Researchers are hopeful that doctors will soon be able to diagnose STD infections in teenage girls with a simple urine test, avoiding the immediate need for more complication pelvic exams.
Lead study author Dr. Mary-Ann Shafer of the University of California – San Francisco noted, “We know from earlier research that as many as one-third of adolescent girls and women avoid screening for STDs because they fear the embarrassment and pain of a pelvic exam. So in the real world, urine tests will detect more cases of asymptomatic STDs.”
Researchers compared a simple urine test to traditional STD tests employing a pelvic exam and found that the urine test was highly effective in detecting chlamydia and gonorrhea, two common sexually-transmitted infections.
Researchers noted that women still need pelvic exams to detect diseases like cervical cancer. Since teens’ risk for these diseases is extremely low, a urine test may be a viable alternative for them.