Frequently asked questions about our STD self-testkits

Here we listed all answers to the most frequently asked questions. Can't find the answer to your question? Please contact us for more information.

General questions

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also often known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are commonly a result of a virus or bacteria that enter your body through bodily fluids exchanged during various sexual activities. This means that you can pass it through semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and skin-to-skin contact of moist glands like the penis, urethra, anus, vagina, mouth, and/or throat. For more information on ways you can contract an STD, have a look at SOA Aids Nederland.

Het is mogelijk om besmet te zijn met een SOA, zonder dat je symptomen hebt. Aangezien sommige SOA’s serieuze gevolgen hebben is het belangrijk dat u zich regelmatig laat testen. Bacteriële SOA’s, zoals Chlamydia en Gonorroe, kunnen worden genezen met antibiotica. Echter, virale SOA’s, zoals Herpes en HIV, kunnen niet worden genezen maar wel worden gecontroleerd met medicatie.

If you are sexually active, it is crucial to get tested for STDs on a regular basis as without treatment they can lead to long-term or even chronic consequences. Furthermore, not all STDs have noticeable symptoms, but can be detrimental to you and your sexual partners health.

Early detection and preventative testing are the recommended and the best approach towards tackling STDs. Preventative testing would not only decrease costs for you in the long run but protect you from adverse consequences.

But if you're wondering how often should I get tested?, we can help you find out!

The frequency that you should get tested for STDs depends on your medical history, sexual activity and partners, and on the symptoms present. Generally, the groups that are most at-risk are as follows: under 25 years old, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), symptoms that indicate an STD, when you have been warned by an (ex-)partner, and having multiple sex partners. For more information about other risk factors, visit the website of SOA Aids Nederland.

We advise that if you are below the age of 16, that you get parental consent for taking this test. Generally individuals can order the test anonymously through the How Are You Diagnostics website.

Having an STD does not necessarily mean that you will display any or all of the symptoms below. However, it is important to be aware of any symptoms you may be experiencing. See the table below to see the most common symptoms of STDs we can test you for at How Are You Diagnostics.

Symptoms

Men

Women

Chlamydia

Abnormal discharge

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Pain in the epididymis (i.e. swollen or pain in testicles)

Excess vaginal discharge

Pain in the lower abdomen

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Pain during sex

Abnormal Vaginal blood loss

Gonorrhoea

Pus-like penile discharge

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Excess vaginal discharge

Abnormal Vaginal blood loss

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Trichomonas    

Abnormal discharge

Inflammation glans / skin of the penis

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Red / inflamed / painful vagina and/or vulva

Itching vagina

Abnormal vaginal odor

Yellow-green vaginal fluid

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Mycoplasma

Water-like penile discharge

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Excess vaginal discharge

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Inflammation cervix/ovaries

Yes. Both you and your partner, can and should get tested. While using condoms can reduce the risk of contracting an STD, it is not fully guaranteed. Furthermore, since many STDs have mild to no symptoms, you may not always notice these changes. Getting tested with your partner contributes towards practicing safe sex and can help you avoid getting reinfected.

We also advise that if you suspect having any symptoms and/or are waiting for your results, try to refrain from any type of sexual activity with your partner(s).

There are several general recommendations to reduce the risk of contracting STDs, including:

  • Practicing safe sex using a condom
  • Being honest with your sexual partner(s)
  • Regelmatig laten testen op SOA’s, vooral als je wisselende sekspartners heb of symptomen ervaart

Visit the website of SOA Aids Nederland for more information of pervention of STDs

A laboratory test is one where the analysis is carried out by an accredited laboratory. HAY has an in-house laboratory, meaning that our microbiologists analyse, and interpret your results. We use a TMA method to conduct the analysis, which is the same process used by GPs, sexual health clinics, and the GGD.

