Depending on the type of suspected infection, you may get one of the following types of tests:
Used to diagnose syphilis, HIV, and sometimes herpes
During the test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial
Used to diagnose trichomoniasis and sometimes gonorrhea
During the test, you will provide a sterile sample of urine in a cup as instructed by your provider
Used to diagnose HPV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes
During the test, a provider will use a special swab to take a sample from the site of the infection. In women, samples may be taken from the vagina or cervix. In men, samples may be taken from the penis or urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
Lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap
This is not a frequently used STD test, but it may be ordered if your provider thinks you have an advanced stage of syphilis or if a herpes infection has affected your brain or spinal cord.
For this test, a provider will inject an anesthetic into your back, so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
Once the area is numb, the provider will insert a thin, hollow needle between two vertebrae in your lower spine. Vertebrae are the small bones that make up your spine. Your provider will then withdraw a small amount of fluid for testing.