Many sexually transmitted diseases do not produce any symptoms. If you have had unprotected vaginal, anal, or even oral sex — especially with a new partner or with multiple partners, you should know where to get STD testing done. If you are not comfortable talking to your primary care physician, anonymous STD testing can be done at STD testing centers or private STD testing facilities.
STD Testing Procedure
Sexually transmitted diseases — also known as STDs — are contagious diseases spread by sexual contact. Since many STDs do not produce symptoms or present with minor symptoms that are easy to overlook, you should submit for private STD testing if you have had an unprotected sexual encounter. Talk to your family doctor or gynecologist in Queens, NYC about where to get STD tests.
Anonymous STD testing centers, such as health clinics or Planned Parenthood facilities, offer confidential tests that can put your mind at ease. These tests can catch a disease early enough for you to get successful treatment. Some clinics provide free or low-cost STD tests, depending on your income. For your health and your partner’s health, get the tests you need to ensure that you do not spread infectious diseases. Testing is the best way to ensure you remain infection-free.
STD testing centers also answer questions you may have about STDs and the tests available. Your confidential Forest Hills, Queens gynecologist is also available to assist you with your concerns. STD testing may seem scary and uncomfortable, but the reality is that STDs can happen to anybody who has ever been sexually active. A few STDs can even be spread in non-sexual ways.
Possible Physical Symptoms of an STD
Some of the sexually transmitted diseases can lead to serious health problems if not treated. Most STDs have physical characteristics, but not all of them. The following symptoms can be caused by other conditions not related to STDs, so getting tested is the only way to know for sure. Contact your gynecologist in Queens, NYC or go to one of the STD testing centers for anonymous STD testing if you experience any of the following:
- Sores or bumps around your genitals, thighs or buttocks
- Unusual discharge from your vagina
- Burning when you urinate
- Feeling the urge to urinate often
- Itching, burning, pain, irritation, or swelling in your vagina, vulva or anus, constipation and rectal bleeding
- Flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, swollen glands and exhaustion
How to Determine Which STD Test You Need
Unfortunately there isn’t one single test for all STDs. Your doctor has to ask you questions about your medical and sexual history before administering the most appropriate test. Sometimes, you may need more than one test. These questions carry no judgements; your doctor only wants to help you maintain your health and the health of your sexual partners. Some questions include:
- What symptoms, if any, do you currently experience?
- Have you or your partner had an STD in the past?
- What is the number of people you have had sex with?
- What kind of sex have you experienced — oral, vaginal or anal?
- How often do you use protection, such as condoms or dental dams?
- What other activities have you been involved in that could increase your chances of getting certain infections, such as sharing needles?
Depending on your answers and your symptoms, your Forest Hills, Queens gynecologist may suggest testing for such STDs as:
- Genital herpes
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
The Process of Anonymous STD Testing
Since each STD has its own test, your gynecologist in Queens, NYC may recommend any of the following:
- A urine test
- A cheek swab — your doctor rubs the inside of your cheek with a soft swab to test for HIV
- A blood test — your doctor takes blood from your arm or with a finger prick
- A physical exam— your doctor examines your genital area for signs of warts, sores, rashes, irritations or discharge
- Testing for sores — your doctor may take a sample of fluid from any sores or blisters present
- A sample test — your doctor uses a swab to gently take discharge or cell samples from your vagina, urethra, cervix, anus or throat
Some STDs produce very similar symptoms, so you may be tested for a few different infections. Your doctor may be able to tell you your results right away, but conclusive results for some tests can take a few days or even a few weeks.
STD Diagnosis and Treatment
Once you have received a positive STD diagnosis, follow the doctor’s directions to treat it. You also have to tell anyone you have had sex with, so they can get tested and treated as well. Most common STDs are cured with medication — you finish your treatment and can get on with your life. Other STDs, such as HIV, require symptom management to keep you healthy and reduce the risk of catching other diseases or passing it on to your partner. HPV often leads to genital warts, although some types have been linked to cervical and other types of cancer.
Occasionally, you may receive a false negative STD test result, especially if you have chosen to use an in-home private STD testing kit. A false negative STD test is unusual, however, if a blood test was involved. Blood tests are accurate 99.4 percent of the time. Trust your OB/GYN to provide you with the most accurate results.
If you are feeling anxious waiting for your diagnosis or your test results, you have options. Your Forest Hills, Queens gynecologist may suggest leaning on a supportive partner, close friend or an understanding family member. Counselors or therapists are also available to help you process your concerns and feelings. They can also help you to discuss your diagnosis with your partner. The best time to talk to your partner about testing is before you start having sex, including oral sex.
With the availability of effective treatments for STDs, it is essential that you get tested at the first sign of symptoms. Your doctor will explain your options and help you feel better physically and emotionally. The tests are quick, painless and sometimes free.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. In our office we believe that how you are treated is just as important as the medical care we provide. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in diagnosing STDs and recommending the right course of treatment.
We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331