STD testing covers several sexually transmitted diseases and infections. These infections can be contracted via intercourse with a partner, oral sex, or, depending on the condition, through any other exchange of bodily fluids.
Chlamydia can affect men and women. It’s contracted via oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person and can also be passed from mother to child during childbirth. It causes symptoms that include pain during intercourse, a burning sensation while urinating, and vaginal discharge in women, as well as painful urination, burning around the penis, and swelling in the testicles in men. Tests should be performed annually for those who have multiple sex partners or a partner with an STD. Chlamydia can be treated by antibiotics, but when left untreated, it can lead to severe health complications.
Lab Testing Testing for chlamydia can be performed in a lab or doctor’s office. Either a sample of urine or a swab will be requested, and the cost typically ranges from $50 to $100. Results are usually available within two to three days.
At-Home Testing An at-home chlamydia test consists of collecting a sample of urine at home and delivering or mailing it to a lab for testing. The test will include a sterile cup to collect the sample; however, it’s important to follow the directions on the package to ensure the sample isn’t contaminated and test results are accurate. According to our research, at-home chlamydia tests cost about $35 to $60.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It causes blisters on the genitals, buttocks, and thighs that are painful and extremely contagious. The virus can affect men and women and spreads through sexual contact. It can also be passed from mothers to babies during childbirth. Although outbreaks of genital herpes can be treated and symptoms usually become milder as time passes, there is no cure.
Lab Testing Herpes testing can be performed in several ways, such as taking a viral culture, which is a sample of the sore or submitting to a blood test or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which involves providing a sample of blood or spinal fluid. Each test can determine the presence of the herpes simplex virus’ antibodies in the patient’s body and determine whether the infection has been present in the body at any time. If the patient has a current outbreak, the most accurate results come from performing a viral culture. The cost of these tests varies. They can range from $15 all the way to $100.
At-Home Testing An at-home herpes test usually requires a blood sample. This is taken using a small lancet to poke the finger. Blood is then collected in a small vial that’s provided by the testing company and then returned in the mail or to a lab. Results are often available in two to five days, and the average cost is typically between $100 and $175.
Gonorrhea is caused by bacteria that infect the genitals, mouth, or anus. While it’s often asymptomatic, it can lead to complications with the reproductive system. In men, that may mean prostate and testicle problems, and in women, it can lead to infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease. This STD can be treated with antibiotics.
Lab Testing Most of the time, doctors or laboratory technicians collect a urine sample to test for gonorrhea. However, in some cases, a swab may be a more efficient method of testing. This is particularly true for those who feel they may have contracted the disease via oral or anal sex. The cost of a gonorrhea test ranges from $15 to $151, depending on the testing method used.
At-Home Testing At-home gonorrhea tests require the user to submit a urine sample by delivering or mailing it into a lab. The average cost is about $40 to $50.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be contracted via intercourse and through any other exchange of bodily fluids, including oral and anal sex, sharing needles, and coming into contact with an infected person’s blood. The disease can also be spread to babies during birth if their mother is infected. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of HIV. A person with HIV may experience a wide range of symptoms, beginning with fever, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue. As the disease progresses, symptoms may alleviate; however, as it develops into AIDS, an infected person experiences extreme symptoms including rapid weight loss, ulcers of the mouth, genitals, or anus, lymph gland swelling, neurological disorders, and pneumonia. HIV is incurable, and the best option is to treat symptoms as they occur and take medication to prevent the development of AIDS.
Lab Testing Within two to eight weeks of exposure to the disease, doctors can test the blood for antibodies that the body makes once it recognizes HIV in the system. As the disease progresses, two other blood tests, the antibody/antigen combination test and the RNA test, can be used to detect the presence of the actual virus in the bloodstream. The RNA test can also be performed with an oral swab. HIV tests range in price quite a bit. They can be priced anywhere from $8 to about $65.
At-Home Tests Because HIV can be tested for in saliva, the most convenient method of testing for it at-home is using an FDA-approved oral HIV test. These typically yield results within 20 minutes and don’t require the user to draw any blood. These tests usually cost about $50.
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are spread through sexual contact; no exchange of bodily fluid is required to contract these viruses. They can cause genital warts and, in some cases, can put the infected person at high risk for developing cervical, vulvar, anal, or throat cancer. Most of these viruses tend to clear up on their own within one to two years, but because they’re incredibly contagious, it’s important to test for them. This is the only STD that has a vaccine available. The vaccine is offered to both boys and girls around the age of 11 or 12.
Lab Test Women are usually tested for HPV when they receive their pap tests. It’s done by collecting a small sample of cells from the woman’s cervix. These tests are used to screen for cervical cancer and aren’t approved to accurately determine if a patient has HPV. There is no HPV test for men.
At-Home Test The same cancer screening test can be performed at home. It’s available to women and requires a sample of vaginal fluid, collected by using a cotton swab. Results are typically provided within less than a week, and the cost ranges from $85 to about $120.
Syphilis is a contagious STD that’s caused by bacteria. The disease is passed via sexual contact and can also be passed from mother to baby while the baby is still in the womb. The disease has symptoms that can come and go over time. It progresses in stages, beginning with sores around the genitals, anus, or mouth. As it progresses, the infected person may notice a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a skin rash. In the most severe stage, the disease is known to affect all organs throughout the body, in particular, the brain and the heart. The disease can be cured if caught early enough, but in cases where it’s not, it can cause long-term complications that remain even after the bacteria are no longer present in the body.
Lab Testing If sores are present in the early stage of syphilis, doctors can test by taking a swab of fluid in or around a sore. In all other cases, a blood test is used to determine whether a patient has the disease. Two types of blood tests can be used to find syphilis in the body: the rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and the venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test. Each test looks for antibodies. The RPR can only be done on blood, but the VDRL can be done on blood or spinal fluid. Syphilis tests are inexpensive and typically cost just a few dollars.
