Written on December 20, 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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If you have recently gotten lab work completed, you may have gotten a complete blood count (CBC), which is a fairly standard lab order that screens for several values. Some people may wonder, does a CBC blood test show sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Read this article for everything you need to know.
A CBC is a blood test that can screen for several blood values and potential health conditions. Some of these measures include levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. During a CBC, a healthcare provider will take your blood and send it to a lab for testing. While it is typical for CBCs to be part of a standard physical, a healthcare provider may also order a CBC if you are trying to rule out certain health conditions or are presenting with particular symptoms.
Some conditions that a CBC can screen for include :
The short answer is, no, typical CBC blood tests do not usually show indication of infection with an STD. This is why you should undergo regular STD testing if you are sexually active, especially if you or someone you are intimate with has had many partners.
If you want to be tested for STDs, a healthcare provider can order a blood test as well as other types of tests, including urine, cells, fluid, or saliva-based tests. However, these blood tests are not part of a typical CBC. Blood tests that are used to screen for STDs typically are used to screen for specific infections like cytomegalovirus, hepatitis, herpes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or syphilis. In addition, not all STDs can be detected via blood tests.
Because CBCs are a fairly normal part of yearly exams for many people and because they do not typically screen for STDs, you should ask a healthcare provider to test you for STDs separately. A healthcare provider will then likely ask you a series of questions to screen for which STDs are most appropriate to test you for. A healthcare provider may ask you questions regarding symptoms, your sexual history, the sexual history of your partners, the kind of sex you are having, and protection methods to determine which STDs to test you for.
If you receive a positive STD test, a healthcare provider can inform you about your next steps and the appropriate treatment regimen. STDs are very common, affecting millions of people around the world. Generally, the following steps are recommended if you test positive for an STD via a blood test or other testing measure :
At Everlywell, we combine the best in modernized, rigorous lab testing with easy-to-access, at-home medicine. We provide a range of blood tests, including several sexual health tests, that you can take from the comfort of your home. Your results will be analyzed in CLIA-certified labs and an experienced healthcare provider will deliver your results. You can also connect with a healthcare provider online with personal telehealth visits. Take control of your health today with Everlywell.
Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT works with a wide variety of individuals, ranging in age from children to the elderly, with an assortment of concerns and clinical conditions. She helps individuals optimize overall health and/or manage disease states using personalized medical nutrition therapy techniques.