Even under the best circumstances, many of us do not relish going to a doctor’s office, especially during cold and flu season. And as we struggle to get the COVID-19 pandemic numbers under control, seeing our healthcare provider can prove to be even more complicated and stressful (not to mention expensive). Making sure to wear a mask, calling ahead, waiting in the parking lot to be called in and filling out a questionnaire to make sure that we can enter the office, although all necessary measures, can make it all the more challenging.
For a variety of reasons — COVID-19 exposure, rising healthcare costs, inadequate insurance coverage, or simply convenience — a growing number of people strongly prefer to take at-home medical test kits whenever possible. For serious medical conditions such as high cholesterol, COVID-19 or HIV, it’s important to talk with your physician about your vulnerability. However, even for these serious problems, at-home test kits can still be an important step in protecting your health. Fortunately, the best at-home medical test kits let you test yourself at home for these diseases.
Below, we’ve gathered some of the best at-home medical test kits available for purchase online, from simple genetic test kits that let you explore your family tree to fast and effective coronavirus testing. As with any medical issue, you should talk to a doctor to answer any questions or discuss potential treatment options related to your test results.
COVID-19 Home Test Kits
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to get tested for COVID-19 than it was in the early days of the pandemic. Now, you can get tested at urgent care clinics and other local health clinics, and the rapid result tests deliver a positive or negative result in minutes. In addition, there are a number of at-home coronavirus test kits that can deliver accurate results. Unlike a pregnancy test, you will need to send in your results to a medical lab for testing. However, you can usually get results in as little as 48 to 72 hours. Because the test is self-administered at home, you will limit your exposure to COVID-19.
If you’re interested in a home coronavirus test, contact the public health agencies in your region. Some of these tests may still require a prescription from your doctor, while others can be purchased online. Remember to follow all CDC guidelines if you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus. Until you receive test results, assume that you have the virus to avoid infecting others.
EverlyWell At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
EverlyWell also offers an at-home COVID-19 test kit. In order to be eligible for getting the kit, you will need to answer an online questionnaire. Once the lab has received the sample of your nasal swab, you will have your results within 24-72 hours. Test takers must be 18 years of age or older.
Family Planning Tests
The family planning process often involves lots of testing. Couples dealing with fertility issues may need to take many pregnancy tests and use tools like ovulation trackers on their journey to parenthood. You can buy fast and accurate at-home pregnancy tests at any drug store, but there are also services that let you purchase pregnancy tests online.
Stix At-Home Medical Test Kits
Trying to get pregnant may sometimes require a little extra info, and that is where an ovulation test may come in handy. It will let you know which 12-48 hours your girlfriend or wife is most fertile. While there are quite a few brands available to purchase at your local pharmacy or supermarket, Stix offers you the opportunity to buy them discreetly through the mail and get a discount if you choose to subscribe.
Plus, while you can order a pregnancy test from the brand separately, you can also pair it with the ovulation test. You’ll get seven ovulation tests and two pregnancy tests in each kit.
If you feel bloated, gassy, have a headache or diarrhea shortly after having a meal, you may just be intolerant to certain foods. While it is less intense than having an allergy, it can still make you feel miserable. In the past, identifying food sensitivities and allergies would require an expensive visit to the doctor’s office. In the age of constantly rising healthcare costs, many people are looking for a more economical and convenient solution.
Fortunately, you can now order food sensitivity test kits online.
EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Tests
EverlyWell’s at-home test analyzes your body’s immune response to 96 foods, which can help you to decide which ones you want to eliminate or limit in your diet. EverlyWell also carries other at-home medical tests that measure your B-12, folate, and testosterone levels and others that check you for Lyme disease or if you have the high-risk genotype for cervical cancer.
DNA and Genetic Testing
When scientists fully mapped the human genome, it opened up exciting new possibilities in the world of research, medicine and public health. Today, with a simple mouth swab you can unlock your own DNA and discover interesting facts about your ancestry. However, at-home DNA kits don’t just let you map out your family tree. They can also reveal distant relatives, recessive genetic disorders and health vulnerabilities.
