In most cases, people with sexually transmitted diseases (STD) won’t exhibit symptoms, and the only method of confirming is to undergo testing. It certainly makes sense to get tested on a regular basis if you have an active sex life.
If you’re scheduled for STD testing for the first time, the following tips should help make the experience smoother for you:
Don’t focus on the needle.
Truth is, it’s far from pleasant, but it is absolutely manageable. Divert your thoughts to something else, or have a chat with the technician. Just don’t look at the needle.
Hydrate yourself before testing.
If you’re going for a urine test, drinking water will obviously help produce the urine. If you’re taking a blood test, more water makes it easier to locate a vein.
Eat well on the day.
First-timers usually experience nausea when getting blood drawn, and if your stomach or empty or filled with junk food, you could feel worse. So be sure to have a good meal prior to testing. Besides, it will help keep you from being cranky.
Don’t go when you have your period.
A woman’s iron levels usually drop during menstruation, so if you get tested during your period, you could feel more nauseous while getting blood drawn. The idea is to get a blood test on a day that you have great energy. Passing out is a possibility otherwise.
Know what you’re being tested for and how you’ll get your results.
If you’re being tested for a major STD like HIV or gonorrhea, it will be a fairly simple process and your results will probably be available in a few days (at most). In any case, don’t hesitate to ask what you’re testing for and assert your right to health care. Request additional tests that you deem necessary, if any. And don’t forget to ask how you will be notified of your results, whether through phone, email, and so on. If you’d rather call them yourself for the results, tell them too, and make sure you follow through.
Ignore other people.
Lastly, don’t allow society to stop you from getting tested. When you go in for an STD test, it may feel like everyone knows what you’re dealing with, but that’s hardly the case. Remember that the people you find in an STD testing clinic are there for the same reasons as you. You should not feel ashamed at all. Getting tested just means you’re taking care of yourself, which is only right on all levels.