When should I get myself tested for sexually transmitted diseases?

If you have had an unprotected sexual intercourse or you suspect a sexually transmitted disease, it is always a good idea to get yourself tested!

  • Your partner has been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease;
  • You have had an unprotected sexual intercourse with a new or casual partner;
  • You or your partner have several sexual relationships;
  • Before starting a new sexual relationship;
  • You suspect you may have a sexually transmitted disease;
  • You have already started a sexual relationship and feel fine, but you would like to get tested anyway;
  • You are planning to conceive or are already pregnant. Sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted from a mother to a child during pregnancy or labour. This may result in a miscarriage or your baby contracting the disease with related complications.

You should definitely get tested if you have any SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS indicating possible sexually transmitted disease.

These include:

  • Women – increased or unusual vaginal discharge (e.g., unpleasant odour), painful urination, pain or bleeding during sexual intercourse;
  • Men – urethral pain or painful urination, urethral discharge;
  • Men and women – blisters or ulcers in the genital area, genital pain, rectal discharge.

 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

During sexual intercourse, a number of infectious agents can be transmitted from one person to another – these include bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Infectious agents are extremely sensitive to external conditions (for instance, they are destroyed in dry conditions or in case of temperature change); therefore, it is generally impossible to contract a sexually transmitted disease in a sauna, when using a shared toilet, etc.

Sexually transmitted diseases can be divided into 2 broad categories:

  1. Diseases causing ulcers on genitalia, e.g. syphilis and genital herpes;
  2. Diseases causing infections on genitalia, e.g., chlamydia, trichomoniasis and gonorrhoea.

There are more infectious agents that are transmitted sexually, but these cause general illness (HIV) or diseases of internal organs (e.g., hepatitis B).

In up to 75% of cases, sexually transmitted infections are asymptomatic. The symptoms of several diseases also overlap and different infectious agents may co-occur. Thus, without taking a test, an infected person does not know that he or she is infected and could spread the disease to others, and which disease it is.

 

Incubation period of sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases have an incubation period, which must be accounted for – this is a period of time when you have been infected, but the test results may not yet indicate it.

The descriptions included with all the tests provide a recommended time period for taking each test. Please note that the result reflects only the current situation; if a later infection is suspected, the test should be repeated.

Read more about the incubation period of sexually transmitted diseases HERE.

 

Which test should I choose?

If you have had unprotected sex, you may not know which sexually transmitted diseases you should get yourself tested for.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to choose the panel that includes all common STI tests.

 

Which sample material is used for collecting the sample?

Different sample materials are used to test a person for sexually transmitted diseases, depending on their sexual behaviour and gender:

  1. VENOUS BLOOD; taken in the lab
  2. URINE (men); the sample can be collected at home
  3. VAGINAL SWAB (women); the sample can be collected at home
  4. BLISTER FLUID; the sample can be collected at home
  5. THROAT SWAB; the sample can be collected at home
  6. RECTAL SWAB; the sample can be collected at home

In nearly 25% of cases, the infectious agent can be detected from throat or rectal swab; in case of men having sexual relations with men, in 90% of cases the infectious agent is there.

When collecting a sample at home, it is very important to follow the sample collection instructions precisely. You can find the instructions HERE.

 

How to order?

  1. Order the required tests and choose the delivery method of the sample collection kit (Smartpost parcel terminal or from the lab).
  2. Collect the sample at home following the INSTRUCTIONS.
  3. Deliver the sample back to the lab (send it by Smartpost parcel terminal or take it to the lab yourself).
  4. The results will be displayed in the MINU.SYNLAB.EE patient portal. You will be notified by email or SMS when the results arrive.

 

Results

The results will be displayed in the MINU.SYNLAB.EE patient portal within 2-5 working days.

A positive result indicates that an infectious agent is present in the sample material, in which case it is recommended that you consult a physician (e.g., a men’s health doctor, gynaecologist) for appropriate treatment.

HERE is a list of physicians to consult in case of a positive result. 

It is also possible to order an additional paid consultation by a SYNLAB lab doctor (clinical microbiologist) to interpret the results.

If you wish, you can test for sexually transmitted diseases (except for HPV) ANONYMOUSLY, i.e., your results will not be displayed in the digilugu.ee environment.

  • If you order tests for sexually transmitted diseases as an anonymous user, your results WILL NOT be displayed in the Digilugu.ee environment.
  • If you wish, you can order the sample collection kit to your preferred parcel terminal (paid) or you can receive it from a SYNLAB sample collection point.
To get yourself tested for sexually transmitted diseases, please log in to the patient portal.

Log in with anonymous accountLog in with a personalised account

 

  • If you order tests for sexually transmitted diseases as an anonymous user, your results WILL NOT be displayed in the Digilugu.ee environment.
  • If you wish, you can order the sample collection kit to your preferred parcel terminal (paid) or you can receive it from a SYNLAB sample collection point.