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Are STI home testing kits reliable?

Sexual health is still perceived as quite a private topic to some people and going to a private STI clinic can seem rather overwhelming. However, this doesn’t defer from the fact sexual health is very serious and the importance of being regularly tested should be discussed, especially if you have noticed a change in your genitals.

In this blog we will discuss whether home STI testing kits are reliable, how they work, how long it takes to receive your results and more.

Are STI home testing kits reliable?

According to the NHS, the truth is no STI home test kit is 100% reliable but neither is a private STI test carried out within a clinic, a test completed through your GP or even one with CE European health, safety, and environmental protection standards logo printed on the box.

Ensuring the highest reliability of your STI home test kit can be done by following simple steps:

1.    Complete the test after your incubation period

The incubation period is the time frame between being infected by the virus through sexual activity and when your antibodies begin to develop and fight against the virus. The risk of completing any private STI test, whether in a clinic or at home, before the incubation period will provide a false negative test result.

2.    Consult with an STI expert for advice

If you are unsure how long your incubation period is or simply aren’t even sure whether the changes and symptoms you are experiencing imply you should get a uk home testing kit, the best thing to do is contact an expert.

Your sexual health has a find my test tool which helps you determine what type of test you require based on symptoms or your sexual experience. Alternatively, you can contact one of our friendly teams today with any queries you may have and they can lead you in the right direction.

3.    Follow the instructions carefully

It is very important that the instructions on any private STI test are followed properly but even more so with a home STI test kit to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. At Your Sexual Health we offer UK home STI testing kits that offer results which have the same accuracy as private STI clinics do.

If you follow the steps as closely as possible, it increases the accuracy of your results meaning you can get peace of mind sooner instead of having to do a repeat test. Furthermore, if you do your test correctly the first time it means that you are one step closer to getting the care you need if you do test positive.

How does a home STI test work?

Our STI home test kits work exactly the same as our tests done within our private STI clinic as they are tested in the same laboratory. The only difference between the two is the fact that the sample required, whether urine, blood or a swab, is collected by yourself in the comfort of your own home. The test kits are even delivered in discreet packaging to ensure privacy and no embarrassing interactions with you and your postman!

All of the tools you need in order to deposit your sample will be provided within the STI home test kit. The tools include:

  • A urine sample pot with lid
  • A swab and packing for the swab
  • A sterile lancet to create a small cut in the edge of your finger
  • Plasters to cover the small wound
  • A sample tube which contains a serum to preserve the blood on its way to the laboratory

Once you have followed the simple instructions within the test you simply package it in the envelope provided and send it off in the post. From there it will be sent to our laboratory where the test process will begin and once the result is ready it will be communicated through our online portal.

Can I do a home STI test on my period?

Being on your period will not stop you from being able to do a STI home test kit. If you are on your period, you can simply select a test that requires a blood sample or urine sample rather than a swab.

Your Sexual Health has an easy to understand key on their Home STI Test page that distinguishes which home STI tests can be done via blood sample, urine sample, or swab sample. This means that you don’t even need to get in contact with an expert to have that awkward conversation about being on your period.

What’s more, completing a STI from home can be more beneficial for those times where you are feeling under the weather, bloated or nauseous during your period.

For more information on testing for STDs during your period check out our latest blog.

How long do home STI results take?

In general, it usually takes around 3 working days for your STI home test kit results to be processed in our laboratory and for you to receive your results. However, there are some important factors that contribute to this time period that you need to keep in mind and they are detailed below:

  1. How you send your sample – we recommend sending your sample with Royal Mail first class or via our click & collect service to ensure that we receive it as soon as possible.
  2. The time it takes to deposit your sample – leaving your sample lying around the house is not going to avoid the problem but instead will leave you worrying so the best thing to do is send us your sample as soon as possible.
  3. The time it takes to process your results – processing results can be different for each type of test you do but our Home STI Test page details a rough guide for the turnaround time of each test.

Overall our advice would be to ensure you send us your sample as soon as possible and to not engage in sexual activity until you receive your results to reduce the risk of spreading the STI if it turns out you have one.

Find out more about STI testing turnaround times in one of our recent blogs: How long does it take to get an STI test result?

About Your Sexual Health Home STD Tests:

Your Sexual Health provides a variety of Home STI Test kits including private hiv tests, Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea tests, syphilis tests and much more. Using our click & collect service means that it could not be easier for you to receive reliable private STI results in a matter of days.

Get in touch with our friendly team today for more information, or if you need advice on which test is right for you.