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What It’s Like To Take An At-Home STD Test

by BUST Magazine

2017 was an exceptionally busy year for me, both in and out of bed, and somehow I managed to miss my yearly gynecologist checkup. So when myLAB’s Uber Box home STD testing kit arrived at BUST HQ, I snatched it up like Gollum and ran off to make sure everything was kosher in my undercarriage.

The Uber, which retails for $269, tests for herpes simplex type II, HIV I and II, hepatitis C, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. As advertised, it was shipped in a discreet box, and all I had to do was swab my vadge and prick my finger as instructed, then send the samples off to myLAB in a postage-paid package.

Although the instructions aren’t too involved, I was nervous I would accidentally contaminate my samples or that I hadn’t included enough blood to test. The myLAB testing kit uses a finger prick to collect samples, which is good news for those of us who are squeamish about getting blood drawn from the vein. Then again, I had to squeeze my finger to get enough blood out, which was a messy business, and there were a few seconds where I just wasn’t sure I would be able to get ‘er done. Nevertheless, I persisted. I got the results back in less than a week through the myLAB website, and while I’m diligent about condom use, I was still greatly relieved to get good news.

MyLab offers different tiers of testing packages to cover a variety of needs. The Safe Box, which tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, retails for $189. The Total Box tests for 14 different STDs, including HPV for an extra $30 for women over 30, and it goes the extra mile with genital, rectal, and throat tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia. (As per the FAQ, trans, cis-male, and nonbinary folks should choose the “Male” testing kit, which only tests your pee, as opposed to the “Female” testing kit, which relies on a vaginal swab.) You can also order different tests à la carte for $79 a pop to create a kit for what you’re most concerned about. Or, you can get super romantic and surprise your boo with a Love Box for 2 for $499. There are also gift cards available for when you just don’t know what to get someone for their birthday.

A myLAB kit isn’t necessarily cheaper or more reliable than popping into Planned Parenthood or other healthcare clinics, but there are plenty of people who either can’t or don’t want to go to get tested in person. The FAQ recommends that you still see your regular doctor and that it shouldn’t be a replacement for a yearly check-up, so I’ll definitely be hitting up my gyno in 2018. But in the meantime, I feel better about getting busy with new partners thanks to myLAB.

By Jenni Miller
Illustrated by Sibel Ekemen

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2018  print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

More from BUST

What Happened To Those Girls Who Signed Purity Pledges? Hint: It’s Not Good

Sex Ed Should Teach Girls About Sexual Pleasure

Why STD Stigma Needs To End

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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