Getting tested for STDs is a necessary part of regular sexual health. But it’s not always easy to get regular appointments with a medical professional. And who really wants their doctor to know how often they’re hooking up with new partners, anyway? Thankfully you can stay safe with a home STD test. With the combined use of barriers, regular testing can help you get it on with confidence and care for everyone you touch junk with.
How often should you get tested for STDs?
How often you should get tested really depends on your partnership status. General rules recommend everyone get a basic STD screening at least once annually, usually with a physical. I also like to get tested after each new partner, waiting at least six weeks after sexual contact.
There are also a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to get tested:
- pain during sex or urination
- any skin changes in the genital or rectum area
- genital itching, smell, or discharge
So how accurate are at-home STD tests?
We live in a modern era where monogamy and commitment don’t have to be a part of sex if that’s not your jam. But with all of this lovely privilege comes responsibility. You can own that responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be a detriment to your privacy. Thankfully, modern technology allows us to take STD tests from the comfort of our own home or a quick in-and-out testing facility.
The best at-home STD test for discretion and convenience
Are you looking to get tested for STDs and you don’t want to walk too much farther than your mailbox? Fair. You’re probably looking for an at-home test. The pros are, of course, the convenience. It’s also the option with maximum privacy, which is really nice.
Unfortunately, the biggest risk you run is user error. It’s important to work with clean surfaces and to follow the box instructions precisely, or you could get tainted lab results. Your chances of incorrect readings do go up, so that’s always worth considering when weighing your options.
EverlyWell offers a variety of at-home tests, including boxes for STDs. It’s also got an easy-to-read app that will deliver your results in just a few days. The company also offers a subscription service, so we highly recommend a box like this one for someone who’s just looking for a regular testing routine to cover their bases.
Tests are separated by gender (but you can shop by genitalia). Their tests cover
- Hepatitis C
- Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
The tests take blood samples for both tests and either a vaginal swab or urine sample. Once you get your results back, the app will give you suggestions for how to take the next steps if any of your results come out positive. The tests range from $49 to $149 for the test with all the bells and whistles.
2) myLAB Box
Another great option for an at-home test, myLab Box allows you to search testing boxes based on conditions, symptoms, and more. Tests range from $85 for single tests to $399 for the “most comprehensive test”. In addition to all the above standard conditions, you can also test for vaginal HPV.
The myLab Box also uses a combination of blood samples with urine tests or vaginal swabs to determine your status. Plus, the service gives you your results online and will hook you up with a free consultation with a doctor if you test positive.
Not sure if your insurance will pay for at-home STD testing? Nurx has fast, easy options for insured and uninsured users alike. You can choose from the basic test kid, the full kit, and the healthy v specialty test. And up to a year after your rest, you can pay just $15 for a consultation and be connected with their medical team for any advice you might need. And if you turn up positive, Nurx can prescribe you medication.
The price with insurance is $75/kit, plus whatever copays and deductibles, all that regular insurance stuff. Without insurance, you can pay between $150-$220 depending on what you’re looking to be tested for.
Best in-lab STD testing options
Okay, so maybe you don’t trust yourself enough to take your own blood sample or your own swab. That’s understandable. There are fast and easy ways to get your STD testing done with a quick in-and-out lab trip that’s as convenient as it is non-intrusive. Simply select the test that works best for you, mark the date, drive it, leave your samples, and get on with your life. Piece of cake.
Scheduling tests at a local lab is super easy thanks to STD Check. Simply tell the site what kind of test you need, whether it’s a full-run down or a la carte testing. Packages range from $24-$259 for just about everything.
Once you’ve selected your tests, use the location tool to find a lab closest to you and set up an appointment. You’ll pay for the service through the website, get a code for the lab, and your visit should be in and out. The lab will reach out to you with the results as soon as they’re done.
2) Health Labs
HealthLabs will also connect you with a nearby lab you can visit. And they also offer a wider array of tests available. You can start at $99 for just Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, or go up to an ultimate STD panel with early HIV and Trich screening.
There are also general wellness panels and tests for everything from nutritional testing to arthritis and inflammation tests. So if you’re looking for a convenient and discreet way to do some overall health assessment, HealthLabs is a great option.
PersonaLabs has the most comprehensive process for helping you choose which test is best for you and how you’d like your sample collected. They also connect you to a local lab for in-person testing along with telehealth services if you like this process but still want to ask a real human some actual questions. PersonaLabs also offer various additional kinds of testing, too, meaning you can cover multiple health screenings during the same visit.
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