TeenHealthFX reccommends that all sexually active teenagers get tested for STDs. FX understands that the thought of STD testing can be overwhelming. We’re here to help!
1. What is an STD?
STD stands for sexually transmitted disease.
STDs are infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal and oral sex. You can read about common STDs by checking out Planned Parenthood: STDs.
2. Who Should Get Tested for STDs?
Anyone who is sexually active should be tested for STDs.
More specific recommendations based on age and sexual orientation are available on CDC: STD & HIV Screening Recommendations.
3. Where Can I Get Tested?
Your primary care physician can refer you to a local gynecologist, urologist or other medical professional who is able to screen for STD’s. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.
Planned Parenthood: Find a Health Center is a great tool for locating a Planned Parenthood health center near you.
During the Test:
What will the test be like? What should I expect?
The process will begin with a conversation with your doctor. He/she will inquire about your sexual history. These questions may include number of sexual partners and any methods of birth control that you currently use.
Next, he/she will ask if you have experienced any STD symptoms, such as genital irritation, itching, rash, and/or unusual discharge.
Based on this conversation, your doctor will decide which testing method is best. Common procedures include:
- Blood sample (from either a blood draw or a finger prick)
- Urine sample
- Swab of the inside of the mouth
- Swab of any discharge or sores
After the Test:
1. When will I receive my STD results?
Some STD results are available immediately in the doctor’s office.
Most commonly, the sample is sent to a lab and the results come a few days later.
2. I Tested Positive for an STD. What Now?
Don’t panic! Your doctor is there to help you throughout the treatment proccess. He/she will schedule a follow-up visit in order to discuss your options. Most STD’s are easy to treat, and curable with medication.
Inform your sexual partner(s) that you have contracted an infection, so they are able to get tested and treatment, if necessary.
Familiarize yourself with your birth control options so you can practice safe sex. Using condoms is the best way to reduce the likelihood of spreading and/or contracting sexually transmitted infections.
TeenHealthFX encourages our viewers to check out our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex to learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, birth control, STDs, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception and more.