Does Blood Testing with LetsGetChecked Meet Minimum Expectations for Health Check-Ups?
Getting your blood tested can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can help you find risk factors for certain diseases and ensure that your organs are working properly. Yet, despite the benefits of blood testing, doing this through a doctor can be a major hassle.
It can be stressful to visit a lab in person, not to mention the extra costs involved. Your medical insurance may even block you from getting important blood testing done, so you can’t get time-sensitive information about your health.
LetsGetChecked offers an alternative way with a variety of at-home blood testing kits. Instead of going to a doctor, LetsGetChecked sends you a kit in the mail. All you need to do is provide a blood sample, send it off, and get your results back after a few days. You can get tests related to sexual health, women’s health, men’s health, and general wellness.
In a few short years, LetsGetChecked has gone from a startup in Dublin to opening offices and laboratories around the world. Over 270,500 tests have already been performed, including for some top UFC fighters such as T.J. Dillashaw, Anthony Pettis, and Michelle Waterson.
Top athletes might have benefitted from its services, but is LetsGetChecked the best company to handle your blood testing? The answer is going to depend on what you’re looking for in mail-order diagnostics.
At-home blood testing is becoming a crowded industry. Thriva, EverlyWell, and DirectLabs (requires a lab visit) offer similar services, so I’ll compare them in a few different areas.
LetsGetChecked is for those wanting a more practical way to get blood tested and those who want to improve their health. If you’re looking to diagnose a health issue and you’re open to getting advice from an expert health team, then LetsGetChecked may be the right fit for you.
Let’s dig into the detail.
A Quick Finger Prick for At-Home Test Results
No pain, no gain. To gain from LetsGetChecked’s health insights, you have to suffer the slight pain of pricking your finger. Here are the steps involved with submitting a blood sample for analysis:
- Order a blood test kit on the company website or pick one up at a participating pharmacy. Online orders ship in Europe, the USA, Canada, and the UAE. Some pharmacy chains such as CVS and Lloyds have a number of kits available for purchase. By comparison, Thriva is currently available only in the U.K. and Everlywell only tests in 47 US states.
- Track the status of your test online using your dashboard. You’ll receive an email when the test ships out to your address. And if you have questions about your order, the support team can provide shipment updates.
- Take delivery of the test kit, and ensure all items are inside. My kit contained instructions, a patient ID card, three lancets, a blood collection tube, Alcotip swabs, a plaster, wipes, a biohazard bag, and a return envelope.
- Fill out the lab sticker and activate your kit. The lab sticker is on the inside of the collection box. You’ll need to go to the LetsGetChecked website to create an account and activate your kit.
- Collect your sample using a lancet. Drink water, wash your hands, and clean your finger with the alcohol swab before the test. After pressing down on the tip of your finger with a lancet, use the collection tube to fill it up with drops of blood.
- Put your sample in the biohazard bag and send it back. The biohazard bag goes inside of the testing kit box your items arrived in. You can seal up the box in the return envelope that’s provided. Be sure to ship it out within 24 hours of providing the sample.
- Wait for your results to arrive in 2-5 days. You’ll receive an email notifying you that your results are ready to view online.
Why Can’t I Just Submit a Saliva Sample?
Since many DNA testing companies such as 23andMe and MyHeritage only require you to submit a saliva sample by spitting into a test tube, you might wonder why this one requires you to send in a blood sample instead. This is quite common among companies that test your current health (i.e., if you actually have a vitamin deficiency rather than being genetically predisposed to it) because blood is a better bodily fluid for detecting most health markers. Put simply, if you want accurate health testing in addition to inherited health risks and ancestry, you pretty much have to prick your finger.
If you’re not comfortable with taking a sample of your blood and sending it in, and if you’re happy to only know your predispositions to certain conditions (rather than your current health status), you could turn to MyHeritage or AncestryDNA instead. And you can get some good ancestry information, too.
5 Standout Features of LetsGetChecked
1. Comprehensive and Discreet STD tests
A LetsGetChecked kit bypasses a doctor’s visit and maintains your privacy by arriving in a plain envelope that gives no indication it’s for blood testing. Choose from four different STD tests that test for different combinations of:
- Herpes Simplex Virus I & II
2. Hormonal and Fertility Testing for Women
There’s a progesterone-ovulation test to tell you if you are ovulating normally, an ovarian reserve test that looks at how many eggs you have left in your ovaries, and a comprehensive female hormone test that looks at several fertility biomarkers.
3. Prostate and Testosterone Testing for Men
There’s a basic testosterone test and several male hormone tests that vary from basic to comprehensive. You can also order a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen for signs of prostate cancer in your blood.
4. Optimize Health with Wellness Testing
A range of tests is available to check your thyroid, liver, kidneys, and colon. Separate tests are available for diabetes, Lyme disease, and celiac disease. You will also find options for cortisol levels, cholesterol, C-reactive protein, iron, omega 3, and vitamin levels such as B12, D, and folate.
5. Expert One-to-One Advice with a Professional Nurse
You have the opportunity to discuss your results with a nurse over the phone with a nurse. Not only can the nurse give you guidance on improving your health, but they can give you a prescription for a number of conditions, including chlamydia and mycoplasma.
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Standard Data Backed by Professional Support
If you’re uncomfortable having an online company handle your blood testing, you can be confident about LetsGetChecked’s accreditations. The company has labs worldwide that are CLIA, CPA, INAB certified and CAP-accredited.
