“Can I get STD tested while on my period?” is a common question we’re asked, so if you’re wondering the same thing, you’re not alone. There are a few reasons why you might think being on your period could affect your STD test results, and there are a few reasons you might just not want to get tested while you’re on your period. Whatever the reason for your concern, we’re here to address it.
Can you get tested for STDs while on your period? In short, yes. In most cases, being on your period will not negatively impact your test results or experience. However, there are some instances in which you might want to rethink getting tested for STDs while on your period.
Most tests, including the tests offered by Priority STD, will require a blood sample and/or a urine sample for testing. For tests that require a blood sample, blood is taken from your arm, just like it would be for any other testing that requires a blood sample. Being on your period shouldn’t affect the blood being drawn or interfere with your test results. For tests that require a urine sample, the same is true.
Where some confusion arises when questioning if you can get STD testing while on your period is when your testing requires a swab tests or if you plan to get tested as part of your routine gynecological exam and pap smear. At Priority STD, we don’t use swab tests because they can be uncomfortable. Should you get tested elsewhere, while it is unlikely that being on your period will affect the results of the test, there is still a small chance that a heavy flow could interfere with test results. Regardless, you might feel more comfortable waiting to get tested until after your period has ended. For the same reasons, if you’re going for a pap smear (whether you plan to ask your doctor about getting tested for STDs or not), the doctor’s office will most likely recommend that you wait until your menstrual cycle has ended.
Something else to consider when getting tested for STDs while on your period is that your period can cause your vagina’s pH to increase. This rise in pH, coupled with other hormonal changes caused by your period, can encourage bacterial growth in the vagina and cause increased incidence of bacterial infections. This is something to keep in mind when undergoing STD testing in the form of a vaginal swab or pap smear
If you know that you’re going to be receiving a swab test and you’d be more comfortable waiting to get tested, you can always reschedule your appointment until after you are done menstruating. However, sooner is often better when it comes to getting tested for STDs, so, if possible, schedule your testing at a testing location that doesn’t use swab tests, so you can be sure that your period won’t be a factor.
Do you have more questions about getting STD tested? Use our chat feature or simply call 1-888-211-2365 to speak with one of our trusted, confidential care counselors.