STI Testing: What Does It Mean When Results Are Inconclusive?

STI Testing: What Does It Mean When Results Are Inconclusive?

Have you received inconclusive results on an STI test and your mind has instantly jumped to the worst possible outcome? Don't worry, you're in the right place. In this article, we will explain the meaning of inconclusive results, why they occur, and hopefully put your mind at ease.

Does an inconclusive result mean positive?

No, inconclusive results do not necessarily mean a positive diagnosis. An inconclusive result means that the test was unable to give you a definitive answer as to whether or not you have an STI (or any other infection you may have been testing for). If you have received an inconclusive result, you should get tested again.

What is the cause of an inconclusive result?

The reason you have received an inconclusive test result can be down to a variety of factors. The most common is that the sample you provided was not of sufficient quantity or quality and the lab was unable to analyse it properly. You are required to fill the blood and urine sample tubes when taking an iPlaySafe home STI test. Without sufficient samples (for example, if you only put two drops of blood in the sample tube) the lab is unable to perform the tests required.

Another reason for this result may be that you have taken the test during the STI window period. The window period is the time after exposure to an STI, during which it may not show up on a test. The window period for every STI is different, and it can range from a few days to a few weeks. In this case, you may be infected but the test results show up inconclusive (or even negative) as your body has not yet developed the antibodies required to detect the infection during a test.

Other causes of an inconclusive result could be cross-reactivity from a previous infection or vaccination, improper storage or handling of the sample, or that the test used was not sensitive enough to detect the virus. In some cases, an inconclusive result may mean that a different type of test needs to be used.

It is important to understand that an inconclusive STI test result is not a diagnosis and doesn't mean that you are necessarily infected. It simply means that the test was unable to confirm or deny an infection. 

What to do if you receive an inconclusive result

Talk to your testing provider to determine if you should get retested. If you took your test through iPlaySafe, please contact us and we will investigate the cause of your result and advise on the next steps. 

If you are looking for a home STI test, you can buy one here

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