In This Article
In This Article
Before the age of 25, one out of every two people will have an STD. Being sexually active puts you at risk.
According to Dr. Harshi Dhingra, most sexually transmitted diseases don’t have any signs or symptoms. You and your partner(s) may have an STD and not know it.
Getting tested for STDs should be a top priority. But constant doctor visits can be embarrassing for most people. This is why they avoid testing, and resort to home remedies if they do have symptoms.
“Regardless of what STD you have, there is really nothing that can be done at home which would cure or treat it. If you suspect having one, the first step is to get tested," says Dhingra.
Thankfully, you no longer have to see a doctor or have a stranger swab your privates to collect samples. At-home STD testing checks for common infections (including HIV) from the comfort of your home.
Dr. Harshi Dhingra has an M.D. in Pathology.
She is a registered pathologist with over a decade of experience in diagnostic, clinical, research, and teaching work. She manages all aspects of pathology laboratory, including histopathology, cytology, hematology, and clinical pathology.
Currently, Dr. Dhingra is employed as faculty in a medical school and research center.
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are more prevalent than you may think. The most common STDs include:
Symptoms tend to vary, depending on the type of STD you've contracted:
Within the United States, there are more than 20 million new infections reported annually. This totals to 110 million STD cases every year.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HPV is the most common STD. Many people have no symptoms when they contract it. Certain types can cause genital warts.
Some women who are infected with HPV develop cervical cancer. This is why sexually active women should have regular HPV screening.
This is the second most prevalent STD. Like many sexually transmitted infections, it causes symptoms. Chlamydia symptoms include painful urination and unusual discharges.
Women may experience pain or bleeding after sex. Men may have a burning or itching sensation on their urethra and feel pain in their testicles.
This is the third most commonly passed STD. Among its symptoms are:
Gonorrhea is another common STD that affects about 820,000 Americans every year. Its symptoms include:
Women may feel pain during sex, while men may notice some swelling or redness on their penis.
Herpes affects one out of six people ages 14 to 49. It causes sores, ulcers, or white blisters around the mouth or genitals.
Of all sexually transmitted diseases, HIV is perhaps the most dreaded. Its symptoms typically take around two to four weeks to develop.
These symptoms are non-specific. Meaning, you might mistake them for other diseases that are not as dangerous. They include swollen lymph nodes, mouth ulcers, and flu-like symptoms.
You should consider getting tested if:
Even if you don't show signs, you should still consider getting tested, especially if you had a sexual encounter with someone new without out any protection. Ruling out an STD protects your health and the health of any existing and future partners.
Most home testing kits test for common sexual infections. Some companies offer free medications should you test positive. This allows you to maintain privacy during treatment.
Thanks to these tests, there’s no need for an expensive doctor’s visit. Although it wouldn't hurt to see a healthcare provider if you prefer sound professional advice.
But if you want a discreet, practical, and affordable way to test for STDs, you should try these at-home testing kits:
Dr. Dhingra recommends the Standard 5 Test by LetsGetChecked.
"It covers three common STDs in addition to HIV and syphilis. They also provide free medication if you test positive for chlamydia and trichomoniasis,” Dr. Dhingra explains.
However, LetsGetChecked and other companies offer reliable testing kits as well. So you have plenty to choose from.
Use code "YOURDNA" for 30% off
Get FREE medications if you test positive for chlamydia and trichomoniasis
Trichomoniasis (276 million cases), chlamydia (106 million cases), and gonorrhea (106 million cases) are the three most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world.
All three of these infections can cause an unusual discharge, painful urination, and an uncomfortable feeling in the genitals. In 80% of cases, there are no symptoms at all. Therefore, if you contract any one of them, it may be hard to determine what you have based on symptoms.
The Standard 5 test by LetsGetChecked covers all three of these prevalent STDs, as well as HIV and Syphilis, eliminating any guesswork if you suspect you’ve been infected.
To get your results, you only need to collect a urine sample and finger prick.
