News & Blogs

How do you test for the most common STD’s?

In Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), it is essential to be alert to any changes or abnormal symptoms. If you are sexually active, get regular checkups and getting tested for STDs is one way to protect your health.

These diagnostic tests are quick and easy to do; however, they must be ordered separately because they are not included in routine checkups. For this, you can consult with your health care provider, who will help you know which tests you need to have, considering your personal and sexual history and symptoms that you may manifest.

There are several types of tests to diagnose the different STDs because each has its test or diagnostic method. There is no single test that covers all diseases.

How are the most common STD tests done, and how long do they take?

To perform the different STD diagnostic tests, it is necessary to take the relevant samples according to each test. These samples can be taken in several ways:

  • Blood collection. Either from the arm or a drop from the finger.
  • Urine sample. Urinating in a particular container.
  • A sampling of secretions. Swabbing the throat, vagina, cervix, urethra, penis, or anus.
  • A sampling of the liquid from the sores or blisters with the help of a swab.

Subsequently, special diagnostic tests are performed with these samples. For each disease, there are different tests:

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Vaginal cytology (Pap smear). The cells of the vaginal discharge are examined under a microscope. Results take 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Using a lighted magnifying glass (colposcope), the doctor inspects the cervix, vagina, and vulva for warts and lesions.
  • This is performed during colposcopy. The tissue sample is examined under the microscope. The turnaround time is 2 to 7 days.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Allows detection of HPV DNA. Results are got within 24 hours.


  • PCR. Results for a maximum time of 24 hours.
  • Antigen detection. With the rapid chlamydia test, results are got in 20 minutes.
  • Culture of the bacteria. Results in 5 to 7 days.


  • High sensitivity gonorrhea test by PCR. Results for a maximum time of 24 hours.
  • Bacteria culture. Results in 5 to 7 days.
  • Microscopic test. The sample of tissue or secretion is examined under the microscope.


  • Susceptible syphilis test by PCR. It is performed on both vaginal or penile secretions and urine samples—results within 24 hours.
  • Rapid syphilis antibody test in 20 min.
  • Non-treponemal test or VDRL. A blood sample is used to measure antibodies. Results in 7 days.

Trichomonas (HPV)

  • Direct microscopic observation. A sample of the vagina, penile, or urine discharge is observed for parasites. Results are delivered in 24 to 72 hours.
  • Antigenic rapid test. Results are got in only 10 to 20 minutes.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

  • Culture of fluid from lesions (blisters, vesicles, ulcers, sores). Results are got in 3 to 7 days.
  • High sensitivity HSV test by PCR. Results within 24 hours.
  • HSV antibody test using a blood sample.
  • Antigen detection directly from lesions.

A detailed physical examination complements all these tests by the gynecologist or urologist looking for signs and symptoms of each disease. Early diagnosis is the best way to take care of yourself.

Book your appointment

Book your appointment