Er zijn twee hoofdverschillen tussen een zelfafname-laboratoriumtest en een zelf-/thuistest. Allereerst is een laboratoriumtest significant betrouwbaarder dan een STD self-test aangezien het monster wordt getest in een geaccrediteerd medisch laboratorium met behulp van een TMA-methode welke ook wordt gebruikt bij huisartsen en GGD’s. Ten tweede, bij een zelf-/thuistest krijgt u direct de resultaten terug welke u vervolgens zelf moet interpreteren; deze wordt dus niet beoordeeld door een gekwalificeerd arts-microbioloog zoals bij onze laboratoriumtest. Het feit dat u zelf de resultaten moet interpreteren in combinatie met de testmaterialen maakt zelf-/thuistesten minder betrouwbaar.

There are situations when non-residents of the Netherlands need a certificate to travel back to their own country, for example. In such cases, it is important that the names given match those on the person’s identity card. A BSN is not required in such cases; it is sufficient to fill in, for example, the number of the person’s ID card or passport. For people from abroad who are staying in the Netherlands for study or work, for example, we recommend applying for a BSN in accordance with the applicable standards. More information can be found at The Hague BSN and registration as a non-resident of the Netherlands (RNI) (denhaag.nl).

Home self-sampling kits are more convenient for those who have a busy schedule and/or don't have immediate access to a GP or live far from one. You can do the test in the comfort of your own home and your results will remain anonymous, yet as reliable as one done at the clinic. The kit will be delivered to your doorstep and your results through HAYs secure app platform.

Our mission with these kits is to provide accessibility to all individuals, and keeping costs low is one way to do this. Furthermore, HAY is an independent company and doesn't work with governmental organizations allowing us to keep costs low.

Yes, you can contract bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea more than once. While they can be cured, you can get reinfected upon new exposure. This is why it's so important for you and your partner to get tested regularly. Also, being infected reduces your immune system, and can make you more prone to contracting other STDs.

No, you don't need a referral from your GP or another party. Our tests can be ordered through our webshop..

Symptoms can arise very quickly, even within 24 hours after engaging in unprotected sexual activity. However, depending on the STD contracted, many individuals may remain asymptomatic, meaning they experience no symptoms throughout the entire infection period. This means that even without symptoms an individual can still be infected and transmit the infection others. Thus, be aware of any symptoms and get tested regularly.

Furthermore, each STD has a different incubation or window period. This is the time between getting exposed to an infection and when you will test positive for it.

Each STD has a different incubation or window period. This is the time that elapses between getting exposed to an infection and when you will test positive for it. If you were to get tested before the incubation period, it is possible that the test will indicate that you are not positive, when you actually are, also known as a false negative. Because of this, it is important to get tested after the full incubation period to ensure accurate results.

STD tests

Incubation period

Chlamydia

14 days

Gonorrhoea

21 days

Trichomonas

28 days

Mycoplasma

28 days

We advise you to wait a full 7-day week after completing your last antibiotic before getting re-tested. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, this is done to ensure that is no (living) bacteria remains in your system. Secondly, this time is necessary for your mucous membrane to rest and heal as it was infected with the bacteria or parasite.

Yes, for the majority of people bacterial and parasitic STDs like trichomoniasis and mycoplasma often show display little to no symptoms. This is why it's important to get tested on a regular basis, to limit long-term consequences, and to avoid spreading it to your partner.

Privacy questions

To ensure your anonymity, we make sure that the packaging is fully discreet. On your package, you will see only the shipping label on the box, without a test name, or any indication of where the product came from or what it holds.

If you don't feel comfortable having it shipped to your own home but somewhere else instead it's possible to fill in a different address (for example of a friend). However, it's not possible to have it sent to a package point since it no package but goes through the mailbox.

Of course. If you don't want your package delivered to your home you can have it delivered to a PostNL collection point near you instead. If you select this option at the checkout, this is a reminder that upon collection you will be asked to show identification to receive your package. Also, your package must be picked up at the PostNL collection point within 7 days, otherwise, it will be returned to our office. For further questions about picking up your package from a collection point, contact PostNL directly. PostNL.