The test works for both men and women and positive results can be discussed with LetsGetChecked medical staff for no additional charge.
Use code "YOURDNA" for 30% off
Get FREE medications if you test positive for chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gardnerella, mycoplasma, and ureaplasma
And upgrade from our #1 pick (and about $100 more), LetsGetChecked Complete 8 also tests for:
We recommend this one if you really want peace of mind and to test for everything.
EverlyWell offers comprehensive testing kits for both men and women that cover six common diseases. Both of these blood tests require a quick finger prick and a vaginal swab or urine sample.
The tests cover trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis.
Seeing as many of these diseases have similar or hard to recognize symptoms, this is perfect if you had a recent sexual encounter that’s left you nervous.
If your results come back positive, EverlyWell will connect you with its independent physician network to discuss potential treatment options.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two incredibly common STDs. Luckily, both of these diseases are easily treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, these conditions can spread and lead to more serious complications making it vital that you identify the infection early on.
The symptoms associated with these diseases can be similar, so testing for both at the same time makes sense.
With EverlyWell’s Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test, you can quickly determine whether or not you’ve contracted either infection by submitting a urine sample.
If you test positive, EverlyWell gives you a chance to speak with a physician and receive treatment. This test works for both men and women.
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most commonly found STD in the United States with about 80% of people contracting it in their lifetime.
The infection can lead to cancer in both men and women. HPV-related cancers include penis, anus, cervical, and oropharynx cancer, but women have a much higher risk of developing cancer than men. Some types of HPV can cause genital warts, however, this virus usually has no noticeable symptoms.
EverlyWell offers one of the most popular kits on the market to test for this potentially dangerous infection.
The at-home kit is only available for women as there’s currently no approved HPV test for men.
With the submission of a vaginal swab, you can confirm whether or not you test positive for 14 of the most dangerous HPV genotypes associated with cervical cancer.
If you test positive, you can discuss the results with an EverlyWell physician.
If left untreated, HIV is an incredibly deadly viral infection.
While there is no cure for the disease, with proper treatment, it’s no longer the death sentence that it used to be.
HIV symptoms aren’t easy to diagnose and are usually similar to those you’d associate with the flu. The only way to know for sure if you’ve contracted this STD is with proper testing after any questionable sexual encounter.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test lets you check if you’ve contracted this virus without having to return any samples to a lab.
To take the test, all you need to do is collect a small saliva sample with a swab, insert it into the testing device, and within 20 minutes lines will appear indicating positive or negative results. OraQuick offers the only FDA-approved at-home HIV test on the market.
Hepatitis C is most commonly associated with blood transfusions (that took place prior to 1992), IV drug use, and tattooing or piercing equipment that hasn’t been properly sterilized. However, it’s also possible to contract it through any sexual contact where blood is exchanged. The virus usually doesn’t have any symptoms but can be deadly if left untreated.
Fortunately, hepatitis C can be cured, but the success of the treatment is lower after the virus has progressed to its later stages.
If you’ve engaged in any activity that could have led to contracting hepatitis C, getting tested early is of the utmost importance.
The DNA testing company myLAB Box offers an easy to take hepatitis C swab test that you can do in less than five minutes.
Your results are returned within two to five days, and if they’re positive, myLAB box will help connect you with a telemedicine provider in your state.
Yes. You can trust any of the tests listed in this article for an STD screening.
“Home testing kits are efficient and provide accurate results. False negatives only happen if you don’t do the tests properly. Nevertheless, these kits are definitely helpful for determining what kind of STD you have contracted," says Dr. Dhingra.
All of the sexual health testing kits included have a great track record.
Every company listed uses CLIA-certified labs, other than OraQuick’s instant HIV test, which is FDA approved. Most offer a consultation with a physician upon positive results.
However, in some cases, you may need to see a doctor for additional treatment. This is especially true for HIV and hepatitis C, where a positive result should be followed by immediately contacting your healthcare provider.
In the end, these kits are a great way to narrow down what infection you may have come in contact with but seeking proper treatment is still left up to you.