How Your NP Determines which STD Test You Need
Your NP will determine which STD test is right for you by discussing your symptoms, sexual activity and safety, and other factors that could contribute to contracting an STD. During your conversation, you’ll talk about:
- Any symptoms you’re experiencing
- How often you use protection, like condoms and dental dams
- If you or your partner has ever had an STD before
- Other things you do that increase your chances of getting certain infections (like sharing needles)
- The kind of sexual contact you’ve had — like oral, anal, or vaginal sex, or anything that involves skin-to-skin genital contact or passing sexual fluids
- The number of people you’ve had sex with
This conversation will help determine which STD tests are appropriate for you. Ensure that you are open and honest with them so that you may receive the help you require. Keep in mind that your doctor is there to assist you, not to pass judgment.
What to Expect When Getting Tested for STDs
STD testing is simple, quick, and typically painless. Each STD has its own test, therefore there isn’t a single test for all of them. Your doctor can assist you in determining which tests you’ll need. STD testing can include:
- Blood test — blood is taken from your arm or a quick finger prick
- Cheek swab — a swab rubbed on the inside of your cheek
- Physical exam — your genital area is examined for warts, sores, rashes, irritation, or discharge
- Urine test — you pee into a cup
- Testing your sores — a fluid sample is taken from any sores or blisters you have with a swab
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you may be tested for a full panel of STDs. Because several STDs have similar appearances and behaviors, you may be tested for several different diseases. If you have an STD, your doctor may be able to detect it immediately. However, certain lab tests might take many days or weeks to complete.
What to Do if My STD Test Comes Back Positive
The first thing you should do is receive the correct treatment for your STD. Based on the type of STD, your NP will recommend medication to treat the infection or a treatment plan that allows you to live a normal life with an infection that cannot be cured.
Talk to Your Partner
It’s important to talk to anyone you are having sex with about your STD and ensure they understand all the facts. This is also important so they can get tested and treatment if needed.
Practice Safe Sex
Since learning of your STD, it’s vital you practice safe sex from now on. Also, it’s a responsibility to let your future partners know about your situation before engaging in any sexual activity. People with STDs can easily live very normal lives. You just need to know the facts and understand the importance of living responsibly with what you know about your body.