HAY prioritizes your privacy as much as you do. We ensure that the kit will be shipped to you in discrete packaging. When the test is being processed at the lab, the analysts do not see any of your personal details but only the unique code on the test tube, to ensure your anonymity and privacy. We also make sure that your test results are confidential, as they are delivered to you on a secure platform that only you have access to. This also means that your results will not be on your official medical records. niet in uw medisch dossier terecht komt.

As we prioritize your anonymity and confidentiality throughout the testing process we also make sure to ask for the minimum level of information. We collect just enough information to be able to ship the package to your desired location and to notify you of your results.

For further details on how your data is used, refer to the privacy statement and general terms and conditions document.

When the payment is made for the order, the account name states: 'How Are You Diagnostics' with no indication of the package purchased to maintain anonymity.

Testing process

Every self-sampling kit contains a results card with a barcode. Keep this card safe. About three days after your sample arrived in our lab, you will be able to view your result. To do so, go to results.howareyoudiagnostics.com and log in using this code.

The reliability of the test depends on the type of specimen collected and on the STD tested, and on the gender. The accuracy of each test can be seen in the table below:

STD tests

Gender

Specimen

Specificity

Chlamydia

Male

Urine

97.2%

Swab (oral/rectal)

96.1%

Female

Swab (vaginal/oral/rectal)

96.1%

Gonorrhoea

Male

Urine

99.2%

Swab (oral/rectal)

97.5%

Female

Swab (vaginal/oral/rectal)

99.0%

Trichomonas

Male

Female

Swab (vaginal)

98.8%

Mycoplasma

Male

Female

Swab (vaginal)

98.5%

It is also important that the sample is taken correctly so that the lab has a sufficient amount of specimen to conduct the required tests on it. Here are videos on how to collect your specimen correctly. Your result can also be influenced by when the test is taken, which should be after the window or incubation period.

We advise you to wait at least six weeks with re-testing for chlamydia/gonorrhea/mycoplasma/trichomoniasis after taking the last antibiotic. If you re-test before this period it is possible you will get a false positive result because some of the killed bacterium may still be present in your system.

Post purchase - results and treatment

You will find your result through results.howareyoudiagnostics.com. Log in using the barcode on the results card from your kit.

At How Are You Diagnostics we don't offer medication. However, we do offer a certificate with your results which is signed by our medical microbiologist. You can use this certificate to show to your GP, to prevent retesting.

No, you have to log in through results.howareyoudiagnostics. If your results is not up yet you will have to try again later.

Yes, this is possible. Simply ensure that you don't leave your specimen in an environment that is too hot or too cold, but in between 4°C and 25°C. Also keep an eye out on the day, as you should do the test on a day where the mail is collected, meaning that you should avoid doing them on public holidays or Sundays.

We do generally recommend that you take the test on a day where you can mail the specimen on the same day. However, if you cannot send the specimen out immediately due to circumstances, then you may store it in the fridge in the meantime.

Generally, the specimen can be in a surrounding environment with a temperature between 4°C and 25°C. However, to be sure, you can drop off the return package at a PostNL collection point that is inside a supermarket or at a service desk. To find out the closest collection point near you, visit the PostNL site .

We recommend that if you get tested positive, you should tell the relevant (ex-)partner(s) about your test result.

Order related / admin

As we have a partnership with PostNL we have arranged free shipping for you. Always make sure to use the return envelope that has been provided in the kit. You do not need to include additional stamps or information as it is already included in the envelope.  informatie of postzegels op.

You should begin by checking the track and trace code to see the location of your package. If the package has already been shipped out, then unfortunately we are unable to change the delivery location. However, you are able to contact PostNL and change the delivery address with the courier directly.

Currently, we do not ship internationally, but we are looking to expand so to stay tuned!

Once you have placed the order with us, we aim to process them in our system within 24 hours. Furthermore, PostNL delivers standard shipments across the Netherlands within 1-3 business days. You are able to locate your package using the track and trace code that is provided.

From the time that your package arrives back at the lab, it can take between 2-3 days to process the results and have them posted in the app.

