Procedure & Types of STD Tests for Women

Submitted by Nic on November 20, 2012

In case you suspect that you may be suffering from a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), the most effective way for you to confirm it is by going in for a test. In most cases, the STD tests for female patients and male patients are the same. However, a pelvic exam is one of the STD tests, recommended only for women.

STD Tests For Women

There are different STD tests for women, depending upon the kind of disease or infection that you are trying to diagnose. Given below are some of the different types of STD tests for women:

  • HIV Test: Enzyme Linked Immuno-sorbent Assay (ELISA), Western Blot and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Syphilis Test: Rapid Plasma Reagin Test (RPR Test)
  • Herpes Test: HSV IgM Test and HSV IgG Test
  • Hepatitis Test: HCV Antibody test and Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test
  • Urinary Analysis Test: Total Urinary Analysis (UA)
  • Chlamydia or Gonorrhea Test: Chlamydia or Gonorrhea Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology (NAAT) and cervical samples testing


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an STD specific to women and in order to diagnose this, a blood test may be recommended, along with a pelvic exam, which is compulsory. In fact, blood tests are a part of most STD tests for women, as they can be used in a diagnosis of HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, Herpes, and so on. The procedure for obtaining a blood sample, to check for STDs is the same as any other blood test.

The health care provider will insert a needle into a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. Blood is withdrawn, collected in a glass vial or tube and sent to a lab for testing. There is usually only minor discomfort caused by this procedure.

Swabbing is also one of the common STD tests for women, where a cotton swab is used to collect and discharge the tissue samples from the area that is affected. Many STDs can be determined with the help of swabbing, such as PID, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis.

A pelvic exam or an internal exam is conducted only for women at the doctor’s clinic. A health care provider examines the woman’s vaginal area, to check for signs of infections or diseases. A metal speculum may also be inserted to examine the vagina and the cervix internally. The doctor may also take a cotton swab sample during this time for lab testing. If required, the doctor may conduct a deeper examination to check for any abnormalities in the uterus.

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