Can Emergency Room Test STD?

A lot of patients usually ask if they can have their STDs treated in the ER. The good news is that you can be treated for STDs at the ER. However, they also now require stringent tests. In the past, a visual observation was usually enough for a diagnosis. However, now they do perform STD tests at ER rooms such as at Frontline ER. Here is a bit more information that you should know about STD testing in the ER.

In a study conducted in 2015 by the John’s Hospital and Medical Center, it was found that antibiotics were often overprescribed for those suspected to have STDs. It was found that about 75% of those patients did not even have STDs. While genital cultures are usually collected for STD tests, the results cannot be made immediately available. In such a case, the patient is given strong antibiotics as a precaution. This has been shown to be one of the leading causes of growing resistance to antibiotics in common STDs such as syphilis and chlamydia.

In 2016, the CDC began to urge medical professionals to stop this practice so that drugs are only used when necessary. For instance, this has led to the appearance of super gonorrhea all over the world, which is resistant to almost all antibiotics. The strain first appeared in the US in 2015 in Hawaii.

According to the CDC, about half of all people globally will contract an STD in their lifetime. In the US, STDs have been on the rise, creating a public health concern. This is what has led to over-prescription of drugs in an effort to stop the infection before it spreads.

How to Deter STDs

The best way to deter the spread of STDs is to have regular tests performed. This is a better and affordable method of knowing your status in regards to sexual health. If you need to, you should visit an ER and have the test performed. The earlier it is detected, the better it is for you before it can cause any lasting impact on your reproductive parts.

The procedure for Getting Tested

Even when you cannot see any visible symptoms of an STD, it is a good idea to be tested. It is especially so if you recently had unprotected sex. Even a home test kit is great before you can visit the ER. Besides that, if you often have sex with multiple partners even with protection, you should be tested often. Condoms do not offer full protection from the risk of STDs.

An STD test at an ER is similar to being tested in any other clinical setting. The medical provider will first check your physical symptoms that suggest you have an STD. He or she will then conduct tests based on the results of the physical examination. In most cases, the doctor will draw blood and ask for a urine sample. In some instances, a swab will be used to collect samples from the affected area. For females, the testing will usually entail a pelvic exam.

Besides that, one reason you should visit the ER is for the records. It ensures that a paper trail of your medical history is being generated. In the modern world, having medical records is quite important. Combined with the capabilities of digital technology, it can ensure effective treatment in future. This data can also be useful in helping experts battle the spread of such diseases.

When is it necessary to be tested for STDs?

  • Each time you engage in unprotected sex, you should go and have a test conducted about two weeks after the encounter. You should also go for a second test after 90 days.
  • If you find physical symptoms of an STD such as colored discharges, burning sensation when you pee, and much more, get tested. In general, any problems with your reproductive organs could be a sign of an STD.
  • Annually, especially if you are a woman below 25 years
  • Annually if you are sexually active with multiple partners
  • Pregnant women, whether exhibit any physical symptoms or not, should have STD tests conducted for syphilis and chlamydia.

The Cost of Testing

Determining the exact cost of an STD test can be quite difficult. This is especially so because co-pays will fluctuate depending on the kind of insurance coverage that you have. Total co-pay costs will also vary depending on the number of tests that you need to have conducted after the first encounter with the doctor.

In most cases, if you have insurance, the cost can be $50 to $100. However, this will depend on whether your insurance is accepted or not. Even when you are not insured, the maximum amount you should expect to pay is about $250.


Your sexual health can have a major impact on the quality of your life. The longer you wait to have a test conducted, the more likely it is that you will have to live with lifelong consequences.


More Posts

Heart Health

Posted on February 24, 2023 by ODPHP Health and Well-Being Matter is the monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and

Cerebral Aneurysms

ON THIS PAGE What is a cerebral aneurysm? Who is more likely to get a cerebral aneurysm? How are cerebral aneurysms diagnosed and treated? What