During your annual pelvic exam, your health care provider can test you for two common types of STDs: gonorrhea and chlamydia, if you are at risk for these STDs.
How are the STD tests done?
To do the tests, your provider will use a soft cotton swab to collect a sample of fluid from your vagina or your cervix. This is very quick and painless. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia are easily treated when they are diagnosed early.
Will my provider automatically test me for STDs during my annual exam?
Some health care providers don't test for STDs during an annual exam unless you tell them you have symptoms of an infection. However, many STDs don't have symptoms. If you think you might be at risk for an STD, make sure to tell your health care provider.
REMEMBER: It's important to be honest with your provider about your sexual behavior - even though it might be embarrassing. The information you provide will help your provider give you the best care possible, and it will not be shared with anyone else unless you give permission.
Other STD Tests
If you have questions about other common STDs (like herpes or genital warts) and the tests used to diagnose them, visit the Public Health STD website for more information.
STDs and Sexual Assault
STDs can sometimes be the result of a sexual assault. If you think you may have an STD resulting from a sexual assault and you live in Western Washington, call the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center's Crisis/Information line at 1 (800) 825-7273. Their advocates are willing to answer questions about what STD tests are recommended, how to talk to your health provider about sexual assault, and legal issues.