The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a molecular diagnostic technique used to detect and identify the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of microorganisms, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). PCR tests are highly sensitive and specific, allowing the detection of even small amounts of genetic material from the pathogens that cause STIs. The test can be performed for STIs using samples from different body fluids or tissues, depending on the specific infection being tested. PCR tests offer several advantages for STI detection, including high sensitivity and specificity and the ability to identify multiple pathogens in a single test. In addition, they can accurately detect the presence of STIs even in asymptomatic individuals, which is critical for early diagnosis and treatment.
Sexual contact is the way sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are transmitted. Usually, contact is vaginal, oral, or anal. However, they can occasionally be transmitted through other close physical contact. Since herpes and HPV are transmitted through skin contact, this is the case. There are numerous sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and herpes simplex.
What is STIs urine and swab PCR test?
Two common types of PCR tests for STIs are urine tests and swab tests.
Urine PCR test: In some cases, a urine sample can be used for PCR testing for specific STIs. This method is generally non-invasive and convenient for the patient. A urine sample is collected from the patient and analyzed in the laboratory to detect the genetic material of the STI-causing pathogens.
Swab PCR test: Swab tests use a cotton swab to collect a sample from the body site where the infection is suspected. The type of swab used depends on the STI being tested. For example, in men, a swab from the urethra may be used to test for STIs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, while in women, a vaginal or cervical swab may be used. The swab taken is then sent to the laboratory, where PCR is performed to detect the presence of the STI-causing microorganisms.
It is important to note that the specific test methods and specimen types may vary depending on the STI being tested for and the preferences of the healthcare provider or testing facility. Therefore, it is always best to consult a physician for accurate information about STI testing methods and procedures.
Which infections can a PCR test for STIs detect?
PCR testing for STIs can detect sexually transmitted infections (STIs) caused by various bacteria and viruses. Some of the infections that can be detected with PCR testing are the following: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium
Trichomonas vaginalis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, Ureaplasma parvum, Candida albicans, Gardnerella vaginalis, Herpes simplex virus type 1, Herpes simplex virus type 2, Treponema pallidum, Group B Streptococcus, Haemophilus ducreyi
It is essential to know that the availability and specific PCR tests for different STIs may vary depending on the healthcare provider, laboratory, or testing facility. Therefore, it is recommended that you check with a healthcare provider or testing facility to obtain accurate and up-to-date information about the specific infections that can be detected with PCR testing in your area.
Who should be tested for STIs?
STI testing is recommended for individuals depending on their sexual behavior, risk factors, and specific guidelines from physicians or public health organizations. The following are some general recommendations for individuals who should consider getting tested for STIs:
- Sexually active persons: Anyone who is sexually active, regardless of age, should consider regular STI testing. This includes people who have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- New sexual partners: If you have a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners, it is advisable to get tested for STIs before engaging in sexual activity with them. This will help ensure a healthy sexual relationship and prevent the transmission of STIs.
- Unprotected sex: If you have had unprotected sex (sex without a barrier method such as condoms or dental dams) or if a condom broke during intercourse, it is important to get tested for STIs. Unprotected sex increases the risk of STI transmission.
- Symptoms or Concerns: If you notice symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, such as sores in the genital area, discharge, burning during urination, pain in the pelvic area, or unusual rashes, be sure to see a doctor and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Previous STI diagnoses: If you have already been diagnosed with an STI, it is important to get tested again to make sure the infection has been successfully treated and to detect possible reinfection.
- Routine testing: Some health care providers or public health organizations recommend routine STI testing as part of preventive health care, even if there are no symptoms or specific risk factors. The frequency and timing of routine testing may vary depending on factors such as sexual activity, age, and specific guidelines in your area.
It should be noted that individual circumstances and risk factors may vary. Therefore, it is best to consult a physician who can assess your specific situation and make individualized recommendations for STI testing. In addition, the physician can advise you on appropriate testing and testing intervals based on your sexual behavior, medical history, and local guidelines.
Which parts of the body can be examined with a PCR test for STIs?
PCR testing can be performed on different parts of the body, depending on the specific infection or disease being tested. The choice of sampling site depends on the target organism or genetic material that needs to be detected. Here are some common body parts that can be examined with PCR testing:
- Genital tract: PCR testing can be performed on samples from the genital tract, including the urethra, vagina, cervix, or penile discharge. This allows the detection of STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, or human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Urine: In some instances, urine samples can be used for PCR testing. This non-invasive method is commonly used to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Rectum and anus: PCR testing can be performed on swab specimens from the rectum or anal region. This is particularly important for the detection of STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or human papillomavirus (HPV) that may affect these areas.
It is important to know that the choice of specimen collection site may vary depending on the infection or disease being tested. The healthcare provider or testing laboratory will determine the appropriate specimen collection method based on the suspected infection and relevant testing guidelines.
How accurate is the PCR test for STIs?
PCR tests for STIs are generally considered to be very accurate and reliable. They are known for their high sensitivity and specificity, which contribute to their overall accuracy. PCR tests have shown excellent sensitivity and specificity in detecting various STIs. However, actual accuracy may depend on factors such as the PCR assay used, the quality of the sample collected, and the expertise of the laboratory performing the test. It is important to note that while PCR tests are very accurate (98%). However, no diagnostic test is 100% perfect.
To ensure optimal accuracy, it is important that you use proper techniques when collecting samples, use validated and reliable PCR assays, and have the test performed by a qualified laboratory that uses established quality assurance procedures. If you have concerns about the accuracy of a particular PCR test or your test results, it is best to consult a physician who can provide further advice and interpret the results based on your individual circumstances.
How long does it take to get an STI PCR result?
The turnaround time for obtaining test results from STI PCR may depend on several factors, such as the laboratory or testing facility, the type of STI tested, and the volume of tests processed. In general, the time frame can range from a few hours to several days. At Wellmed Bangkok Clinic, the results are available next day.
Can I use an anonymous STIs test in Thailand?
In Thailand, there is some health care provider offers an option to be tested anonymously for STDs, although availability may vary depending on the testing facility or organization you choose. Anonymous testing allows you to be tested for STIs without providing personal information such as your name or contact information. This approach can help maintain the confidentiality and privacy of individuals who wish to be tested.
STIs testing at Wellmed Bangkok Clinic
Anonymous STIs testing at Wellmed, an international clinic offering various medical services in Bangkok, including STIs testing and treatment. The location is convenient. We perform tests that are private and anonymous option. In addition, we provide quick lab results. You can just walk-in for a lab test done without seeing a doctor, but if you want to consult a doctor, an experienced full-time doctor is available. With us, testing for STIs is the easiest and fastest method possible. Visit our STI Clinic Bangkok today for comprehensive and confidential testing and treatment.
*Please inform our staff if you want to use as anonymous.
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