Different sexually transmitted infections or STIs may be detected through urine tests. Urine gonorrhea tests and chlamydia tests are much pleasant than getting your urethra or cervix swabbed. It can be really difficult to know about urine testing for other STIs such as human papillimavirus (HPV) or trichomoniasis. Go through this blogpost to know about urine testing for STIs.
Purpose of urine test for STIs
Men who might have bacterial STI such as gornorrhea or chlamydia should conduct tests with a swab and insert it inside the urethra. Women should perform pelvic examination during which cervical swab is taken for testing the presence of bacteria. Urine testing makes it easy to perform STI testing as part of routine medical care.
Urine testing versus bacterial culture
Urine testing can help to detect the presence of bacterial STIs. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis urine tests are available though they are not very common. On the other hand, bacterial culture may identify different bacterial STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Bacterial DNA testing works in a different way than bacterial culture. They help to detect the presence of bacterial DNA through a procedure known as ligase chain reaction or other DNA amplification methods.
What happens before the test?
You do not require special preparation for urine STI test. But you should talk to your healthcare provider beforehand about necessary STIs to test for. You may even request for further tests when you are at risk for other STIs when your healthcare provider is not planning to test them.
What happens during and after the test?
When you need to conduct urine STI test, make sure you fix a routine appointment beforehand. You may have to pee in a sample tube or cup which the medical staff gives you. The urine sample will be sent to the lab for testing at the clinic.
How to interpret test results
The results for urine STI test can detect bacterial DNA which is available within a few hours. The positive result means you already have the infection of an STI and proper treatment is necessary. But a negative test means there is no proof of any infection with STI.
Even with negative test, you need to get the best STI test routinely when you remain sexually active and not in mutually monogamous relationship. This depends on the number of sex partners you need to conduct screening once in a year or often.
How to compare urine STI tests with other STI tests
- In case of chlamydia testing for women, the sensitivity and specificity were 87% and 99% for urine samples in comparison to cervical samples.
- For chlamydia testing in men, the sensitivity and specificity had been 88% and 99%. for urine samples when compared to urethral samples.
- To test gonorrhea in women, the sensitivity and specificity seemed to be 79% and 99%, for urine samples than cervical samples.
- For gonorrhea test in men, the sensitivity and specificity had been 92% and 99%, for urine samples than urethral samples.
Restrictions of urine tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia
Most infections with chlamydia and gonorrhea had been asymptomatic. For men, these diseases can infect urethra and in women, it can affect cervix. It is quite possible to get these diseases in the throat at the time of oral sex. But anal sex may cause rectal gonorrhea and rectal chlamydia infections.
Presently, men who enjoy sex with men need to perform throat, urine and anal screening at least once in a year. Others who enjoy unsafe anal or oral sex need to undergo similar screening. People who engage in vaginal intercourse only may perform urine testing to detect for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Other STI Urine Tests
At present, it is possible to test chlamydia and gonorrhea with urine samples. However, you can test for other sexually transmitted infections in this way.
Trichomoniasis urine tests such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are becoming very common but can be treated. The healthcare providers need to test for STI and urine test is a suitable option for that. In case of gonorrhea and chlamydia, urine tests might not be very effective like conducting similar tests on vaginal swab.
Human papillomavirus or HPV is another STI that you may test with urine tests. Just like trichomoniasis, urine tests for HPV are not available worldwide but as per research, the urine which releases when you empty your bladder is very effective like testing vaginal smears.
Urine HPV tests have same problem like other HPV tests in comparison to Pap smears. So, if there are some changes to cervical cancer than someone has HPV, then you may do it through a Pap smear test.
There aren’t any commercial urine tests for herpes or syphilis. Blood and oral samples will more likely be used for HIV testing. There is a home test for HIV that can use the sample of saliva.
If you find urine STI tests or self-swabs are a suitable option for your case, then inform your doctor about them. You may call your healthcare provider’s private sexual health clinic in London before scheduling an appointment to know if it is possible to perform urine tests. It might be worrisome when you suffer from an STI. This is true for the bacterial sexually transmitted infections which can be cured by taking necessary antibiotics.
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