STD self-test

Would you rather not see your GP or cannot go to the GGD (municipal health service)? An STD self-test from How Are You is completely anonymous and can be delivered to any postal address.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common. STDs can be transmitted during various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact and can cause an infection in and around the genitals (vagina and penis), throat and/or anus. Most STDs do not show signs and symptoms, so you may be infected without knowing it. An STD self-test offers a solution in such cases.

Failure to treat an STD increases the risk of serious, sometimes chronic, consequences such as infertility. Therefore, if you are sexually active, it is important to get tested for STDs regularly.

The most common STDs are: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea (clap), Herpes Genitalis, Genital Warts, Trichomonas, Mycoplasma and Pubic Lice. The STDs Hepatitis B, HIV and Syphilis (lues) are less common.

The most common complaints are: discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or burning during urination, pain around the anus, wounds, warts or blisters around the genitals (penis/vagina), anus or mouth, pain in the scrotum and fever.

Most STDs only show up with an STD self-test two weeks after you have been infected. This is due to the incubation period of the infection. The period between when you become infected and when you experience symptoms is called the incubation period. This is two weeks for most STDs. At the beginning of an infection, the micro-organism that causes the disease (a bacteria, for example) may only be present in small amounts in your sample. This becomes more pronounced during the incubation period, so that an STD can only be reliably tested after this period. In some cases, an STD self-test can be taken earlier, namely if you are already experiencing symptoms. Exact incubation periods for each STD are given below.

We currently offer various STD tests for:

Order an STD self-test

Do you have symptoms that could be an STD? Or do you want to know whether you have an STD? Then complete our test questionnaire or order the STD self-test directly in our webshop.

  • icon It is completely anonymous;
  • icon You can always come to us:
  • icon You do not have to go directly to a healthcare provider;
  • icon The test is just as reliable as the one carried out at the doctor's;
  • icon Our doctor-microbiologist will assess your results and give you tailored advice;

STDs and consequences

Chlamydia is the most common STD in the Netherlands and is caused by a bacterium (Chlamydia trachomatis). The bacteria cause infection of the urethra, cervix, rectum or throat. The infection can spread to the epididymis, uterus or fallopian tubes.

Most people do not notice if they have a Chlamydia infection. It is estimated that around 70% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms at all during a Chlamydia infection. In fact, an infection in the throat or rectum almost never causes any symptoms. Symptoms you can get from Chlamydia are:

 

In men:

  • Increased or abnormal discharge from the penis;
  • Pain in the testes/epididymis;
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating;
  • Throat problems (in the case of an oral infection);
  • Anus: irritation, itching and slimy discharge, pain, (bloody) discharge and diarrhoea.

 

In women:

  • Increased or abnormal vaginal discharge;
  • Pain in the lower abdomen;
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating;
  • Pain during sex;
  • Increased or abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • Anus: irritation, itching and slimy discharge, pain, (bloody) discharge and diarrhoea.

 

If women are not treated in time, more serious complaints may arise, such as:

  • Pelvic inflammation;
  • Infertility;
  • Ectopic pregnancy;
  • Women who have Chlamydia during pregnancy may infect their baby during delivery. This can lead to eye infections and respiratory tract infections in the baby.

 

In the case of complaints: complete our test questionnaire or order the STD self screening test directly through our webshop..

 

Infection, incubation, prevention and treatment

Chlamydia can be transmitted through various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. The bacteria can be found in the vagina, urethra, anus and/or throat. You can infect your partner with an STD during unprotected sex. Chlamydia can be prevented by using condoms during sex. You usually become infected through contact between the penis and anus or vagina and penis. You can also become infected by contact with hands, sex toys and during oral sex. Please note that you can also catch an STD during safe sex, when using a condom.

If you have Chlamydia, it is important that your sex partner(s) is/are also informed, tested and treated, to prevent further infections.

Chlamydia has an incubation period of about 7-12 days. In other words, before that time the bacteria may not be detectable in you. If you get tested too early, the results may show that you are not infected when in fact you are.

Chlamydia can be easily treated with orally administered antibiotics. The type of antibiotic depends on the place where you are infected: in your genitals (vagina or penis), throat or anus. At How Are You Diagnostics, you can download a certificate with the results after your test. If you have tested positive for Chlamydia, you can show this certificate to your doctor so that you do not have to be tested again, but can receive treatment immediately.

Gonorrhoea — popularly known as the clap — is, next to Chlamydia, the most common STD in the Netherlands and it is caused by a bacterium (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). Gonorrhoea can be transmitted through various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. It causes infections of the urethra, rectum, throat and epididymis in men and infections of the urethra, cervix, fallopian tubes, throat and rectum in women.