At-Home Testing At-home syphilis tests are performed by using a small needle to prick the finger and dropping the blood into a sterile vial and sending it to a lab for testing. The results are usually available in less than a week, and the average cost is $40.
Food allergies can be a huge concern for people of all ages. In many cases, a person may experience an allergic reaction without being able to determine which food caused their condition. Symptoms of allergic reactions vary depending on the severity of the allergy and the amount of food ingested. In some cases, allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which is a severe reaction that may lead to death unless it’s immediately treated. Because of the danger associated with food allergies, it’s always a good idea to request a food allergy test after any allergic reaction. It’s also a good idea to request a test if there’s a family history of severe allergies.
There are several techniques that doctors may employ to determine food allergies. The most common is the oral challenge test. This involves ingesting a small amount of the foods that are suspected to be causing allergic reactions. An allergist or medical doctor will administer the test and provide immediate treatment if any reaction occurs.
A skin prick test may also be performed to check for food allergies. This involves placing a small amount of food on the skin and then pricking the skin to allow a small amount of the food into the body. An allergist or medical doctor will then watch for a reaction in the skin.
Blood tests can also check for some food allergies. They need to be performed immediately after exposure to the food and check for IgE antibodies, which are created by the immune system during an allergic reaction.
Allergy tests are often quite expensive. While a blood test is the least expensive with an average cost ranging from $60 to $300, oral challenge tests and skin prick tests have been known to cost tens of thousands of dollars depending upon the number of allergens tested.
While oral challenge and skin prick tests can’t be performed at home, an at-home blood test can be purchased easily online. This test requires users to use a finger prick to draw blood and submit a small vial of it before sending it back to the lab for testing. At the lab, the blood’s response to a range of foods, including common allergens such as nuts and dairy, will be tested. Results are usually available within a week, and the average cost is about $140.
There are many health conditions that women face, and as they age, conditions such as breast cancer and osteoporosis become increasingly important to test for regularly. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, as well as with the presence of the breast cancer (BRCA) gene. Additionally, as a woman approaches menopause, her ovarian reserve, as well as her estrogen levels, drops drastically. Each of these issues can be tested using blood or other laboratory tests.
A mammogram is required to check for breast cancer, and the cost ranges from about $100 to $300. A test that’s similar to an X-ray called a bone mineral density (BMD) test is used to check for osteoporosis and costs an average of $125.
Tests for hormone levels and the BRCA gene can be performed using a blood test. While genetic testing costs about $250, hormone tests are less expensive at an average of $40 to $60.
Hormone tests can be performed at home using a finger prick to draw blood. The average cost of these tests is usually around $100. There are no FDA-approved BRCA gene tests that can be performed at home.
The most common men’s health tests are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and testosterone level tests. The PSA is used to detect an antigen that’s produced by the prostate when abnormal tissue, such as cancer, is present. Testosterone levels are often checked when a man is experiencing issues with erectile dysfunction, low energy, or reduced sex drive. Men who are having trouble conceiving may also wish to have their sperm count tested.
Both PSA and testosterone levels can be checked using a blood test. These tests cost between $40 and $60, in most cases. Sperm count tests are done by conducting an analysis of the semen and may cost anywhere from $100 to $300.
While there are no FDA-approved sperm count tests available, blood tests can be performed at home to check testosterone and PSA levels. These are done by a finger prick blood test and usually cost between $90 and $110.
A UA, or urinalysis test, is a simple test that’s performed on the urine. It can check for infections that may be present in the kidneys or urinary tract. Many doctors also use a UA test to check for glucose, which can signify diabetes, or leucocytes, which can be present in some cancers and blood diseases.
A UA test consists of providing a urine sample in a sterile cup. Once the sample is received, the lab tests the urine for traces of abnormal minerals and substances. The cost varies quite a bit depending on the panel requested by the doctor. For minimal testing, the cost is typically around $30, while a complete UA panel may cost as much as $250.
While there are many at-home UA tests on the market, many are not approved by the FDA and cannot be used to diagnose health conditions accurately. It’s important to find a UA test that’s from a reputable vendor when choosing to perform one at home. At-home tests can cost anywhere from $10 to $50.
Glucose tests are meant to test the amount of sugar that’s present in a person’s blood. They’re used to check for diabetes, as well as hypoglycemia, which is low sugar in the blood. Both of these disorders can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and other health complications. In many cases, people with these conditions are required to monitor their own blood at home daily.
There are several glucose tests that doctors use to detect the presence of diabetes or hypoglycemia. Some require patients to fast for a certain period of time prior to testing. Pregnant women who are being tested for gestational diabetes are usually required to fast and consume a high-sugar beverage at the lab during their test. These tests vary in price but are normally between $40 and $100.
At-home glucose testing is quite common. While there are at-home diabetes-testing kits that can be purchased for about $70, many who already have the disease are used to checking their glucose levels several times per day. This can be done using a glucose meter, which costs between $60 and $100, as well as glucose test strips, which cost between $0.50 and $2 per strip.
A stress and sleep panel test checks for the presence of hormones such as cortisol, melatonin, and creatinine in the urine. These hormones occur naturally in the body, but when levels are too low or too high, they can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety, as well as poor sleep.
In the lab, individual blood or salivary tests can be used to check levels of creatinine and cortisol. These tests cost an average of $25 to $50 each.
An at-home stress and sleep panel is performed using urine collected throughout the day. Once a full day of samples has been collected, it’s sent to the lab to test for hormones that may affect stress and sleep levels. Results are usually received within one week, and the cost is typically around $250.