If you are a sexually active woman, it is important to take care of your health with regular STD testing. Knowing what to expect during STD testing can help put your mind at ease, and these tips can help make your testing fast and easy. 

Urine Sample 

As part of your testing, you may be asked to give a urine sample. Because of this you will want to make sure you are well-hydrated and refrain from urinating before you go to the clinic. However, drinking too much water directly before giving a sample can skew your results, so you will want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water the day before you are tested and then simply drink a normal amount of water the day of your exam. 

If you have to urinate before your exam and you do not think you will be able to urinate again while you are at the clinic, you can take a urine sample at home. You can capture your urine in a clean container, such as a jar or a cup with a sealing lid. Seal it tightly and take it to the clinic with you. You can also purchase disposable urine sample cups from most pharmacies if you know you will be more comfortable completing your urine sample at home. 

Many women have difficulties providing a urine sample without splashing urine on their hands. If this is true for you, you may want to use a wide-mouth container to take your sample and then transfer the sample into a smaller, disposable container for transport. Another way to avoid splashing is to press the container firmly against your vulva before you begin urinating as opposed to holding the container away from your body and trying to capture your stream of urine.

Menstrual blood can contaminate some types of urinalysis, and your doctor can let you know if it will be an issue. You may want to put in a fresh tampon and cover your vaginal opening with a pad while you are taking your sample to prevent contamination.

Physical Exam 

To make yourself more comfortable for the physical part of your exam you should shower before going to your appointment. However, you should refrain from shaving or extreme exfoliating, as this can cause rashes and irritation that may look similar to certain sexually transmitted infections. 

You should dress in clothes that are easy to remove and put back on and avoid excessive layers to make undressing and dressing quick and easy. Socks, which can stay on during the exam, may make you more comfortable. If you are wearing stockings or sandals, you should bring an extra pair of socks with you. 

You may want to bring extra personal wipes with you to clean up after the exam, in case the doctor completes an internal examination. Although you will generally be provided with paper towels to wipe yourself, you may prefer your favorite personal wipe instead. 

If the doctor uses lubrication to insert a speculum, you may find that you experience some slight leakage throughout the day. For this reason, you may want to bring disposable pantyliners to wear after the exam. 

Taking Blood 

You may be asked to give blood samples for certain tests. Often, this is done by having a nurse prick your finger and collect the sample in a small container. However, some clinics require larger samples. If you are on your period, you should let your clinician know as taking a large blood sample can cause weakness and fainting for some women on their period and you may want to lay down while the sample is being taken and for a brief period after. 

If you are afraid of needles, let your clinician know. Most clinicians work with many patients that are afraid of needles and have methods for putting you at ease such as distraction or drawing from a different place on your body. 

Make sure you know what you are getting tested for and ask for additional tests if you have concerns about a specific STD that is not usually tested for. 

Being prepared for your STD testing can make the process a faster, easier, and more comfortable. Know too that there are some places that off free STD testing, such as Safer STD Testing.