of the same high standards for quality and accuracy.
- The tests are the same, whether self-administered from home or administered by technicians in a lab.
- At-home testing companies guide you each step of the way in collecting your sample – and the steps are very straightforward and painless.
- The packages shipped through the mail are discreet and safe. In reality, there is no risk of contamination in transit, and there is nothing in the packaging that could reveal to anybody the nature of the test.
- Testing from home requires one less trip; you don’t have to leave your house at all in order to do it.
- Though STDcheck has a whopping 4,500 partnering labs, at-home testing will be easier for people in some remote locations further from a lab.
So, to summarize: at-home testing is as accurate as in-lab testing, and it is more convenient for many people. For at-home STD testing, our top recommendations are myLAB Box (our top choice – you can learn more at our full myLAB Box review) and LetsGetChecked (a close runner-up – learn more with our LetsGetChecked review). But at-home testing is also a brand-new experience for many of us, and it’s important that you feel fully comfortable when it comes to STD testing. If you feel you may be uncomfortable with the at-home process – or that you might, in the back of your mind, have nagging questions about the legitimacy of the results or not achieve the same peace of mind by testing at home – then the in-lab tests from STDcheck are your best bet. And the speed of results can’t be surpassed.
To get a full picture of the at-home testing landscape before making your decisions, check out our guide to finding the best at home STD test for you.
STDcheck is highly committed to protecting your privacy. Test results are only accessible to you. STDcheck bases its privacy standards and requirements on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and uses HIPAA web security protocols and data storage systems.
With STDcheck, you don’t even need to provide a name as you order your testing. When you go into a local lab for the test, the lab workers do not know anything about the nature of your test; these labs test for many different things. If you talk to a live customer representative about questions later, there is no way for them to know what test you took. And because no insurance is involved, nobody else knows anything about the tests you took, either.
At every step in the process, we believe STDcheck is the most discreet, private route that you can take to test for STDs.
At the moment, STDcheck accepts FSA and HSA payment cards. To pay using one of these cards, select your product and proceed to the checkout as normal, and enter your FSA/HSA card number as you would a regular credit card. There is no guarantee that your card will be accepted, due to the various types of regulations attached to different cards. If you’re having trouble using your FSA/HSA card, STDcheck provides an email address on its website that you can contact for advice. However, STDcheck does not accept payment via health insurance providers. While the lack of this payment option may be annoying, it does allow STDcheck to give you a higher level of privacy, as your test results and information won’t be shared with your insurance company and won’t appear on your medical records.
Yes, STDcheck is absolutely a legitimate way to get reliable STD testing.
- The company provides discreet access to test for a multitude of STDs, helping us all stay safer and healthier.
- They rely on certified labs to produce trusted results and use the soundest testing methodologies.
- STDcheck protects your privacy throughout the process. They do not sell your information. STDcheck adheres to HIPAA regulations that mandate privacy of health information.
You can trust in this company and the results of your testing.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related test. For health testing companies like STDcheck, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Accuracy: Do the testing labs use the latest and most accurate testing technologies available? How accurate are the tests compared to alternatives?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the test provider offer discounts to our readers?
Customer Support: How well does the testing company help you choose the best test? How clearly are the results presented? How well does the testing company help you understand results and get treatment if necessary?
Privacy: Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Test Results Speed: How fast will you receive your test results from the moment you click “buy?” Are the waiting times stated by the testing companies accurate and consistent?