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Sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) affect millions of people. They can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites and are common in the United States.
STI testing is important to diagnose and treat these infections, which can lead to serious health problems and even death. The CDC recommends STI testing for all sexually active adults and teens.
Urine testing is used to check for a variety of health problems. Tests are usually done at your GP or another healthcare professional’s practice, and results are sent to a laboratory.
A urine test can also be used to check for drugs, like alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and cannabis. Drugs can cause liver, kidney or heart damage if not treated in time.
The test looks at the color and cloudiness of your urine, and tests for a range of things. These include pH (acidity), concentration and specific gravity.
This test is often used for chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are the most common bacterial STDs. They can spread from the genitals to other parts of your body through contact during sex.
Blood tests are used to measure certain elements of your blood, which can help your healthcare provider determine the best course of treatment for you. They can also help determine whether you have an underlying medical condition or disease.
A blood sample is collected from a vein in your arm, usually by a skilled technician called a phlebotomist. This is a very safe process.
After the sample is drawn, it is labeled with your name and other information. It is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The length of time between drawing the blood and when results are received varies by test, but can range from several minutes to several days or more. This is because the lab needs to be able to locate your blood and match it to your name and other details.
The Pap Smear is a screening test that uses a small brush or spatula to gently scrape cells from your cervix, which are then checked under a microscope. It helps identify cervical cancer, precancerous cells and infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Pap smear tests can also be used to detect the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common cause of cervical cancer. Usually, HPV testing is done at the same time as your Pap smear.
Women should have a Pap smear every 5 years and HPV tests starting at age 21 for low-risk women, and at age 30 for high-risk women. For high-risk women, Pap smear and HPV tests may be combined into one test, called a co-test.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that can be passed from one person to another during intercourse (sexual contact). This includes both vaginal and oral sex.
A chlamydia test can detect if you have chlamydia, so you can get treatment and help stop the spread of this infection. It also helps prevent serious health problems and complications from this disease.
The most common way to test for chlamydia is with a urine sample. You’ll be asked to urinate into a sterile cup provided by the doctor or provider.
Your provider can also take a swab of your cervix or vagina for a culture or antigen test for chlamydia. This can be done during your routine Pap smear or at a gynecologist exam.
The Herpes Test tests for herpes simplex virus 1 and 2. This is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause painful sores around the mouth or genitals.
A positive result on a herpes test means that you have a herpes infection. But it doesn’t mean you will get sores, or where they will occur.
Most herpes infections are asymptomatic, meaning that you might be infected even without any symptoms. Herpes is also the most common sexually transmitted infection, so it is important to know your STI status if you are sexually active.
There are many ways to test for herpes, including a viral culture test. This is the most accurate test for herpes, but it can take up to five days for results.