There are a number of companies that offer DNA test kits (you can even order at-home DNA kits for the family dog), and we’ve included some of our favorites below.
23andMe DNA Kits
It’s incredible how much information is contained in our saliva, and that is how 23andMe is able to identify traits that you may have, like a cleft chin. It looks at variants and genetic markers to examine your predispositions for conditions such as heart disease and migraines. You can also determine if you are a carrier for conditions like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Tay-Sachs disease, useful information if you plan to have a family. Plus, you can gain insight into how your body processes medications.
Ancestry.com, which is synonymous with helping people trace the heritage, now offers similar health testing services as 23andMe. With more than 40,000 reviews on Amazon, the AncestryDNA kit can help you better understand the evolutionary path of your ancestors. In addition, the AncestryDNA test kit can offer insights into your health, physical traits and genetic predispositions.
At-Home STI & HIV Test Kits
It is never easy or fun waiting for the results of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) test. (Previously, STIs were called sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, but the term STI is now more commonly used by healthcare professionals.) Taking an STI test in the privacy of your home can remove some of the angst involved. Just like an in-office test, the at-home version requires a urine or blood sample or a vaginal, rectal, or oral swab. There are a few different companies that offer STD testing kits, and the best at-home medical test kits for STIs offer fast, discreet and accurate results so you can make informed decisions about your sexual health.
Lets Get Checked
This company makes some of the best at-home medical test kits for STIs and sexual health. Let’s Get Checked makes the process easy and offers fast, confidential results. And since you are collecting your own sample, you want to be extra careful to follow the directions to avoid false positive or negative results. Lets Get Checked can turn your results around in 2-5 days for common STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, herpes simplex virus-1 and -2, HIV, HPV, mycoplasma, syphilis, trichomoniasis and ureaplasma. If you test positive, Lets Get Checked offers a phone consultation with a healthcare provider.
OraQuick HIV Home Test Kits
If you are only interested in testing for HIV, you can pick up OraQuick at your local pharmacy or order online. It was approved by the FDA in 2012 and uses saliva to detect HIV antibodies in your body. For best results, you should wait for three months after suspected exposure before testing. You should be able to attain results within just 20-40 minutes. If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, you should also inform your primary care physician as soon as possible.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Are you trying to avoid your upcoming colonoscopy? Then we’ve got bad news for you. While there are now at-home test kits for some types of colon cancer, you should still plan on scheduling a colonoscopy once you turn 50. One day, the best at-home medical test kits may replace the dreaded outpatient procedure, but we’re not quite there yet.
However, in certain circumstances, your physician may recommend taking an at-home colon cancer screening test.
Once again, while this test doesn’t negate the need for a colonoscopy, especially in high-risk patients, Cologuard can screen adults 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. It examines your stool sample for 10 DNA markers and blood. This is a vital test as American adults younger than 50 are seeing an uptick in the incidence of colon cancer. The sample is sent back with a prepaid UPS label and box. Your healthcare provider will contact you in about two weeks with the results. Unlike some other at-home medical test kits, your insurance may cover Cologuard testing, and most insured patients won’t have to pay anything at all.
Fecal Immunochemical Tests
Another non-invasive test for colon cancer is the Fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which screens for unseen blood in the stool from the lower intestines from polyps or other sources. Your results are ready in just five minutes. One popular test is the Second Generation FIT kit, which can be purchased online.
Cholesterol Test Kits
High cholesterol is one of the most common health problems facing older Americans. As a result, there are a number of high quality at-home medical test kits available for this condition. Because heart disease is one of the most lethal diseases in the world, it’s important to stay on top of your cholesterol levels as you age. The best cholesterol home test kits can give you initial results in just three minutes. Be sure to talk to your physician about the results, no matter what they are.
EverlyWell Heart Health Tests
With a simple pinprick, you can find out your cholesterol levels by using the EverlyWell cholesterol and lipids test. The Health Health Test measures your total cholesterol, High-Density Lipoproteins (aka the good cholesterol), Low-Density Lipoproteins (aka the bad bad cholesterol), and Triglycerides. One of the best at-home medical test kits for older Americans, this test can help you understand your risk of heart disease.