How Do They Test For STDs And What Are Their Limitations?
Have you ever wondered “How do they test for STDs?” Everyone who is sexually active should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at least once a year. Doing a routine test and using condoms is the best way to protect yourself.
People with multiple partners or has a partner who has had a lot of sexual relationships in the past, are at a high risk of getting STDs. STDs can be transmitted through infected needles and blood transfusion, so there is no sure protection towards certain STDs.
How Doctors Test For STDs
Various tests exist for different STDS. Which test a person will have to go through depends on the symptoms that they have which will lead a doctor to believe on the type of STD they have and therefore suggest a certain test, as well as their history in terms of both medical and sexual.
In order to find out the history of the patient asking to get tested for STDs, the patient will be asked for their personal information such as how many partners they have had sexual relationships with before. A pelvic exam may be included for female patients showing or giving complaints of symptoms of STDs.
Female patients who only want to get screened for STDs and do not have symptoms of STDs will most likely not need a pelvic exam. Using the information that they got from the patient examination and interview, the doctor or the nurse practitioner will then take samples from the patient.
It may only be one sample, or it can be more. The sample can be blood, urine, a genital swab, a mouth swab, or swab of any sores or discharge the patient may have.
The sample may be tested at the office of the health provider right there and then. But sometimes, the sample will get sent to a laboratory making the results come out at a later time. This depends on the office you get tested in and what type of infection the doctor is testing you for.
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Limitations of Tests For STDs
You must be aware that there is no single test or physical exam that can identify all of the STDs that there are out there, even though going through a physical exam as well as a blood test can identify most STDs.
Blood tests are only common to be done for testing STDS such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and syphilis.
There is a blood test for herpes but it is rarely done as it is expensive. Genital swab test can be down for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but for men, it is rarely done unless there is a specific request for it.
An inspection is done to diagnose human papillomavirus (HPV), but it is common for both men and women to be carrying the virus but have no signs that show during a physical examination, even though magnification is used.
Now you know the answer to “How do they test for STDs?” if you want to get yourself checked.