Going to the doctor is one of those not-so-fun things you have to do as an adult. It’s necessary to get regular checkups and visit specialists, but it can also be an inconvenience. First, you have to call the doctor’s office and find a day and time that works for you. Then, when it comes time for your appointment, let’s be honest — it’s a less than ideal way to spend your day.
Fortunately, these problems are becoming a thing of the past. In recent years, healthcare at home has become increasingly normalized. Depending on the medical issue you’re experiencing, you may be able to have a virtual visit with your doctor. You can also have prescriptions sent right to your door. And yes, you can even perform health tests without leaving your house.
Here are eight direct-to-consumer health and wellness tests that are available online and can be done at home.
The CDC estimates that one in five people in the US has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). That’s why it’s critical that you get checked regularly if you’re sexually active. To be honest, of all the self-administered health tests out there, this is probably one you’d most prefer to do discreetly. Fortunately, it is possible to do STI testing on your own at home.
There are different tests available for at-home STI testing, including those for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis, or trichomoniasis. The best one(s) for you will depend on your specific risk factors and, in some cases, gender.
Tests are available to those with and without insurance. When you send your samples back, you can expect to receive communications no matter what your results are. You’ll receive clear next steps so you know exactly how to stay — or get — well.
2. COVID-19 Tests
Believe it or not, COVID-19 tests — once a rare commodity — can now be ordered online and done at home. If you’ve been experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms, it’s vital that you get tested right away.
Testing positive for COVID-19 means you need to quarantine to slow the spread. You should get plenty of rest and monitor your symptoms closely. If symptoms worsen, you’ll want to seek immediate medical attention. At-home COVID tests are becoming so common that the CDC now provides information on self-testing for those considering buying a kit online.
Human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV, is the most common STI in the United States. Some strains of HPV can potentially lead to cervical cancer. Nowadays, HPV tests can quickly and easily be done in the comfort and privacy of your home.
That’s a good thing because at some point in their lives, about 80% of sexually active people contract HPV. And most women don’t experience symptoms; the condition can be overlooked for years. At-home HPV screening is a great option if you’re looking for fast results that don’t require a doctor’s appointment.
Oftentimes, foods don’t give you a severe allergic reaction. You might not know what is causing your upset stomach, bloating, or acne, but a food sensitivity could be to blame. If you’re experiencing those or other unpleasant symptoms, at-home tests can help you determine whether you have sensitivity to certain foods.
Most food sensitivity tests will test for reactions to the following:
- Seeds and nuts
Being able to see exactly what you’re sensitive to can help you make smart decisions about your diet. By avoiding certain foods, you may feel 100 times better, both mentally and physically.
You’re sneezing, your throat is itchy, and you have watery eyes. It’s pretty obvious that you have allergies, but what’s causing them exactly? Understanding what allergens are triggering your symptoms can be extremely helpful. Because if there’s anything you can do to avoid these allergens, you’d feel a whole lot better.
At-home indoor and outdoor allergy tests will test for sensitivity to the following allergens:
- Dust mites
Results from an at-home test will provide personalized results with action items to guide your next steps.
Not regularly getting a restful night’s sleep? It could be your hormones. At-home sleep tests evaluate fluctuations in some of the hormones that affect sleep. Among these are cortisol, cortisone, and melatonin. A sleep and stress test will typically require a urine sample. You’ll then receive easy-to-understand results that provide meaningful insights about your sleep patterns and hormone levels.
There are many health benefits to getting enough sleep. You’ll lower your risk for serious health problems, reduce stress, and think more clearly (to name a few). If you’re unsure why you can’t sleep at night, an at-home test might be worth a try. Even if you don’t think a hormone imbalance is what’s causing your lack of sleep, it’s helpful to rule it out.
Planning to become a mom? Find out whether your egg count is adequate for your age with an at-home ovarian reserve test. You can also learn whether your hormones are balanced to support ovarian function and a healthy pregnancy with a fertility test.
Many women go through countless doctor appointments and long waiting periods to gain this information. Finding out what’s keeping you from becoming pregnant may be easier than you think with at-home tests. Of course, you may need to see a specialist eventually. Test results will usually recommend actionable next steps.
Understanding your risk factors for heart disease may be easier than visiting a cardiologist. Do you have a history of heart disease in your family? Or do you just want to know the state of your heart health for peace of mind? Then consider an at-home heart health test.
This test takes a comprehensive look at your heart health and offers insights on how you can prevent heart disease. The test measures things like total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and a number of other markers for evaluating heart disease.
At one time, taking any sort of medical test required — at the very least — making an appointment with your doctor. Now, getting answers to your medical questions can be easy, quick, and done right in the comfort of your own home. If you don’t feel like visiting the doctor for a health test, consider looking for an at-home version online. What you find may pleasantly surprise you.