How does an STI test work?

If you have a new partner or have recently had unprotected sex, testing yourself for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a good idea. However testing for STIs is a sensitive topic that some people avoid due to shame, fear, or concerns about privacy. Testing for STIs from home using Homed-IQ’s Sexual Health Tests allows you to perform a laboratory-certified test without needing to visit a doctor’s office or sexual health clinic, instead taking the sample from the comfort and privacy of home.

Before you order an STI self-test from Homed-IQ, you may have a few questions about the test process. In this article, we want to help shed some light on how Homed-IQ STI tests work and what types are available. 

What is an STI test?

An STI test is a test that checks for one or more sexually transmitted infections. These tests can be performed in a doctor’s office, sexual health clinic, or from home using a self-test. There are different types of STI tests; tests that check for individual STIs, and tests that check for multiple STIs at once. Homed-IQ offers the following selection of home STI tests:

What types of STI tests are there?

There are three different ways to do an STI test, depending on the STI you want to test for and the location of the potential infection. You can choose between:

  • Swab test
  • Blood test
  • Urine test

How does a swab test work?

As the name suggests, a swab test is an STI test in which a swab is taken from the part of the body the user would like to test for infection. An STI swab test can be taken from three regions – the vagina, anus, or throat. 

How does a vaginal swab work?

A vaginal swab is a test in which a cotton swab is used to collect mucus and/or cells from the vaginal wall. This test can be performed in a clinic or from home. A vaginal swab can be used to test for gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, mycoplasma genitalium, and herpes.

To perform a vaginal swab, insert the provided swab into the vagina and gently rotate the swab against the vaginal wall for about 10 seconds. The sample is then placed in the supplied collection tube. A vaginal swab is quick, easy, and not painful at all.

How does an anal swab work?

An anal swab can be used to test for chlamydia or gonorrhoea. An anal test is recommended if you have recently had unprotected anal intercourse. 

An anal swab is easy and safe to perform. The swab provided must be gently inserted into the anus and rotated against the wall of the anus for 10 seconds before being placed in a collection tube. 

How does a throat swab work?

It is also possible to test for gonorrhoea and chlamydia with a throat swab. Again, the procedure is simple and painless. You must brush the back of the throat with the swab for about 10 seconds in order to collect the test sample. Then, put the sample in the collection tube.

How does a urine test work?

A urine test is used to check for STIs affecting the penis. Urine tests are not recommended for vaginal infections because they are less accurate. As an alternative, a swab test is recommended. To ensure the reliability of our tests, Homed-IQ only offers swab tests for vaginal infections.

Taking a urine test is simple. All you have to do is deposit a small quantity of urine into the enclosed test tube and send it to one of our laboratories. The risk of an invalid sample for a urine test is very low. It is only important to note that the sample should be taken from the first urine after waking up in the morning.

The following Homed-IQ STI tests include a urine test (only for infections of the penis):

Also interesting: How long does chlamydia last?

How does a blood test work?

Some STIs cannot be diagnosed with either a swab or a urine test. In this case, blood tests are used. Blood tests can detect syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV. A blood test involves taking one or more tubes of blood, which are then sent to a laboratory for analysis. While most blood tests performed in a clinic or doctor’s office require a vein puncture, Homed-IQ blood tests only require a few drops of blood which you can collect with a simple finger prick.

The result of an STI test

After your sample has been sent to one of our certified partner laboratories, your test will be analyzed. You will then receive your test result within a few working days. The test result can be either positive or negative. A positive test result means that an STI has been detected, and a negative test result means that no STI has been detected.


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SamHealth. (n.d.). All About STI Home Tests: Rapid Tests vs. Lab Tests. S.a.m Health – Sexual Health. Your way. Retrieved on June 3, 2022, from

Soa Aids Netherlands. (2022, March 23). Hoe gaat een soa test? Retrieved on June 3, 2022, from

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