A Simple Guide to STD Tests

Screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a primary method of preventing the spread of illness and infection. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that STD testing is painful, embarrassing or otherwise and uncomfortable. However, undergoing STD screening does not have to be a negative experience. Most tests are quick, painless, private and accurate, thus providing an enormous amount of peace of mind and preventing the spread of infectious disease.

STD screenings can be performed in a number of settings. Most commonly, these tests are administered in a doctor’s office, a clinic or in a privately-owned testing facility. Although pricing may vary, most tests are affordable or, in some cases, free. At-home tests are also available and can be purchased in pharmacies, retail outlets or online. However, it’s important to note that at-home STD test kits may require followup testing in a medical setting.

Testing for Gonorrhea

A gonorrhea test can be administered for a number of reasons. In most cases, testing is done to diagnose symptoms or to screen individuals at an increased risk for contracting this infection. Gonorrhea testing can be done in a number of ways, most of which include the collection of bodily fluids. Some tests require fluids from the genitals while others involve the collection of urine or eye fluid. Once fluid is collected, a gonorrhea culture can determine the presence of this infection. These cultures involve the use of a microscope, dyes and other substances that help diagnose gonorrhea as well as determine its severity, strain and more.

Testing for Chlamydia

In addition to those at high-risk for contracting this disease, chlamydia testing is recommended for all sexually active individuals under the age of 25. Also, due to complications during pregnancy, all expectant mothers should be tested for this infection as well. Diagnosing chlamydia is a relatively simple procedure. In women, a doctor will collect a sample of cervical discharge; in men, fluid is collected from the urethra. Tests are then administered in order to determine the presence of chlamydia antigens or DNA.

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