STD testing is not necessarily part of your annual gynecologist visit or pelvic examination. Be sure to request STD testing at your health care provider if you think you may be having an outbreak. Being honest with your physician or nurse about your sexual relationship will help you determine which tests are most appropriate for you. Here’s a look at some common STD tests and what they will do for you.
A pap smear is one of the first STD tests to screen for cervical cancer. This kind of physical examination looks at cells on the outer surface of the cervix to detect abnormalities that could be precursors to cancer. Your health care provider will likely also take a swab of your cervix cells for HPV testing, so be sure to get screened before starting any treatment.
Genital warts are another common STD that doctors often consider for screening. However, these warts do not show symptoms in most people until they form clusters. If you believe you have genital warts, talk to your doctor about how to detect them. Some STD tests will look for particular strains of the virus, whereas others look for antibodies. Either way, your doctor will be able to recommend an effective treatment method.
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are other common STDs that are considered for routine checks, and chances are you will get tested for these as well. Depending on the sex of your partner, these diseases can have varying treatment methods. For women, doctors often use a form of a gonorrhea vaccine to prevent infection. For men, there are many sites that are easily cured with antibiotics.
A bladder or kidney infection does not usually result in screening for STDs. If you believe you have one, however, your doctor should check it out. Bladder or kidney disease is very serious, and you need to ensure that you do not pass it on to a partner during sex. Many STDs can be transmitted by having sex. If you think you might have a kidney or bladder infection, talk to your doctor about getting tested for STD testing.
If you have an infection, your doctor may recommend routine pap smear procedures as soon as possible. A regular Pap smear helps detect changes in your cervix that could indicate the presence of gonorrhea or chlamydia. However, unless symptoms occur, your doctor may feel more comfortable recommending an STD test.