Person picking up an at-home STD collection kit after finding out if you can take an STD test at home

Can You Take An STD Test At Home?

Medically reviewed on Aug 7, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which are also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STI), are very common. Per the World Health Organization, more than one million STIs are acquired daily worldwide.1 Similarly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 1 in 5 people in the United States have had an STI. [2]

Fortunately, the most common STD types are detectable, treatable, and preventable. That said, the stigma around STIs can often deter people from seeking STI testing or treatment and can lead to the underutilization of common STD prevention methods, such as vaccinations and condoms. [3]

This may cause you to wonder, can I take an STD test at home?

In a word, yes. At-home STI testing breaks down the barriers between patients and sexual healthcare, making an STI test more accessible, convenient, and discreet than ever before.

What Does An STD Look Like?

It’s very common for STDs to be asymptomatic, meaning there are no signs that you’ve been infected. That said, even with no symptoms, STDs can be passed to partners during sex, which is why STD testing is so important.

Other times, however, you will experience symptoms, which can vary depending on the type of STD. A few of the most common include [4] :

  • Chlamydia – A bacterial infection, chlamydia, has very few early-stage symptoms, meaning it can go undetected for weeks. When symptoms do arise, people will usually experience painful urination while [peeing after sex](, lower abdominal pain, and abnormal genital discharge. Women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) may also experience pain during sex and bleeding between periods. Men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB), on the other hand, can have testicular pain. [4]
  • Gonorrhea – Also a bacterial infection, gonorrhea, can infect the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus, in addition to the genitals. If you’ve ever wondered “[Why does it burn when I pee after sex](”, this might be a culprit. Within 10 days of infection, symptoms typically appear and can include unusual discharge, a burning sensation when urinating, heavy menstrual bleeding or spotting between periods, painful bowel movements, swollen testicles, and anal itching. [4]
  • Trichomoniasis – This type of STD is of the parasitic variety. In people AMAB, it impacts the urinary tract. In people AFAB, it affects the vagina. Symptoms include inflammation, strange discharge, strong vaginal odor, penile itching, painful intercourse, and painful urination. [4]
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – An infection of the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, can impact the immune system and may lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is life-threatening. Oftentimes, those infected with HIV will have no symptoms or mistake the infection for the flu. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. [4]
  • Syphilis – This bacterial infection can infect the genitals, skin, and mucous membranes of the body. There are three stages: the first manifests as a painless sore, which can worsen and develop into rashes, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, and body aches. It then becomes dormant. Lastly, if left untreated, the infection can severely impact the organs and lead to death.4
  • HPV – Human papillomavirus is very common, and it can put women and people AFAB at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. Typically, HPV is asymptomatic; although, genital warts may appear in clusters. [4]

The Methodology Behind At-Home STD Testing

If you believe you have an STD, it’s important to get treated as soon as possible. During periods of latency, some people may believe that an STD has gone away and will avoid testing. However, this is very unlikely in most cases.

The most likely reason that symptoms may disappear is that the infection has become dormant. This most often occurs with chlamydia, hepatitis C, HIV, herpes, and syphilis. [4]

All that said, regular STD testing is critical to your sexual and overall health.

So, can you take an STD test at home? You can. If you prefer to avoid the bright lights and cold examination tables of your healthcare provider’s office, there are at-home STD test kit options available online. These home testing methods allow you to be proactive about your sexual health from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

At-home tests for sexual health, like those from Everlywell, are available for a variety of conditions to keep you and your partner(s) in the know. At-home STD tests are also shipped discreetly to your door and include all the home testing tools you need to assess your condition conveniently and effectively, with step-by-step instructions.

For example, the Everlywell at-home Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Test includes a urine cup, pipette, and urine sample tube, as well as a biohazard bag to store your sample. Depending on the STD, your home STD test kit sample collection set may vary, however. Because syphilis testing requires a blood sample, at-home tests will include alcohol pads, lancets, and bandages. HPV tests, on the other hand, will utilize a vaginal swab collection set.

Within the STI test package, you’ll also receive a prepaid shipping label to deliver your test result to a certified lab. Everlywell, specifically, works with a network of third-party CLIA-certified labs. Within days, you’ll receive your digital test results directly to your device through a secure platform.

If your results are abnormal, a board-certified physician will contact you to discuss next steps, including treatment options—and all of this is included in the original price of your at-home test.

Trust Everlywell With Your At-Home Health

Everlywell stands out as a trusted and established provider of home-testing kits, offering individuals a reliable and convenient way to monitor their sexual health. With a reputation built on accuracy and quality, we provide users with the assurance of dependable results and experienced clinicians, all from the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

We cover a wide spectrum of STIs, including but not limited to chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV and HIV, ensuring that you have access to a comprehensive toolset for monitoring your sexual health.

Explore our at-home test options today to get started.

  1. World Health Organization. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Published July 10, 2023. URL. Accessed Aug 4, 2023.
  2. CDC. CDC estimates 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a sexually transmitted infection | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC. Published February 25, 2021. URL. Accessed Aug 4, 2023.
  3. Lee ASD, Cody SL. The Stigma of Sexually Transmitted Infections. Nursing Clinics of North America. 2020;55(3). doi: URL. Accessed Aug 4, 2023.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Common STD Symptoms. Mayo Clinic. Published 2018. URL. Accessed Aug 4, 2023.
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