No one likes to contemplate the idea that they’ve picked up a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Unfortunately, the reality is that anyone who is sexually active is potentially at risk of catching an STD. No method of “safe sex” is truly 100% safe, and diseases can potentially be passed through any type of sex, even if it only involves the hands.
To be clear, protective measures such as condoms are still very effective, and can drastically reduce your chances of catching or spreading disease. But no preventative method is 100% perfect.
So, if you’re sexually active in Pasadena, it’s a very good idea to periodically receive STD testing at a Pasadena urgent care clinic. Being tested regularly is the only way to be certain that you’re safe, and not suffering from a disease or at risk of spreading it to others.
However, that does depend on how accurate the STD testing is. So, in this article, we wanted to talk about different methods of testing for STDs, and how accurate they are.
1. At-home tests will always be less accurate
There are now several at-home testing kits for STDs, where you collect a small sample of bodily fluid and mail it off for testing at a lab. Then you get the results back a few days later. It’s easy to see the appeal of such kits since they offer the highest degree of privacy, but they do so at the expense of accuracy.
Unfortunately, it’s easy for someone who is untrained to accidentally taint their sample. Accidents can also happen to the sample while it’s in transit. This, unfortunately, leads to a lot of false negatives – which means you could be infected without knowing it, and falsely believing yourself to be clean.
For this reason, it’s highly recommended to visit a doctor’s office or Pasadena urgent care clinic for testing in-person. We do everything we can to help you feel comfortable, and every test is handled with utmost professionalism.
2. STD testing types and accuracy
There are several different types of STD testing services in Pasadena, depending on your situation and the diseases being tested for. Here are some of the most common types of std tests and how accurate they tend to be.
Blood tests are one of the most common options because antibodies and antigens caused by diseases tend to hang around in our blood for a long time. Blood tests are especially effective for diagnosing syphilis, genital herpes, HIV, and all types of hepatitis. When conducted properly by a professional in a sterile medical environment, these tests are extremely accurate and are most typically recommended for people who are concerned about having contracted an STD.
Swab tests are good at spotting a few particular types of STDs. These are conducted by taking a swab of a person’s mouth or anus and analyzing the fluids left behind. Swab testing is typically the only accurate way of testing for STDs that can specifically target the mouth or anus, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Unfortunately, swab tests tend to be uncomfortable – not to mention being a bit invasive. For this reason, they’re typically not recommended unless a person specifically believes they’ve been exposed to chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Urine tests are the other most common type of STD testing. These are best for detecting bacterial infections, including vaginal chlamydia and gonorrhea. However, they’re not as accurate as taking a direct cervical or urethral sample. As such, they’re typically done when there are issues of time or discomfort since urine tests are easy and comfortable to conduct. Just make sure to drink plenty of water beforehand.
3. Timing affects accuracy
Finally, there’s one other matter to consider: incubation periods. Some STDs can take a long time to breed and become detectable. For example, HIV takes 2-4 weeks to be spotted by a test, or syphilis can potentially remain latent for years. So, depending on the disease a person believes they’ve been exposed to, medical professionals may actually advise them to wait a couple of weeks before getting tested.
You may also be advised to have a few tests over the course of weeks or months, in cases where the disease could have an extremely long incubation period. Otherwise, if you test only once and it’s too early, you could get a false negative.
For Fast and Affordable STD Testing in Pasadena, Visit Pasadena Advanced Urgent Care
We offer full STD testing for all known diseases. The tests are conducted in a positive and comforting environment, and we will never deliberately do anything to make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed. We want people to be able to enjoy sex while staying healthy.
If you believe you’ve been exposed to an STD, please don’t wait to get a consultation. Contact Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena for advice and testing.