The STD Testing Process

STD Testing Process

Getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience. But don’t worry – it’s a safe and confidential process.

The testing process includes a risk assessment, a physical exam, and swabs or samples of fluid that are sent to a lab. The results may be ready the same day or within a few weeks.

Urine Tests

Urine tests are a quick, painless way to get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea. They can be done during a regular appointment or by taking your urine at home.

For these tests, your healthcare provider or clinician will give you a cup or tube to pee into. They will then send your sample to a lab for testing.

Depending on the test, results can be given within a few days or weeks. Some rapid HIV tests can provide results in as little as 20 minutes.

A chlamydia test uses a urine sample or a swab of secretions from your vagina, anus, throat or eye (depending on where the infection might be). This is usually done in a healthcare provider’s office.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are a quick and easy way to check for a number of STDs. They can be especially useful for detecting HIV and hepatitis B, which aren’t typically detectable in a urine test.

Certain STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, require a swab to confirm the diagnosis. Swabs may cause discomfort and embarrassment for some people.

Herpes simplex virus is another infection that can be detected by blood testing when symptoms aren’t present. The test measures the level of herpes antibodies in your body, and can help providers see if you’ve had a herpes infection in the past.

The Herpes Virus can cause sores or blisters in the genital area or around the mouth. It can also cause cold sores and genital warts.

Visual Physical Exam

A visual physical exam is an important part of the STD Testing Process. It is a quick way to diagnose sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital herpes.

In this test, a doctor or nurse will examine your genital area for abnormal growth or marks. They may use a swab that looks like a Q-tip to collect a fluid sample or take a blood sample.

This is a quick, easy, and discreet method of identifying STDs. It can be performed in a clinic or emergency room.

Depending on the type of test, it can take between seven to ten days for results to come back. However, if you have any mitigating circumstances, your results might be delivered to you sooner.


Swabs are used to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but can also be used for herpes (if you have an outbreak of herpes sores). They are a quick process where your provider uses a long Q-tip-like swab to take a sample from either your vagina or throat.

These swabs are sent to a lab for testing. You won’t receive your results until the laboratory is able to process the sample and send it back to you.

Endocervical specimens may contain mucous, which can cause delay in processing. To prevent this, use the large woven swab provided in the Roche cobas(r) PCR Media Dual Swab Sample Kit to clean the mucous off of the swabs prior to collection. Lower the swabs into the transport tube until they are aligned with the visible score line on the top of the tube. Then, carefully break the shaft at the dark scoreline and discard the top portion of the swab.

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