Here's How You Can Take an STI Test at Home
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    go wild!
    5 minutes read
    Aug 4, 2023
    How Do I Take a STD Test at Home

    Written by: Sarah McElroy, NP

    At home testing is becoming a more popular way to know your STI status. With typical in-office testing, it’s hard to know what’s worse: waiting for the actual appointment which can be weeks away, or waiting anxiously for the call with results which can take a week, not to mention physically going into an office and having to tell three people your story before you even see a provider. Testing in your home is easier than ever with testing kits, directions and access to next day results delivered right to your door.

    You’ve ordered your kit- now what?

    The first step to getting your sample collected at home is to read the instructions carefully. Each test calls for different steps and handling of your sample to ensure it is delivered to the lab intact.

    The Urine Sample

    To get a urine sample, first open the package and write your name, birth date and date of collection on the sticker and attach it to your sample tube. Next, wash your hands before you open the urine collection cup, then urinate into the cup- you don’t need much, but please be sure you get the first part of the urine stream into it as best you can. Next, remove the cap from the sample tube and use the provided pipette to fill the sample to the ‘fill area’ on the tube. If you put too much, the lab may reject your sample. Next, put the cap back on and place the tube into the provided biohazard bag and seal it up.

    The Vaginal Swab

    (for those who have vaginas) Let’s talk through the vaginal swab next. First step is writing your name, birth date and collection date on the sticker on the swab and attaching it to the test tube. Next, wash your hand and open the swab, making sure the swab doesn’t touch anything. Gently insert the swab into your vagina about 2 inches and sweep inside for 30 seconds. Once you’ve completed the full 30 seconds, withdraw the swab and place it into the clear tube, bend at the blue line and break off the handle. Securely screw the cap on the tube and put it in the biohazard bag with the absorbent sheet and seal.

    Product We Recommend: 9-Panel STD Test

    The Blood Spot Card

    Next up, the blood spot. This name is pretty accurate- you fill in a few spots with blood. First, open the blood spot card and open it to show the blood collection circles without touching them. Next wash your hands with warm water and shake them to get the blood flowing to your fingertips. Pick either your ring or middle fingertip and use the alcohol pad to clean the whole tip on that finger. To draw the blood sample, remove the lancet cap and slowly press against your finger tip- you should hear a click and feel a prick. With the included gauze, wipe away the first blood drop, then starting at the base of your pricked finger, massage towards the tip so you get a few fresh blood drops. Drop those into the first circle without touching your finger to the card.

    Repeat this process until every circle is filled. You can use multiple drops if needed but it’s really important the spots are 100% filled. If you flip the panel over, the blood should be visible on the other side of the card. Next, put on your band aid and let your panel air dry—do not blow on it or use anything to speed up drying time. Once your card is dry, close the test by tucking the flap and sealing it into the biohazard bag.

    The Oral Swab

    For oral or mouth samples, start by writing your name, birthdate and collection date on the sticker and attach it to the sample tube. Next, wash your hands and open the collection container, making sure the swab doesn't touch anything before you collect your sample. Take the swab to the back of your throat and swab for 10 seconds to get an accurate sample. Place the swab in the collection tube, breaking off at the line and screw the lid on. Place your sample in the biohazard bag provided.

    The Anal/Rectal Swab

    If your kit includes an anal (rectal) swab, start by labeling your container-you know the drill- name, birth date and collection date. With washed hands, open the container and be sure it only touches your test site. Insert the swab into your anus about 1-2 inches and twirl for 10 seconds against the walls of your rectum. Put the swab into the container, break off the end and secure the lid. Put this into your biohazard bag for secure transport.

    Product We Recommend: 3 Site: Chlamydia & Gonorrhea

    You Did It!

    Once all of your requested samples are collected and sealed into their own biohazard bags, place them all into the provided prepaid envelope and drop in the mail. Now find a way to relax and know that you’ve taken a great step in your sexual health care.

    TBD is on a mission to make at home STI testing a better experience for everyone and empowering you to take your sexual health into your own hands. From ordering and registering a test kit online, to having a portal to easily, quickly and privately get your results, they’ve thought of it all. There are also healthcare provides at your fingertips and TBD allows you to message health care providers questions about the testing process, your results and other concerns. The TBD healthcare team is also able to provide treatment when needed- all from the comfort of your couch.

    Reviewed by Adrienne Ton, APRN-CNP on Aug 2, 2023

    This article provides information about sexual health, healthcare and/or related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of TBD Health Inc.

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