STD Testing Q & A
What is STD testing?
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing identifies any present STDs or infections even when they don’t present any symptoms. While not automatically part of regular exams at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology, you can request STD testing during well-woman exams or book a separate appointment for it at any time.
The team helps you decide which STDs you should test for according to the type of sexual contact you’ve had, known exposures, and symptoms, if you have any. You can get STD testing for:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Genital herpes
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
STDs don’t always cause symptoms, though, so regular testing is important. If you get a positive result, many STDs are treatable or manageable with medication. You also have to tell any recent sexual partners about your diagnosis.
When should I come in for STD testing?
The team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology can tell you about circumstances that warrant a visit for STD testing. You should consider booking an appointment for an STD test if:
- You have symptoms
- A recent sexual partner was diagnosed
- You had unprotected sex with a new partner
- You’re pregnant
- You’ve shared injection drug needles
Current guidelines suggest regular testing under some circumstances. Experts say that everyone needs to get tested for HIV at least once between ages 13 and 64. If you’re a sexually active woman under 25, you should get chlamydia and gonorrhea tests yearly.
How does STD testing work?
STD tests are not painful or invasive. Most of them are quick in-office procedures, and you can get the results in the same visit for certain tests, like rapid testing for HIV. For others, definitive results take a few days to become available.
Your provider may start with a visual exam, but you need further testing to confirm a diagnosis. Depending on the type of STD test you get, the team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology uses one of these strategies:
- Blood testing
- Cheek swab
- Swab samples from sores or discharge
No matter which kind of STD test you get, the team explains what your results mean and what your next steps are if the test is positive. For STDs without a cure, there are ways to manage your symptoms and keep from spreading the disease to current or new sexual partners.
STD testing at least once in a while is important for anyone who is sexually active. To find out more about STD testing or schedule an exam, call Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology, or request an appointment online today.