STI-testing is recommended for everyone who is sexually active. Health professionals recommend that STI testing be done every year if you are in a stable monogamous relationship, and every six months if you are not.
Many infections cause no symptoms, especially in the early stages, but they can still cause irreversible damage, such as infertility.
Procedures for STI-testing and important instructions
The healthcare professional will ask you to either urinate in a cup (if you have a penis) or instruct you how to use a swab (if you have a vagina). The test is private, easy, painless and takes approximately two minutes.
For a urine test, you must wait one hour without urinating before the test.
Do not use vaginal creams or lubes for 24 hours before the appointment.
If you have a menstrual period, book your appointment between your menstrual periods. But if you have symptoms, don't delay your visit!
A blood test is used to detect these STIs. We do not draw blood tests at Health Services. The healthcare professional will provide you with a blood test requisition and inform you of the nearest test centres covered by your insurance (RAMQ, other Canadian province or international). Test results will automatically be sent to Health Services.
There are no screening tests that are routinely used for these STIs. A doctor can confirm a diagnosis if you have signs (e.g., sores or warts). However, it is possible for infected individuals to transmit these STIs by skin-to-skin contact when they have no visible symptoms.
During an STI-testing appointment, you can talk to the nurse or doctor about any concerns regarding safer sex. They can provide information on birth control choices and give you a prescription if necessary. You can also discuss vaccines like Gardasil for HPV and Engerix for Hepatitis B, which help prevent STIs.
Getting informed about healthy sexuality, safer sex, and STIs is another way to stay healthy, so check out the Sexual health & safer sex section of our website!
A Pap test is a procedure where a sample of cells is taken through the vagina from the cervix to be tested. A Pap test is used to screen for precancerous conditions of the cervix and cervical cancer.
If you are sexually active and 21 years old and older, you should have a Pap test every one to three years, depending on your risk factors.
Prepare for your Pap test
Avoid having the test during menstruation (during your period). For best results, the test should be done in the middle of your cycle, 10 to 20 days after the first day of the menstrual period.
Avoid sexual intercourse for 24 hours before the test.
Avoid vaginal medications or contraceptive (spermicidal) creams, foams or gels for 48 hours before the test.
Visit ClicSanté to book an appointment for your tests. Choose the option BLOOD TESTS AND SPECIMENS in the drop down menu.
Even though you will get the message: "ONLY valid coverage with the Quebec Health Insurance plan (RAMQ) will be accepted", any other VALID provincial health card will be accepted.
To avoid any fees or complications, we advise to select one of the following sites: Montreal General Hospital, St-Mary's Hospital, or CLSC Metro (use postal code H3G 1M8 to facilitate your search).
For patients who are less familiar with the web:
Call 514-934-8228 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, and an agent will help you book your appointment.
Call 514-866-6146 to book an appointment for your tests OR Book online at Biron Labs.
Getting your test results
Your test results will be sent to Health Services from the lab, and you will need to book an appointment with Health Services to review your results. A health professional can help you understand your results and decide on your next steps. Please note that Health Services does not provide test results by phone.
At your testing appointment, you can find out how long the results typically take, and then call the clinic to book an appointment.
In addition to meeting with Health Services, some patients can also check their results online:
Patients with Blue Cross insurance can get their results on the Biron platform: when you do a test, you will get a link by email from Biron.
There is no online option for out-of-province patients: you will need to book an appointment at Health Services to get your results.
Some private testing centres also provide results by email.
Note that HIV results are not posted online or given by phone: you must see your health professional.
Getting the results of your medical tests is as important as getting the tests done! The health professional who ordered the test will tell you how long it takes for the results to come in. Book an appointment with the person who ordered it to discuss your results. Results will not be given over the phone.
If the doctor asked you to book an appointment, it is because the reason can wait until the appointment.
Health Services can provide you with a requisition for blood tests. You will go to a nearby centre to have your blood sample taken. Blood test results are sent to Health Services and reviewed by the health professional who ordered the test.