Protect the health of your female patients: knowing whom to screen for STIs

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise,1 making screening your female patients even more essential. Leading health organizations recommend universal screening for all women under the age of 25 and for women ages 25 and older who are at increased risk.2,3 Yet, research suggests that patient discomfort and lack of time may be barriers to identifying risk and screening accordingly.4

Know the facts: STIs on the rise

STIs remain a major public health challenge in the US, especially among women, who are disproportionately affected.5

  • ~2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the US in 2017, surpassing the record set in 20161
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea are often asymptomatic in women6,7
  • Left untreated, STIs may result in pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility or ectopic pregnancy8
 
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Identifying high-risk female patients

Guidelines recommend screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas for sexually active women ages 25 and older if at increased risk for infection.2,3 The US Preventive Services Task Force identifies the following risk factors.3

  • Inconsistent condom use among patients not in mutually monogamous relationships
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Previous or coexisting STI
  • A new sex partner
  • A sex partner with concurrent partners
  • Exchanging sex for money or drugs
 
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Asking the right questions to identify risk

Assessing risk starts with knowing your patient’s history, but this can be uncomfortable and/or time-consuming. Below are 3 key questions that may help you collect the appropriate patient sexual history.

  • Do you use condoms: never, sometimes, or always?
  • In the past 12 months, how many partners have you had sex with?
  • Have you ever had an STI? Has a partner had an STI?

For more information, tune in for our webinars and hear from Dr Stephanie Taylor, medical director at the LSU-CrescentCare Sexual Health Center and an expert in STIs.

 
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Know when It’s Best to Test

The It’s Best to Test program from Quest Diagnostics can help your office get started with a routine chlamydia and gonorrhea screening protocol for females under the age of 25.

  • Young women ages 15–24 are most at risk for STIs, but don’t want to feel singled out1*
  • Guidelines recommend chlamydia and gonorrhea screening of all sexually active females under 253,9-12
  • Because early infection is often asymptomatic, these women may have an infection and not know it1
  • It’s Best to Test helps you easily integrate screening into your practice for your female patients under the age of 25, providing both patient materials and a variety of testing options

*Positive results may need to be reported to the authorities under applicable law.

 
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Zero in on risk with comprehensive screening

Quest Diagnostics is dedicated to providing you with the information and tools you need to protect the reproductive health of your female patients.

Test Name

Test Code

CPT Code

Chlamydia Trachomatis/Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA*

11363(X)

87491, 87591

SureSwab®, CT/NG, T. vaginalis

16492

87491, 87591, 87661

SureSwab®, Trichomonas vaginalis RNA, Qualitative, TMA

19550

87661

*Panel components can be ordered separately: 11361, Chlamydia RNA, TMA, Urogenital (CPT: 87491) and 11362, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA, TMA, Urogenital (CPT: 87591)

The CPT codes provided are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payer being billed.

Identify and care for your high-risk female patients

Learn more about STI risk and solutions that can help you and your patients.

 

Read STI conversation starter flyer

 

Read It's Best to Test brochure

 

Read It's Best to Test patient tear pad

 

Connect with us today, and a Quest sales representative will be in touch

Address your patients’ needs efficiently

In addition to a comprehensive STI test menu, Quest also offers:

Extensive plan coverage—Quest is an in-network, national lab provider with most major health plans, helping you streamline practice workflow

Quanum Lab Services Manager—order supplies and specimen pick-up with just a few clicks

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New CDC analysis shows steep and sustained increased in STDs in recent years [press release]. August 28, 2018. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015 sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. June 4, 2015. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  3. US Preventive Services Task Force. Final recommendation statement chlamydia and gonorrhea: screening. September 23, 2014. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  4. Quest Diagnostics. Drivers and barriers to testing at-risk women for STIs: full report. December 2018.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How STDs impact women differently from men. January 2018. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chlamydia: detailed fact sheet. October 4, 2016. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gonorrhea: detailed fact sheet. October 26, 2016. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)—CDC fact sheet. December 11, 2015. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  9. American Academy of Pediatrics. Bright futures: guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents, 4th Edition. 2017.
  10. American Academy of Family Physicians. Summary of recommendations for clinical preventive services. July 2017. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Which STD tests should I get? June 30, 2014. Accessed here March 29, 2019.
  12. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. December 2016. Accessed here March 29, 2019.