Getting Tested for an STI: All the Info You Need to Do It Safely

Getting tested for an STI is really important. Sexually transmitted infections are very dangerous, and you have to do anything you can to avoid them. Getting a test is very easy and it’s not that costly.

The thing you need to do is use a condom. Always. However, sometimes it can break – these things happen, it’s not your fault. Studies have shown that at least 15 people under 25 get Chlamydia. We know how that sounds, but getting rid on an STI is actually easier. The hard part is finding out if you have one.

So why should I get a test?

This is usually the case when you have unprotected sex, be it anal, vaginal or oral. You can get an STI – don’t forget about toys. You might not even know you have one, since the symptoms don’t really show. If you leave them be, then they will become painful and will have a dangerous impact on your health and even fertility. The worst part is that you can pass them to someone else, too. But they’re treatable, so all you need to do is to take the test. It’s no shame; you have to take care of your health. You can take an at home std test to see what the results are. Also, don’t forget to get tested regularly – once a year, at least.

How soon can I get tested?

You had unprotected sex. So it’s fair you want to get tested as soon as possible. And you should think this way. However, you might want to wait a few days before doing it. Also, keep in mind that it can take some time before the results come to light, because they have different windows periods – this is how long it takes after you’ve been exposed to an infection. It can take two days for some, weeks for others. This is why you should wait a few days before getting tested. And then wait and get tested again a few weeks later. For Chlamydia, for example, it takes for 1 to 5 days to show the results. For Syphilis, 3 to 6 weeks, for Gonorrhoea, 2 to 6 days, for Oral herpes, 4 to 6 weeks, for Genital herpes, 4 to 6 weeks, for  Hepatitis A, 2 to 7 weeks, for Hepatitis B, 6 weeks, for Hepatitis C, 8 to 9 weeks, for HIV, 1 to 3 months.

Can I get the test from my doctor?

Some of them do offer them; some actually don’t. You can just call the office and ask. If they do offer it, you’ll get an appointment. If they don’t, they will send you to one of the clinics that are specialized in sexual health. This is, actually, the easiest way to get a free STI test.

Don’t forget to get tested after a few days, don’t wait until it’s time to get your yearly appointment.

What should I expect from the STI test

First of all, you can say who you want to treat you, a male or a female doctor – but you’ll have to wait until one’s available. You’ll answer some questions about yourself and your medical history, and sex life. You are asked this questions because they want to see how at risk you are to catch some of the infections. If you want to get tested for Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia, the test will also involve a urine sample for males, and vaginal swab for females. If you want to get tested for Syphilis or HIV, you’ll need to give a blood sample. When it comes to Herpes, it’s not really done unless you show some of the symptoms, like sores. In this case, swabs from the sores will be taken for the test.

It really depends on which test you decided to do – you can get the results in one day, or in a few weeks. They will send the results on mail or via call or text message. If you are tested positive for one of the infections, you will have to go back to the clinic for a specific treatment.

Should I eat the day I get tested?

If they need to take blood for the tests, then you’ll feel dizzy, in case you did not eat and went there on an empty stomach, or a stomach full of crappy food. You need to eat healthy food, this way; you also won’t be cranky while you’re at the clinic.

Also, if you do a urine test, then you need to drink water, as it will help you supply the urine. It also works for the blood tests. If you have a lot of water in your system, it will be easier for them to find a vein.

Should I look at the needle?

It really depends on you and how interested you are in this. It’s definitely not pleasant. You might want to focus on another thing, or talk to a family member or even the person who draws your blood. It might not help you to look at the needle.

Should I go when I’m on my period?

The answer is no, as the iron levels decrease when you’re on your period. This will make you more nauseous and you can also feel weakness, especially if you’re scared of needles. Just make an appointment when you’re not on your period, on a day you are stronger. Some women even pass out when they go to get their blood drawn and are menstruating. For some, it can be overwhelming.

Should I listen to what other people say?

The answer is still no. People always have unnecessary opinions, and some may judge you unfairly, but remember that this is your health we’re talking about. You should not feel ashamed or bad – the fact that you want to get tested in a great thing and a step forward.