Getting tested for STDs can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least, but it’s incredibly important—especially since so many of these infections are getting harder to treat. Fortunately, you don’t have to venture to your doctor’s office anymore to find out the status of your sexual health. You can actually order your own STD testing kit to your home, administer it yourself, send it off to a lab and get the results delivered to your phone through an app a few days later.
You can order a kit online or through an app.
You order many of these kits through an online account that lets you access your results online or on your phone. Why is this awesome? No more lengthy waiting times stressing about when your doctor will call you with your results. These kits completely wipe out the middleman—no more waiting for phone calls. Now, you can check your status in the privacy of your own office, home, or seat on the train with your phone or tablet and no one will know what you’re checking.
You may have to prick your own finger.
If you’re queasy about blood, you might want to think about whether you can handle this. Some tests require blood instead of urine. If this is you, then it might be better to suck it up and drag yourself to the doctor. Just keep this in mind when you’re figuring out which test to buy.
The tests are kind of pricey.
Depending on the brand, the test can range anywhere from $80 to $500 dollars. Some brands let you buy a test for a specific disease while others only offer a full range test for a bunch of infections. Some accept HSA/FSA payments but not all insurance will cover these tests, so make sure you know beforehand if you can get reimbursed.
If you can’t afford testing and a doctor’s visit, this is a good alternative.
If you don’t have insurance at all or you have an insurance plan where you incur major costs and a co-pay each time you go in to see a physician, then this might work for you. My advice? Compare and contrast the time costs and actual costs of going to the doctor versus ordering a home kit.
Compare privacy and use policies before you buy.
When you submit your medical sample to these companies, it’s not always clear what they do with your sample after they test you. While there are federal laws like HIPAA and other privacy laws that require medical providers to adhere to a set of rules when it comes to health data, it’s not clear if it completely applies to these kinds of companies the same way they do with doctor’s offices and clinics. If I were considering these tests, I’d check their websites for use and privacy policies first. I’d also call their customer service line and ask to speak with someone who can tell you what happens to your samples after your test. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Amazon sells them so you can take advantage of your Prime account.
At least one brand, MyLabBox is sold on Amazon, which means that you can take advantage of your Prime account and practice safe sexual health at the same time.
A few brands are female-owned and run businesses you can support.
MyLabBox is female owned and Everlywell‘s founder and entire executive suite are all women. If you are seeking to support more female-owned businesses, you can totally do that and take care of your health all at the same time. These companies market toward both men and women, however, they emphasize that they want women to feel especially empowered about their bodies and their health through these services. I’m sold. Are you?
You can pick a brand with treatment resources.
Many brands include a nurse or physician hotline to help you come up with a treatment plan after you get your results. They can also help connect you with a doctor in your location if you don’t really have a general physician or OB-GYN that you see regularly. Sounds cool, right?
You might feel more in control of your health.
If you’re like me, you like to be hands-on when it comes to your health. No surprises, no frills, just the truth. I feel like these home kits give people the opportunity to be apart of their own healthcare and to take more responsibility for their own wellness. If this sounds like you, then a home kit might be something to seriously consider.
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