At home STD test kits for males and females | Here’s everything you need to know

Are there differences in the way males and females need to take an STD test kit? What are the differences and similarities? Here’s everything you need to know about taking an STD test kit from home. 

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Are there differences in the ways men and women need to take an at home STD test kit? What are the differences and similarities? Here’s everything you need to know about taking an STD test kit from home. 

You may be feeling a little bit confused when it comes to how men and women take an STD test kit from the comfort of home. 

When it comes down to it, it’s pretty simple. Men and women may require different collection methods for a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, however, overall, the collection methods are pretty similar if not the same. 
 

What are the collection methods for taking an at home STD test kit?

Ahead of diving into the differences and similarities that come with at home STD test kits for both men and women, let’s first take a look at the different sample and collection methods that can be used to diagnose a sexually transmitted disease in men and women. 

STD collection methods

Blood and urine sample collection work in the same way for males and females. Depending on which at home STD tests kit you are using and the sexually transmitted diseases that you are testing for, you may be required to collect a blood or urine sample. 

Blood samples can easily be collected using a lancet. A lacet will create a tiny puncture on the tip of the finger. You can then fill a small test-tube and this can be analyzed at the lab. Blood samples may also be collected in a walk-in lab or a doctor’s office. 

Urine samples are equally similar, both men and women simply need to urinate into a collection tube and return it to the lab for processing. Urine samples may also be collected in a walk-in lab or a doctor’s office. 

Collecting a sample with the use of a swab is really the only difference when it comes to how males and females may use an at home STD test kit, as well as how these samples may be collected in either a walk-in lab or doctor’s office. 

Females may be required to collect a swab sample from the cervix, anus or the inside of their cheek. In some instances, a health professional may also collect a sample from a syphilis sore to confirm syphilis. 

Males may be required to collect a swab sample from the tip of the penis, the anus or the inside of their cheek. As with women, a health professional may also use swab testing to confirm syphilis. 

As explained in a previous article “Are home STD tests accurate?” there is no such thing as a 100% medically accurate health test, however the validity of the test will largely depend on the conditions in which the sample were collected, (i.e. the incubation period) and whether sufficient volume of sample was collected (i.e. did the patient provide enough of a sample for being tested in the lab). It is super important for customers to closely follow the instructions enclosed in their home STD test kit to ensure that they do not need to retest due to insufficient sample sizes and/or taking a test too soon after the suspected time in which they contracted the sexually transmitted disease. 

How are at home STD test kits on the market gendered?

Most home STD test kits on the market are not gendered, meaning that males and females can simply choose the test that is right for them and matches up with their testing needs, as opposed to needing to choose a test based on their gender. 

In saying gendered home STD test kits do exist.

Everlywell provides STD test kits for both males (blood and urine sample collection) and females (blood and vaginal swab collection). 

Nurx also provides STD test kits specifically for females (vaginal swab, throat swab, and finger prick blood card). 

When it comes to choosing the right test for you, it really depends on your specific needs. Ideally you should aim to attend a full sexual health screening once a year, according to health guidelines outlined by the CDC.

Read: What is the best at home STD test? to learn more about which testing options are available on the market including everything from fully comprehensive health check-ups to more basic at home STD test kits. Here, we talk you through the pros and cons of using LetsGetChecked, myLAB box, Everlywell, Health Testing Centers and NURX. 

 

 

FAQs

When should you take an at home STD test kit? 

The incubation periods for sexually transmitted diseases vary, depending on the type of STD you think you have contracted, however 2-3 weeks is usually the recommended length of time. 

What is the most common STD in the United States?

Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States and worldwide. There are 4-8 million new cases of chlamydia each year in the United States.

What does the CDC recommend for when it comes to regular STD testing?

HIV

  • All adults and adolescents aged 13 to 64 should be tested at least once.
  • Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares injection drug equipment should get tested at least once a year.
  • Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent HIV testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).

Chlamydia 

  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested at least once a year.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should get tested more frequently (3-6 months).

Gonorrhea 

  • All sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested at least once a year.
  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should get tested more frequently (3-6 months).

Syphilis

  • All sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested at least once a year. Those who have multiple or anonymous partners should get tested more frequently (3-6 months).

What about pregnancy?

  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B starting early in pregnancy. At-risk pregnant women should also be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea starting early in pregnancy. Testing should be repeated as needed to protect the health of mothers and their infants.

    pregnant woman

 

 

Written by Hannah Kingston on February 21, 2021

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