Testing for sexually transmitted infections is more common than you think, as STIs continue as a leading health problem in the United States. Thankfully, STI tests are easy and easy to access.
Here’s what your primary health care provider wants you to know about testing, so you and your loved ones remain safe and protected and where you can go for this testing in Winter Park, FL.
What STIs Can a Provider Test for
You can and should be tested for STIs regularly if you are sexually active, not monogamous (only one partner who also has sex with no one else), or practice unprotected sex. People who seem more at risk for developing STIs are:
- Men who have sex with other men
- Individuals who are forced to have vaginal, oral, or anal sex
- Illegal drug users
- Under the influence of alcohol
The most commonly tested for STIs are:
- Hepatitis B
What Happens During an STI Test
Many STI tests involve a painless swab of the genital, oral, or anal areas. Others involve a urine or blood sample taken at the provider’s office or a medical testing lab.
Additionally, many providers want to do an in-office examination and discussion of a patient’s symptoms if present. However, many patients are completely asymptomatic.
Common symptoms may include:
- Genital itching
- Warts or sores on the genitals
- Differences in how someone urinates
- Pelvic pain and/or pain with intercourse
- Discharge from the vagina or penis
Can I Test for STIs at Home
The answer to this is yes but with a couple of caveats. You can home test for HIV, chlamydia, and syphilis in the comfort and privacy of your home. Usually, the tests involve taking a urine sample or oral/genital swab and sending the material to a lab for analysis.
However, be aware that home tests do not feature the highest rates of test accuracy. So, you may experience a false negative test and not know that you really are positive for a particular STI.
Another caution with home tests is that: if you do get positive results, you must follow up for additional testing and treatment with your primary healthcare provider.
Finally, results from these tests may be very quick–20 minutes for an at-home test. Other in-office test results may take longer.
Safe, Accurate, and Private STI Testing in Winter Park, FL
If you think you may be at risk for or actually have an STI, contact Dr. Chuck Dugan and his team at Dugan Family Healthcare. He will be happy to walk you through the testing process to give you the information you need to get healthy, reduce STI risks, and be as informed as possible.
For more information about STI testing or any other health concern you have, call us today at (407) 784-3290