STD check

March 5, 2010

Sexually Transmitted Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, Hepatitis (not AIDS test)

Any individual who is sexually active is generally aware of how important it is to have safe sex, but he/she also needs to be aware of consequences of not doing so.Yes, there is the obvious risk of pregnancy when you have unprotected sex, but even more importantly unprotected sex, that too with multiple partners will make you extremely vulnerable to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).So, apart from having protected sex, it is important that you check for STDs. Most STDs have little or no symptoms and most often these go undetected.

For instance, in case of Herpes there are no obvious symptoms and diagnosing this STD sometimes requires physical examination. Even so, herpes sores can be confused with another infection. Therefore, an examination is generally coupled with blood or urine tests for confirmation. Also, it should be noted that herpes can't be cured. At best, if you catch it early, you can treat the symptoms to avoid the sores from breaking out in other parts of the body too.

In fact not just herpes, other STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and for that matter Hepatitis too can be diagnosed through blood and/or urine tests. In women Chlamydia is almost too hard to detect and symptoms are too placid to be noticed. So, Chlamydia diagnosis in women also involves physical examination of the pelvic area. A pap smear is also collected to check for any bacteria that could cause this STD. Gonorrhea, among the lot, is still easier to detect, largely due to the abdominal pain and genital discharge that accompanies this infection. For accurate diagnosis though, a doctor will need a sample of the discharge, which can then be sent to a lab for a culture test. A urine test can also be done, but it is only used when trying to rule out the possibility of this infection.

If you have medical insurance, STD tests can be done without incurring any cost. But if you don't have insurance then at the very least per test in a laboratory could cost up to 30 dollars. Also in case you do not have insurance, these tests will typically be done at your doctor's clinic, in which case, you can expect to incur anywhere between 50 to 250 dollars per test.

There are also private laboratories that conduct these tests for those patients who don't want an STD to be mentioned in their medical history. But your insurance cannot cover your expenses here and you would be looking at a minimum expense of 50 dollars per test, perhaps even higher. You also have the option of doing all the tests as a package at around 400 dollars. Do note the cost of a test varies depending on the kind of disease you're being tested for.

There are several insurance policies available that do cover the expense of STD testing. So if you haven't taken health insurance yet, here are some things you could factor in as requirement when it comes to STD testing. For one thing, most STDs have a waiting period or a window during which if they test, they could get a false negative even though they have the infection. In such cases, you are required to re-test. Secondly, STD tests generally require follow up visits to the doctor (especially if you have an infection) and these visits typically cost anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars. If you can, you should try and see if your health insurance can factor these in.

Even though it seems a little expensive, testing for STDs is critical to your health and the health of anyone you're intimate with. Of course, the best way to avoid the risk of STDs is to minimize sexual partners and avoid unprotected sex, especially if you have multiple partners.

Submitted by M H on March 5, 2010 at 02:13

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