Gonorrhoea is not always accompanied by symptoms. Women, in particular, often (50-60%) experience no symptoms during the entire infection. Also, complaints occur almost exclusively with infections of the genitals and much less with inflammations of the throat or intestine. Symptoms you can get from Gonorrhoea are:

 

In men:

  • A pus-like discharge from the penis;
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating;
  • Itching or irritation of the anus (in the case of an anal infection);
  • Mucous discharge from the anus (in the case of an anal infection).

 

If men are not treated in time, more serious complaints may arise, such as:

  • Inflammation of the epididymis;
  • Inflammation of the prostate.

 

In women:

  • Increased or abnormal vaginal discharge;
  • Increased or abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • Mucous discharge from the anus (in the case of an anal infection);
  • Itching or irritation of the anus (in the case of an anal infection);
  • Mucous discharge from the anus (in the case of an anal infection).

 

If women are not treated in time, more serious complaints may arise, such as:

  • Pelvic inflammation;
  • Infertility;
  • Ectopic pregnancy.

 

In the case of complaints: complete our test questionnaire or order the STD self screening test directly through our webshop..

 

Infection, incubation, prevention and treatment

Gonorrhoea can be transmitted through various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. The bacteria can be found in the vagina, urethra, anus and/or throat. You can infect your partner with an STD during unprotected sex. Gonorrhoea can be prevented by using condoms during sex. You usually become infected through contact between the penis and anus or vagina and penis. You can also become infected by contact with hands, sex toys and during oral sex. Please note that you can also catch an STD during safe sex, when using a condom.

If you have Gonorrhoea, it is important that your sex partner(s) is/are also informed, tested and treated, in order to prevent further infections.

Gonorrhoea has an incubation period of 2-21 days, on average 5 days. In other words, before that time the bacteria are potentially not detectable in you. If you do not experience any symptoms, we recommend waiting longer, at least 21 days. If you get tested too early, the results may show that you are not infected when in fact you are. It is therefore important to wait for the incubation period recommended above before taking a test.

Gonorrhoea can easily be treated with antibiotics taken orally. At How Are You Diagnostics, you can download a certificate with the results after your test. If you have tested positive for Gonorrhoea you can show this certificate to your doctor so that you do not have to be tested again, but can receive treatment immediately.

In women who have Gonorrhoea during pregnancy, the baby may become infected during childbirth. This can lead to an eye infection in the baby.

Trichomonas is an STD caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomonas can be transmitted through various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. The parasite causes infections of the urethra, throat and epididymis in men and infections of the urethra and throat in women.

GPs and GGDs do not routinely test for this STD, unless you are negative for other, more common STDs in the Netherlands. Symptoms vary from person to person, but in most cases few or no symptoms are experienced. Trichomonas therefore often goes unnoticed, but it does weaken your immune system and puts you at a higher risk of contracting other STDs.

The majority of people with Trichomonas have no symptoms, often throughout the infection. In general, women experience symptoms earlier than men. Symptoms you can get from Trichomonas are:

 

In men:

  • Abnormal discharge from the penis;
  • Inflammation of the glans and/or skin of the penis;
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating.

 

If men are not treated in time, in rare cases more serious complaints may arise, such as:

  • Inflammation of the prostate and epididymis;
  • Inflammation of the glans;

 

In women:

  • Red, inflamed, and/or painful vagina
  • Itching of the vagina
  • Change in vaginal odor (often described as fishy smell)
  • Yellow-green vaginal fluid (possibly foamy)
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • There is evidence that inflammation during pregnancy may occasionally lead to premature birth and retarded growth of the child

 

In the case of complaints: complete our test questionnaire or order the STD self screening test directly through our webshop..

 

Infection, incubation, prevention and treatment

Trichomonas can be transmitted through various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. The infection can be in the vagina, urethra, anus and/or throat. You can infect your partner with an STD during unprotected sex. Chlamydia can be prevented by using condoms during sex. You usually become infected through contact between the penis and anus or vagina and penis. You can also become infected by contact with hands, sex toys and during oral sex. Please note that you can also get an STD during safe sex. Using a condom does not provide 100% protection.

If you have Trichomonas, it is important that your sex partner(s) is/are also informed, tested and treated in order to prevent further infections.

Trichomonas has an incubation period of 4-28 days. In other words, before that time the bacteria are potentially not detectable in you. If you experience symptoms, we recommend waiting at least 4 days before testing. If you do not experience any symptoms, we recommend waiting longer, at least 21 days. If you get tested too early, the results may show that you are not infected when in fact you are. It is therefore important to wait for the incubation period recommended above before taking a test.

