So before you go and have an STD test, make sure you ask about STD testing in your doctor’s office. If your health care provider is good at his or her job, he or she should be able to recommend a good testing site for you. Be as forthcoming as possible about your personal sex life, so that they can assist you in deciding which tests are most appropriate for you. You may have one negative test and assume you do not need a second test. However, getting tested multiple times would show certain abnormalities and put your health at risk.
The first thing your doctor will likely recommend for you is a routine exam called a Pap smear. This exam measures your cervix and takes cells from it. Next, your doctor will likely want to take a swab of the vaginal discharge and look for common vaginal infections like Chlamydia and gonorrhea. These infections can also indicate underlying STDs if you have a previous history of them.
Next, your medical care provider will either give you a shot or send you to a STD clinic to get tested for gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Both have high prevalence rates in the community, so the chances of catching them are high. If you have been to a gynecologist recently, your doctors may have recommended that you get tested for chlamydia or gonorrhea, as well. Your gynecologist is the only healthcare professional who can tell you which STD testing is right for you, based on your own situation.
Once you have had an STD test and it has come back positive for a specific STD, you may be referred to a genitourinary health specialist, or G.H. specialist for treatment. Genital herpes symptoms often mimic those of other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose correctly. However, there are a few symptoms that will clue you in. These include rashes that cover any part of the genital area, itching or burning, pain when urinating, vaginal discharge, and a white, damp spot near the vulva can indicate that you have herpes.
Interval testing, which detects changes in the pH level of your urine, helps determine whether you have chlamydia or gonorrhea. Newer generations of the tests use a polymer called Q-Switched fluorescent probes (or Q-Tests) that make the detection of the virus much easier than it used to be. Interval testing can be performed once a year for gonorrhea or once each interval for genital herpes. In the case of gonorrhea, you should receive a refilled test strip at your health care provider’s office. For genital herpes, you should schedule a follow-up exam at the same time each year.
When you take an STD test, remember that there are multiple ways for your doctor to identify the results. If you’re having symptoms, it’s very important to have a physical exam with a colonoscopy, mammogram, and ultrasound. Your health care provider will be able to tell you the most accurate results regarding your health. This is why it’s so important for you to be aware of all of your STD testing options and use those tests wisely. By educating yourself, you can protect yourself and your sex partner.