Sexual Health Friday February 10, 2012

The reliability of home testing for STIs

If you think that there is even the slightest possibility that you have caught a sexually transmitted infection (STI), there shouldn’t be any doubt as to getting yourself checked out as soon as possible – as much for your peace of mind as for the benefit of your sexual health.

The longer an STI is left untreated, the greater the possibility that it could seriously affect you. The difficulty here is that some symptoms of STIs are not noticeable and can spread infection inside your body before you even realise it. Therefore, the immediacy with which you decide to take action – even if you think something just doesn’t feel right – is essential. Having an understanding of yours and your partner’s sexual health, along with the risks of unprotected sex, can help to determine the odds of whether you could have been infected.

Convenience and privacy

There are medical issues which can be a cause of embarrassment and unease for some people, and not knowing whether you have an STI or not could definitely be one of them. The idea of being able to take a test in the privacy of your home, can be a suitable option for those wanting to take control over a delicate situation in an environment in which they feel comfortable.

The test will be sent off to a laboratory, where it will be clinically tested and the outcome confirmed, at which point the next best course of action can be decided if the result comes back as positive. Online alternatives to GUM clinics can be a better option for those whom require medication to treat an STI, not only for privacy reasons but also for convenience. The option of being able to manage your condition online and hassle-free can save taking time out of your schedule and ensure discretion.

Will the results be accurate?

Determining the outcome of a home test should be straightforward and informative enough, in view that the technology used to make such testing more widely available has advanced and is more acceptable. Those results liable to display errors are more likely those which have not been carried out appropriately, as instructed.

Information regarding how to use them should be clearly labelled on all home testing kits, which are almost 100% accurate. This being the case, it is the responsibility of the person taking the test to avoid making mistakes in the way in which it is carried out.

Simple steps can be made to do this:

• check the reliability of the test manufacturer (have they been approved and registered as genuine by the relevant authorities?);

• store the test correctly until is ready to be used;

• provide a sample that has been taken by you, not by somebody else;

• ensure that the given instructions are fully understood.

These checks may be small, but they are important in ensuring the most accurate results in order to receive the right diagnosis.

Where do I go from here?

Getting the medication you need to treat a sexually transmitted infection is relatively easy once you know the outcome of your home test. By taking immediate action in checking yourself for an STI, you have prevented the risk of further complications to your health, and can proceed with a course of antibiotics, which can purchased conveniently online from LabsDirect UK.

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