Trichomonas can be easily treated with antibiotics taken orally. At How Are You Diagnostics, you can download a certificate with the results after your test. If you have tested positive for Trichomonas you can show this certificate to your doctor so that you do not have to be tested again, but can receive treatment immediately.

Mycoplasma is an STD caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium. Mycoplasma can be transmitted by various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact.

In men, the bacteria mainly cause inflammations of the urethra, in women inflammations of the urethra and vagina.

GPs and GGDs do not routinely test for this STD, unless you are negative for other, more common STDs in the Netherlands. Despite the fact that the STD is somewhat unknown, research shows that Mycoplasma occurs more frequently than Gonorrhoea. Symptoms vary from person to person, but in most cases few or no symptoms are experienced. Symptoms you can get from Mycoplasma are:

 

In men:

  • Watery discharge from the penis;
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating.

 

In women:

  • Increased or abnormal discharge;
  • Inflammation of the urethra, cervix and/or ovaries.

 

There is no clear scientific evidence on long-term symptoms if the inflammation is not treated.

 

In the case of complaints: complete our test questionnaire or order the STD self screening test directly through our webshop..

 

Infection, incubation, prevention and treatment

Mycoplasma can be transmitted by various forms of (unsafe) sexual contact. The infection can be in the vagina, urethra, anus and/or throat. You can infect your partner with an STD during unprotected sex. Mycoplasma can be prevented by using condoms during sex. You usually become infected through contact between the penis and anus or vagina and penis. You can also become infected by contact with hands, sex toys and during oral sex. Please note that you can also get an STD during safe sex. Using a condom does not provide 100% protection.

If you have Mycoplasma, it is important that your sex partner(s) is/are informed, tested and treated to prevent further infections.

Mycoplasma has an incubation period of 8-28 days. In other words, before that time the bacteria are potentially not detectable in you. If you do not experience any symptoms, we recommend waiting at least 21 days. If you get tested too early, the results may show that you are not infected when in fact you are. It is therefore important to wait for the incubation period recommended above before taking a test.

Mycoplasma can be easily treated with antibiotics taken orally. At How Are You Diagnostics, you can download a certificate with the results after your test. If you have tested positive for Mycoplasma you can show this certificate to your doctor so that you do not have to be tested again, but can receive treatment immediately.

NOT SURE WHICH STD SELF-TEST

TO ORDER?

Our STD self-test 

The STD tests that we offer at How Are You Diagnostics are the same laboratory tests that are performed by hospital laboratories. We distinguish ourselves by offering the majority of our tests via a self-test kit. This means that you can have our tests delivered to any postal address, after which you can take the sample for the chosen test yourself at any time. You can therefore take your sample at home, just like a self-test.

For some STDs — such as Chlamydia — you can also buy an STD self-test from the chemist or pharmacy. You must then drop your sample onto a special strip and you will get the results immediately.

However, it is much more reliable to have the test performed in a laboratory and the result determined using better techniques, after which it is assessed by a doctor (physician microbiologist). Our self-test is completely anonymous.

STI tests can also be carried out by your family doctor or in a hospital, but these are often twice as expensive.

How does an STD self-test work? 

Our home STD self-tests are specially designed so that you can easily collect a sample yourself by collecting your urine or taking a swab.

Clear instructions explain how to do this step by step. You return the samples in a safe manner by normal post, in the packaging enclosed especially for this purpose. We carry out the diagnostics immediately upon receipt.

The result of the analysis is reported back within 3 working days after interpretation by the doctor-microbiologist. You can view these results on our results page. For each STD, you will be told whether you have tested positive or negative and will receive additional advice from our doctor-microbiologist on how to interpret the results.

The contents of our STD tests + step-by-step plan

Are you ordering an STD self-test from us? You will receive the following materials by post:

  • A detailed letter and instructions;
  • A results card with a unique log in code for our results portal;
  • A collection set;
    • Urine cup and pipette, or
    • Swab (for vaginal, oral or anal sampling)
  • A special tube for the urine or swab sample;
  • A transport bag and postage paid return envelope.

Your sample will be returned in special packaging for medical mail. Therefore, always use the enclosed return envelope. You can safely post these in any PostNL postbox. They are allowed to transport medical mail — and therefore also the sample for your test.

The process of the STD self-test is as follows:

  1. Thoroughly read the letter and make sure to keep the results card with your code (you will need this to access your result later)
  2. Take your blood sample following the included instructions;
  3. Send the blood sample from your test to the laboratory within 24 hours;
  4. Our specialists will analyse your blood sample;
  5. Acces your results and the extensive report thorugh our results portal; results.howareyoudiagnostics.com.

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