- Written by Hannah Kingston - Updated on September 14, 2021
- Medically reviewed by Dr Andrea Pinto Lopez, M.D.
Which STDs can I test from home? Here’s a comprehensive list of the different types of STDs you can test from home as well as the best test providers on the market.
You may have done some research around the ins and outs of home STD testing, and are now wondering “which STDs can I test from home?”
Today’s technology and laboratory advancements mean that you can test the majority of known sexually transmitted diseases from the comfort of home. What’s more, the majority of these STDs can also be treated, all from the comfort of your own home too.
In this article, we are going to be answering questions such as:
- Which STDs can you test from home?
- Which STDs can you not test from home?
- What are some of the most common symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases?
- When should you visit a doctor?
- How do you take an STD test?
Which STDs can you test from home?
You can test for the following STDs from home:
- Herpes Simplex I & II
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)
What type of sample can be used to test for each of the above types of STDs?
- Chlamydia (blood, urine, swab)
- Syphilis (blood, swab)
- Gonorrhea (blood, urine, swab)
- Herpes Simplex I & II (blood)
- Hepatitis A (blood)
- Hepatitis B (blood)
- Hepatitis C (blood)
- HIV (blood, urine, swab)
- HPV (swab)
- Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) (swab)
- Trichomoniasis (urine, swab)
- Ureaplasma (urine, swab)
- Mycoplasma (blood, urine, swab)
- Gardnerella (urine, swab)
Some of the most well known STD testing companies such as LetsGetChecked, Everlywell, Health Testing Centers, myLab box and Nurx provide different STD packages. Below is a summary of the STDs that each provider tests for.
Which STDs can you not test from home?
Some sexually transmitted diseases will require you to visit a doctor’s office because they either cannot be identified using a home STD test, or alternatively, a doctor will need to perform a physical examination to confirm the presence of an infection alongside the sample collection that needs to be collected prior to the diagnosis.
Chancroid is a bacterial sexually transmitted disease that is caused by bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi that presents as a genital ulcer. After infection, one or more ulcers (sores) develop on the genitals, or around the anus. These ulcers have soft, irregular borders that bleed easily on contact, and they are frequently painful. Usually, symptoms will be more prevalent in men, whereas women may not experience symptoms, or they may simply experience pain during urination or bowel movements. Chancroid needs to be tested in a healthcare setting due to the fact that there are a number of causes of genital ulcers. In a healthcare setting, a doctor or nurse will collect specimens from the ulcer to test for chancroid.
- Pubic lice
Pubic lice which is also sometimes referred to as crabs can be transmitted via sexual contact or intimate skin to skin contact. Pubic lice diagnosed at home, if the person who is experiencing the condition can visibly see the lice, however, it is not always possible to see pubic lice, therefore it may be necessary to undergo an examination from a health professional for a proper diagnosis.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
While PID is not necessarily a sexually transmitted disease, it is associated with sexually transmitted diseases that have not been treated over extended periods of time, particularly chlamydia and gonorrhea. As a result, the infection extends to other reproductive organs. PID doesn’t affect men, since it’s an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Some of the most common symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include pelvic pain, purulent discharge, and fever. The only way to diagnose PID is to visit your doctor, who will run a sexual health screening, and then may perform a laparoscopy, in which a surgical video camera is used to view the reproductive and abdominal organs.
Scabies isn’t necessarily a sexually transmitted disease, rather, it is known as an infestation caused by tiny burrowing mites. Scabies is highly contagious and can be contracted through prolonged intimate contact with someone who is experiencing scabies. To diagnose scabies, you will need to visit a doctor who will be able to identify the characteristic furrows in the skin that are characteristic of scabies infestation.
If you are wondering whether or not you should undergo sexual health screening, you should ask yourself a couple of questions, such as:
- Has it been over a year since I was last tested?
- Have I recently had unprotected sex?
- Has a previous sexual partner been in contact to tell me that they have a sexually transmitted disease?
If you are answering yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to take a test. Additionally, if you are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, you should consider getting tested as soon as possible.
Some of the most common symptoms of a sexually transmitted diseases in men and women include:
- Burning or pain during urination
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pain during sex
- Lumps or bumps on the genital area
- Sores or ulcers on the genital area
- Pain in the affected area
- Changes in vaginal discharge
- Pain in the testicles
- Unusual discharge from the penis
When is it a good time to take an at home STD test?
The incubation period (length of time it takes for the sexually transmitted disease to become detectable) will depend on the type of sexually transmitted disease you have possibly contracted. Generally speaking, it takes 2-3 weeks for an STD to become detectable in the blood.
When should you visit a doctor?
You should visit your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with day to life as soon as possible.
Which are the best STD tests on the market?
View our most recent article about the best STD tests in 2021.
How long should I wait to take an STD test?
You should wait for 2-3 weeks following the period in which you think you contracted an STD.
When should you go to the doctor?
You should go straight to the doctor if you are experiencing worrying symptoms.
Is there any sure way to prevent getting an STD?
Always wear a condom. Here are some simple easy to follow steps on how to correctly put on a condom by Planned Parenthood.
Written by Hannah Kingston on February 15, 2021
5 Best At-Home STD Test Kits in 2021 - stdwatch.com
How to put on a condom - plannedparenthood.org/blog/birth-control/condom/how-to-put-a-condom-on