STI Lab Test
When you first meet with an STI specialist, they will initially need to ask a range of questions pertaining to your recent sexual activity. It is of utmost importance that you provide truthful answers to all the questions as otherwise the doctor would not be able to correctly assess your case. You will also need to let the doctor know if you have ever experienced an STI previously.
Some STI’s are actually symptomless, meaning that if you had unprotected sexual intercourse, you will still need to get yourself tested to be 100% sure. Nevertheless, if you are taking an STI test in response to certain symptoms that you might have, you will need to let the doctor know what these are and when they first appeared.
If you are currently in a relationship, the specialist will need to know if your partner has ever had an STI, or whether they have experienced symptoms of their own. At times, an assessment of the partner might also be recommended.
Whilst not related to STI issues per-say, the doctor will also need to know if you have potentially increased your chances of infection through other activities, such as sharing of needles etc. Once the above information has been fed to the doctor, they will then be able to initiate the STI test itself.
By doing an STI test, you are taking care of your personal health, and as such, acting responsibly.
STI Test Panels
There is no single STI test for potential infections. Thus, the doctor might recommend multiple individual tests, based solely on your sexual history and exposure. Some of the most common tests include:
Urine Test: You will need to pass urine into a sterile container. If you are having issues going to the toilet, then simply drink some water to assist.
Blood Test: In some cases, the doctor might need to draw blood from you for further testing.
Testing of Sores: If you have indicated that you currently possess certain blisters or sores, then the doctor might need to take a sample fluid from the affected area.
Physical Examination: This consists of a physical examination in and around the genital area. They will specifically be looking for rashes, warts, sores, discharge or irritation.
Additional Swab: The doctor might also need to take cell or discharge samples by using a swab. This will be from the anus, vagina, urethra, penis or throat.
How long will it take to find out whether or not I have an STI?
The amount of time it takes to find out whether you have an STI will depend on the type of tests done. In some cases, the doctor will be able to diagnose straight away through the physical examination. In other cases, the doctor might need to send the samples to a lab, which can take around 7-10 days for the results to be issued.
As soon as the doctor receives the results of the samples back from the lab, they will be able to contact you straight away on the contact details provided. Take note, the entire STI test process is highly confidential and processed in an anonymous manner.
If the results of your STI tests indicate that you have caught an infection, then the doctor will need to see you again. In most cases, you will be prescribed medication to solve the issue, but in other cases, more tests might be recommended. In any case, you will be guided and informed of the whole process.