You can find the official certificate through results.howareyoudiagnostics.com. Log in on this website using the barcode from your kit and download the certificate.

We do not accept Dutch health insurance as we are a privately owned company.

To ensure that we comply with your privacy and anonymity, we do not give your results over the phone. You can find your result through our results portal.

If you have questions about your results, we advise you to discuss them with your primary care physician or healthcare provider as our office staff is not medically trained and cannot interpret, discuss or explain results.

Chlamydia

Symptoms

Men

Women

  • Abnormal discharge
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in the epididymis (i.e. swollen or pain in testicles)
  • Excess vaginal discharge
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Abnormal Vaginal blood loss

If you have any symptoms or suspect that you have contracted an STD, you should refrain from any sexual activity with your partner(s). The only way to know for sure is to get tested after the window or incubation period. You can easily fill in this questionnaire for a personalized recommendation and order a kit immediately.

Chlamydia can lead to infertility in both men and women if left untreated. However, the risk of this occurring is much greater for women. Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and treated immediately. Click here for more information on the long-term consequences of Chlamydia.

Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics, which can be taken orally. Unfortunately, we cannot prescribe these. However, we do offer you a certificate with your test result to show your GP.

There are several ways to prevent STDs in general. These include using a condom, being honest with your sex partner(s) and getting tested regularly.

Gonorrhoea

Symptoms

Men

Women

  • Pus-like penile discharge
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating
  • Excess vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal Vaginal blood loss
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating

If you have any symptoms or suspect that you have contracted an STD, you should refrain from any sexual activity with your partner(s). The only way to know for sure is to get tested after the window or incubation period. You can easily fill in this questionnaire for a personalized recommendation and order a kit immediately.

In women, leaving gonorrhea untreated can lead to an inflammation of the pelvis, which can result in fertility problems. In men, the chronic inflammation of the urethra can cause scarring. Furthermore, new born babies can get the infection during child birth, which in some cases can lead to blindness.

Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics which are administered trough an injection. Unfortunately, we cannot prescribe these. However, we do offer you a certificate with your test result to show your GP.

There are several ways to prevent STDs in general. These include using a condom, being honest with your sex partner(s) and getting tested regularly.

Trichomonas

Symptoms

Men

Women

Abnormal discharge

Inflammation glans / skin of the penis

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

Red / inflamed / painful vagina and/or vulva

Itching vagina

Abnormal vaginal odor

Yellow-green vaginal fluid

Pain / burning sensation while urinating

If you have any symptoms or suspect that you have contracted an STD, you should refrain from any sexual activity with your partner(s). The only way to know for sure is to get tested after the window or incubation period. You can easily fill in this questionnaire for a personalized recommendation and order a kit immediately.

Fortunately, trichomonas generally does not cause very alarming long-term consequences. However, it does affect your mucous membrane, making you more prone to contract any other STD. Therefore it is important to get tested and treated.

Trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics, which can be taken orally. Unfortunately, we cannot prescribe these. However, we do offer you a certificate with your test result to show your GP.

There are several ways to prevent STDs in general. These include using a condom, being honest with your sex partner(s) and getting tested regularly.

Mycoplasma

Symptoms

Men

Women

  • Pus-like penile discharge
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating
  • Excess vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal Vaginal blood loss
  • Pain / burning sensation while urinating

If you have any symptoms or suspect that you have contracted an STD, you should refrain from any sexual activity with your partner(s). The only way to know for sure is to get tested after the window or incubation period. You can easily fill in this questionnaire for a personalized recommendation and order a kit immediately.

Mycoplasma is said to increase the chance of miscarriage and premature birth in pregnant women. For a more detailed explanation of long-term consequences, visit the STD specific page on the FAQss

Mycoplasma can be treated with antibiotics, which can be taken orally. Unfortunately, we cannot prescribe these. However, we do offer you a certificate with your test result to show your GP.

There are several ways to prevent STDs in general. These include using a condom, being honest with your sex partner(s) and getting tested regularly.