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How to Get Tested for an STD

Learn how to test for and treat sexually transmitted diseases from sexpert Jane Bogart in this Howcast video.


Because there is so many different kinds of sexually transmitted infections and some of them are bacterial, and some of them are viral, and some of them are parasitic, and some of them are protozoan, there is no one test that you can have for all sexually transmitted infections.

One of the key things to know is that you will not automatically be tested for sexually transmitted infections when you go to your doctor or you go for a gynecological exam. Contrary to what most people think, in order to be tested for sexually transmitted infections, you have to ask to be tested. Most doctors will not just automatically test you when you come for your annual exam or you go for your gynecological exam.

And based on what you think you might have been exposed to or the activities you're doing, they should be able to judge for you what test to do. Sometimes it's a blood test. Sometimes it's a urine test or a swab test. Sometimes they'll just do a visual exam. Sometimes they'll do a pap test. So again, depending upon what the infection is that they might be looking for or the symptoms that you may have or the risk that you feel that you might have taken, they will determine what test to do for you.

Based on the results of those tests, they will then determine what form of treatment to prescribe. And sometimes that's medication. Sometimes it's cream. Sometimes it's an action that you have to do. Sometimes it's an antibiotic.

Because there's so many different kinds of sexually transmitted infections and all of those infections might have different tests that go with them, what you can do for yourself is to learn more about the different infections, learn about the tests that go with those infections, the treatment that's possible for those infections. And then when you go for your annual checkup or you're concerned that you might be infected with some sort of STI, then you can advocate for yourself about what tests you want and how you might want to go about having those tests.

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