Visiting an ER might not be your first choice when you’re experiencing the symptoms of an STD after unprotected sex. You might ask yourself, “do emergency rooms do STD testing?” 

Many people think an urgent care facility would be the best place to get a test for STDs because they don’t classify their symptoms as an emergency and consider urgent care facilities as more discreet. However, most, if not all, emergency departments are equipped to provide quick and easy STD testing and treatment

Should I go to the ER if I Think I Have an STD?

To some, it might feel unnecessary to visit an emergency room to receive STD testing when you could just wait for an appointment with your primary care physician, but being responsible for your sexual health is critical if you are sexually active. If you’re showing symptoms that might be related to an STD, it’s always a great idea to come in for testing so you can be treated as soon as possible to limit discomfort. Oftentimes, symptoms don’t appear until weeks or months after a disease is contracted, and leaving STIs/STDs untreated can cause other health issues and increase the chance of an STD spreading to a partner. 

We understand there’s a level of embarrassment that comes with visiting urgent care centers for STD testing, and we want you to know that our team is here to provide you with comprehensive, respectful, and judgment-free health care when it comes to diagnosing and treating your STD symptoms

couple on couch

STD Symptoms to Watch out for

Many sexually transmitted diseases don’t show symptoms right away or at all, so it may not be evident that you’ve contracted one. This is why it’s important to get tested regularly, in case you’re asymptomatic. Asymptomatic patients can still pass on the infection to a partner. The CDC reported that over 26 million people a year test positive for sexually transmitted infections and diseases, often because the infections have been passed on without carriers knowing an infection was present.  

Some STDs, like gonorrhea and chlamydia, may manifest symptoms to watch out for. This way you can be aware of any abnormalities that occur in your body, and have a good idea about whether or not you have an STD before getting tested. However, there’s no foolproof way to know if you have an STD without testing.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please visit your nearest emergency care provider to get tested for an STD:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain in the lower belly
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge 
  • Milky discharge from the penis
  • Swollen or tender testicles 
  • Pain, discharge, swelling, or bleeding around the anus
  • Sores or bumps around the thighs and genitals
  • Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and body aches
STD testing

Do I Need to Get Tested for STDs?

Men and women who are sexually active should consider getting tested for STDs regularly, especially if they’ve engaged in unprotected sexual contact or had a partner who has tested positive for an STD. Getting tested once a year (or every 3-6 months if you have multiple partners) can help put your mind at ease and prevent any unpleasant infections from festering for too long and causing other issues. Even if you engage in protected sexual contact (using condoms or other barrier methods), you can still develop an STD. 

Getting a test for STDs is usually quick and easy. We may ask for a urine sample, a swab to get a cell sample, a physical exam, or a blood test depending on what we’re testing for. It may take between 5-10 days to find out your test results and to determine if you’ve tested positive or not.

Village Emergency Centers Is Always Here to Help

We hope you understand the importance of STD testing and that you know the answer to whether or not  emergency rooms do STD testing. We’re always here to help you make informed decisions regarding your sexual health. Find your Village or contact us today by visiting our website.