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What To Do if STD Test Results Are Negative, But You Are Still Worried?

One of the most important parts of being a responsible, healthy, and sexually active adult is getting regular STD tests and knowing your status. But what should you do if an STD test is negative, but you’re still worried? The best thing to do is get tested to know whether you contracted an STD or not.

You can get a 10-panel STD test or same-day STD testing from Rapid STD Testing to check your status and get accurate, fast results. All you have to do is order your test panel and then head to one of the convenient clinic locations.

Understanding Negative STD Test Results

If you took an STD test that came back negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in the clear. You could get a false negative result, which would mean that you have the disease even though the test is negative.

Each STD has a window period, which is the time it takes for the disease to appear on a test. There are also differences between STDs, like oral STDs or genital STDs, and each requires a different test. It’s for these reasons that you should get regular STD tests. If the first test you take is negative, come back and take another test to recheck your status and get the most accurate results possible.

False negatives can be dangerous because the longer sexually transmitted infections go untreated within your body, the more damage they can cause. Not to mention, there’s a high risk of passing the STD to another partner unknowingly.

To check your status, you can order a rapid STD test for same-day testing and get your confidential results within one to three days.

What Do False Negative Test Results for STDs Mean?

STD testing is more accessible and accurate than it’s ever been. However, there’s always the chance of getting a false negative or false positive result. What makes one test better than another? The answer is specificity and sensitivity. Specificity refers to tests that measure if people don’t have the disease, whereas sensitivity measures which people do have the disease.

A false negative STD test result occurs when the test says that you don’t have an STD, but you actually do have it. A false positive STD test result happens when the results are positive, but you don’t have the disease. If you get a false negative, you most likely took the test too soon for accurate results.

You can see why the possibility of getting false negatives makes regular STD testing so important. Luckily, you can find STD testing near you at one of the 2,500 Rapid STD Testing locations nationwide, which means you can check your status and get treatment as quickly as possible if you need it.

STDs That Commonly Produce False Negative Results

Some STDs are more likely than others to give you a false negative result. Although the chances of getting an incorrect result are low if you take the proper test and the lab tests your specimen correctly, it is possible to get false results.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs that can cause a false negative test result. If you’re a carrier of either disease and still get a negative result, you could unknowingly transmit the disease to other people. That possibility is a risk that nobody should take, which is why getting regular STD testing is so vital to your sexual health.

Why are gonorrhea and chlamydia more likely to produce a false result? Usually, it’s because you took the test too soon. For example, gonorrhea usually takes about seven days before it shows up on a test. You could get a false negative result if you take the test before the seven days are up.

Chlamydia takes between two and six weeks to register on a test. HIV is another STD that can cause false negatives due to the complicated nature of its testing window.

Causes of Faulty Results

If you get false results on an STD test, there could be a variety of reasons why. It depends on a few different factors:

  • The specificity and sensitivity of the test
  • The type of test: urine, swab, or blood test
  • If the disease is common or rare
  • Improper testing procedures
  • How quickly you take the test

However, there are even more factors that can affect your results. You must take the right STD test to get the right results. For example, if you have an STD that causes itching, like herpes, but you get an HIV test, you’re not going to get accurate results.

For STD tests that require a urine sample, it’s important to wait as long as possible after urinating to take the test. If you have urinated within the last two hours before you give the specimen, it could skew the test results.

Effects of STD Window Period on Test Results

If you have a negative STD test, but you’re still worried, the cause of your negative result is most likely due to the window period. The STD window period is the amount of time it takes for an STD to register on a test. What does this mean, and how can it affect your STD test results?

If you’re exposed to an STD and end up catching it, you won’t test positive right away. That can have some significant side effects on your sexual health. For example, if you get tested within the window period and receive a false negative, you could transmit the disease to sexual partners.

Another dangerous effect of getting tested too soon during the window period is delaying treatment. If you don’t receive treatment for an STD, it can cause adverse effects on your health and well-being.

Here are the window periods for the most common STDs:

  • HIV: Between 10 and 90 days
  • Chlamydia: one to two weeks
  • Syphilis: one to three weeks
  • Hepatitis: Between two and six weeks
  • Gonorrhea: five to 14 days
  • HPV: three weeks to about three months
  • Trichomoniasis: one week to 30 days
  • Herpes: one to four months

As you can see, it’s essential to get regular STD tests since the window period can have such significant effects on your results.

Coping with Anxiety: My STD Test Came Back Negative, But I’m Still Worried

You may feel nervous or anxious when you have to undergo STD testing. That’s why the clinical staff at Rapid STD Testing takes the time to discuss mental health as it relates to sexual health, STD testing, and negative results.

First, if you’re feeling down, depressed, anxious, lonely, or upset, there is help. You can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine Monday through Friday from 10 am to 8 pm EST at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). You can also email [email protected].

The stigma surrounding mental health and sexual health makes these topics particularly challenging to discuss and can even cause feelings of anxiety or depression. If you feel those negative emotions, try to avoid looking at information from untrustworthy sources. Instead, schedule an appointment to speak with a doctor about your concerns.

Tips for Coping with Anxiety About Your Test Results

You should also remember that it’s not only inevitable but healthy to have different feelings and emotions about sexual health, STD testing, and your test results. When this happens, there are some techniques you can use to help you calm down and stay in the moment.

The first method you can use combines two techniques: deep breathing and positive affirmations. Use a simple one-two-three counting process and deep breaths while you say positive things out loud to yourself, like: “I may feel worried about my health, but I’ll get through this because I’m strong.”

You can also try visualizing yourself eliminating any unhealthy thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Let the negativity go, and then continue with deep breathing and positive affirmations.

Other Common Questions About STDs and Negative Results

Can you test negative for STDs like Chlamydia and still have them?

Yes, you can test negative for STDs and still have them. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common STDs that can cause false negatives, especially if you get tested too quickly.

All my STD tests were negative, but I still have symptoms. What should I do?

If your STD test was negative, but you’re still worried or experiencing symptoms, you need to speak to a doctor, who may recommend that you take another test. You could have a false negative, so the best way to know whether you contracted an STD is to get tested again.

Take Control of Your Sexual Health Today

Order a test panel online from Rapid STD Testing today and take control of your sexual health and well-being. Visit one of our convenient locations for same-day STD testing and fast, confidential, and accurate results.