Is STI testing for men different? – Better2Know Blog


When it comes to taking care of your sexual health, getting regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is crucial.

However, some people might wonder if the way you get tested is different based on your sex. Is getting tested different for men than it is for women?

In this blog, we’ll touch on what STIs are, how they’re transmitted, how they’re detected and tested, and how STI testing might be different for men than it is for women.

So, if you’re a man looking to prioritize your sexual health, keep reading to learn all about STI testing. If you are a woman, you might just find this interesting too!

What are STIs?

First things first, let’s clarify what STIs actually are.

STIs (sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs) are infections that are spread primarily through sexual contact, like vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Certain STIs can also spread through non-sexual acts like skin-to-skin contact or sharing needles for intravenous drug use.

Some common STIs include:

Sexually transmitted infections are a serious health concern, especially if you’re sexually active. Getting tested regularly is the best way to make sure you stay healthy and protect both yourself and your sexual partner or sexual partners. These infections, if left untreated, can have very damaging effects on your health. Some infections can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and even more serious conditions like Tertiary Syphilis and AIDS.

How are most STIs detected?

Men can get a variety of STIs, just like women. But how do you know if you have one?

It may be tempting to determine whether you have a sexually transmitted infection by the symptoms you have. However, the presence of symptoms does not necessarily determine the presence of an infection. This is because most infections are asymptomatic, meaning that even if they are present in your body, they may not produce any symptoms.

Most STIs are detected through laboratory testing. This typically involves providing a sample to a medical professional that can be analyzed. This analysis usually involves looking for the physical presence of a virus, bacteria, or protozoa in the sample provided, or looking for the antibodies your body produces to fight the infection in question.

Most STI tests require either blood or urine samples. Sometimes, a swab of the affected area (such as a throat or genital swab) may be taken to gather the sample for testing.

How does sample collection differ for men?

Sample collection doesn’t differ for men in the vast majority of cases.

An STI test will usually involve a blood or urine sample, and the collection methods for these are more or less the same for both women and men.

A swab sample may be required where a urine or blood sample wouldn’t detect the presence of the infection. A Chlamydia infection of the rectum, for instance, or a Gonorrhoea infection of the throat, would require a swab to gather a sample.

The only cases where the experience might differ is when the genitals are being swabbed. When a woman is swabbed, the sample is often taken only from the vaginal canal, but some tests may require a cervical swab. If this sample type is required, a speculum is first inserted into the vagina to allow access to the area to be swabbed. When a man is swabbed, the swab gathers a sample from the tip of the penis or from a blemish or sore on the skin. Swabs can be uncomfortable, especially if there is severe inflammation of the urethra or vagina. Levels of discomfort with swabs vary from individual to individual.

final thoughts

Knowing how to get tested for STIs is essential for prioritizing your sexual health. While the process of sample collection may differ slightly for men and women, it’s generally straightforward and easy. The most important thing is to get tested regularly and to seek treatment if you do test positive for an STI.

At Better2Know, we offer comprehensive STI testing services that are easy, affordable, and confidential. Book your STI test today and take a proactive step towards protecting your sexual health.


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