STD testing is imperative for sexually active people. With STD diagnosis on the rise across America, your sexual health depends on a rigorous STD testing schedule. Those who have never taken an STD test may feel overwhelmed by the process or unsure of what happens during the appointment. Don’t worry, this is a normal feeling.
At Statcare, it’s our job to help you understand each of our services in depth, including STD testing. We want you to feel comfortable as soon as you walk through our doors. You can trust that at each Statcare location, you can ask all the questions you want and you’re guaranteed to get an accurate, complete answer about your health.
If you’re still a little nervous and want to learn more about the STD testing process before your first test, we understand. Here is what you need to know about STD testing and how best to prepare for your next visit.
The Process of STD Testing
The process of STD testing varies based on the quality of care you’ve chosen. Some services, often online companies, advertise quick, safe STD testing taken by mail. They’ll send you a kit, ask you to take a swab and send the whole thing back to them to get answers on your status. As you can imagine, that is neither safe nor an accurate process. Your kit could be lost in the mail system or opened by an unauthorized person. The number of ways a mailed STD testing kit can go wrong far exceed the number of ways it’s convenient for people.
On the other hand, Statcare is safe, convenient and completely accurate. Our tests are done right at our locations, and when it’s time to understand the results of your STD testing, your doctor will sit with you as long as you need to answer all of your questions. We can help you understand your treatment options, how to tell your partner that you’ve tested positive, and ways to talk about your status with future partners. We offer a level of expert care and patient treatment that you won’t find other places, especially not with a kit done through the mail.
When you arrive at Statcare, your doctor will ask you a few questions, they’ll confirm the STDs you want to be tested for, and then they’ll do the tests. Not all STD testing is completed in the same way. For some tests, your doctor will have to draw blood. Other tests involve swabbing, either of your mouth or genital region. Be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand about the specific tests you want administered so they know to come prepared to answer all of your questions. One test cannot give you a diagnosis on all STDs, so it’s very important to specify your testing requests.
Questions to Prepare For
As we mentioned, there will be a few questions to answer before your doctor starts STD testing. These questions are meant to help the doctor understand your medical history and how best to help you, should you test positive for any STDs. The kinds of questions your doctor will ask you may feel invasive, so it’s best to prepare yourself before your appointment. Know that your doctor isn’t trying to pry or make judgements about your sexual history. All they want to know is how to help you and discover any STDs you might be at risk for.
The kinds of questions your doctor might ask during STD testing include:
- How many sexual partners have you had?
- When was the last time you got tested for STDs?
- What type of sex do you engage in?
- Do you regularly wear protection?
- What kind of birth control do you use?
Of course, your doctor might ask additional questions, or different questions, but these are the kinds of questions you need to be prepared to answer. Be as honest as possible with your doctor — it could be the difference between a treatment plan that works and one that doesn’t manage any of your symptoms. I
Documents to Bring
You don’t have to bring any specific documents with you to your STD testing appointment. Outside of your insurance card, most of the information we need to do successful STD testing can be found through the questions we’ll ask you. However, if you have a note from another doctor, or some kind of documentation that explains any pre-existing health concerns, please bring those to Statcare with you. We can’t guarantee that we’ll need them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Understanding Your Risks for STDs
One of the most common questions we get asked is when should you set an appointment for STD testing. The answer varies person to person. For example, if you’ve only had one sexual partner since your last STD test and that person tested clean before you both engaged in sexual acts, it’s most likely rare that you contracted any STDs since then. But if you’ve been with a few partners since your last STD testing appointment, there are a number of STDs you might be at risk for contracting. It’s a good idea to set up an STD testing appointment immediately just to know you’re safe and healthy.
Studies show that only 12% of young people get tested for STDs, despite the prevalence of STDs being at an all-time high. Make sure to prioritize your own health and happiness by getting regular STD testing done. One appointment can be the difference between a healthy body and one that suffers a variety of symptoms for months.
Follow Up Treatment
If you test positive for an STD, your doctor will talk through treatment plans for you. Certain STDs, like herpes and HIV, don’t have proper cures, but there are ways to manage the symptoms so that you can live a normal life.
Other STDs, like gonorrhea, have become resistant to treatments, so you’ll need the expert advice from your doctor to figure out the best treatment plan for you. It’s this sort of advice that you won’t get with an inexpensive, incomplete STD testing kit that comes in the mail.
Remember that a positive test isn’t the end of the world. It may feel discouraging and maybe even devastating in the moment, but your Statcare doctor will have answers and steps to take so that you can live as normal a life as possible with your new status.
After Your First STD Testing Appointment
Once you’re done with your first STD testing appointment, it’s time to schedule the next one. Although STD testing is not like a physical where you need to get tested every year, it is important to get tested regularly. You’ll want to schedule an STD testing appointment before you engage in sexual activity with a new person and after your partner engages in sexual activity with a new person. If this sounds overly cautious, it’s because we want you to be healthy for as long as possible. Knowing your status is a key element to a healthy life. And once you finish your first STD testing experience, it gets much easier. You may even to look forward to getting a clean bill of health rather than dreading the appointment entirely.
If you’re ready to set up your first STD testing appointment come into your local Statcare. We’re open for extended hours every day, including holidays. Start the New Year knowing your status and get tested for STDs today.