The dashboard provides an overview of personal details, including your age, weight, height, BMI, and more. This information comes from a questionnaire you are encouraged to complete when you create your account.
Results are typically available in two to five days. That’s slightly longer than DirectLabs, which gets results into your account within 24 hours for most tests. (But keep in mind, if you go with DirectLabs, you have to go into a lab and have your blood sample taken.)
Once your results are in, LetsGetChecked will notify you via email. You can access the reports in your password-protected account from your computer or phone.
Your health dashboard page shows your completed tests and the additional tests recommended for you. Selecting your results opens up a new page that gives the numbers for each biomarker tested. Expand each field for more information about your level versus the optimum level.
While the results page provides important general information, there’s less depth compared to competitors like Thriva. However, LetsGetChecked makes up for it by providing an option to connect with a real nurse.
You will also get a call from a nurse if certain tests that come back positive. You can schedule a time that works best for you, and the nurse can also answer any other questions at the same time.
Your LetsGetChecked dashboard can sync up with Garmin products.
Expensive Tests with Frequent Discounts
LetsGetChecked offers a wide range of tests at various price points, and you can save money by buying some tests together.
For example, the four tiers of STD testing start with a basic check of the two most common infections. From there, the prices go up for each additional check.
LetsGetChecked accepts payments via credit and debit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay.
Is LetsGetChecked worth the cost? Test prices are higher than some competitors such as DirectLabs, and DirectLabs currently has more tests on available. However, LetsGetChecked often has offers that make its prices more competitive.
It’s also worth noting that DirectLabs just gives you the numbers. You won’t get a call from a nurse to discuss your results, so you’ll have to see a doctor for further advice.
Friendly Support Team with Multiple Contact Methods
LetsGetChecked provides satisfactory customer support via multiple channels, including:
- An online contact form
- New York, Dublin, and Toronto telephone numbers
- Live chat via Intercom
- Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter
After filling out the contact form on the LetsGetChecked website, I received an email from the support team the following day. During our subsequent discussions, a support member always got back to me within 24 hours of my previous message.
Keen to try as many of the contact channels as I could, I turned to live chat for my next clarification. The live chat representative responded in less than five minutes, but — after a further follow-up — only to tell me that the answer to my question (about available screenshots) was “no”:
LetsGetChecked also has a Help Center that runs on the same platform (Intercom) that powers the live chat. While the Help Center looks appealing and organizes articles into clear and relevant categories, the posts are for pretty basic topics, like ordering tests or preparing a sample.
An Alternative, Reliable Blood Testing Solution
At-home blood testing has the potential to change health screenings. Whether it succeeds or fails depends on what gets sacrificed by not going to a doctor instead.
Whereas LetsGetChecked gives you direct access to a healthcare professional, competitors such as Thriva also provide health recommendations as a doctor’s note attached to your results.
The prices can add up, especially if you get checked regularly. At least LetsGetChecked covers the cost of shipping, which helps offset the price a little. Many tests are also packaged together to bring down the cost, and it offers promotions that drastically reduce your overall expenses.
LetsGetChecked is a viable alternative to getting your blood tested at a doctor’s office or clinic, providing you’re happy to prick your finger.
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How long does it take to receive your LetsGetChecked results?
LetsGetChecked provides an estimated time-frame that starts once the lab receives your sample. From there, results take about 2-5 business days to process.
Once your results are ready, they become available through your account. You will also receive an email notification to alert you that results are ready.
How much blood is required in a LetsGetChecked sample?
A sample requires an adequate amount of blood before you can ship it off to the lab for processing. There is an uppermost line marked with a 600 that you will need to fill up to at least.
If you are unable to reach the line on the first try, LetsGetChecked recommends using a new lancet on a different finger for the remaining difference.
How accurate is LetsGetChecked’s testing?
LetsGetChecked claims to perform tests in the same labs used by health professionals such as hospitals and clinics. Based on this, one can expect the accuracy of testing to be high.
Who are LetsGetChecked’s main competitors?
If providing a blood sample makes you squeamish or you wish to get ancestry testing as well, you can always consider other companies.
Provide a cheek swab through MyHeritage DNA instead and get 18 genetic risk reports and 18 carrier status reports. 23andMe also accepts a saliva sample and has tested ten million customers, offering a greater likelihood of DNA matches.
Who should consider taking a LetsGetChecked test?
More than likely, those who get tested by LetsGetChecked are seeking answers.
The service is great if you suspect you’re dealing with a sexually transmitted disease because the packaging that arrives in the mail is discreet. Additionally, if you’re looking for insights related to hormones specific to gender, there are tests geared specifically towards that.
At-Home STD Screening That Prioritizes Privacy
Going to your doctor for STD testing can feel painfully awkward; that’s why LetsGetChecked will mail you a testing kit to your front doorstep instead.
If you simply want to know whether you test positive or negative for common STDs and want to avoid the potential risk of embarrassment or judgment that can happen from an in-person doctor’s visit, LetsGetChecked offers an empowering path of least resistance.
But if you’re not expecting to pay a whole lot for confidential STD screening, will LetsGetChecked fit your needs when there are other cheaper and even free ways to get tested through government programs?
I researched LetsGetChecked and its sexual health tests to see how the company’s commitment to your privacy translates into benefits for you and, more importantly, whether it’s worth your hard earned money. I’ll also dive into each of the company’s sexual health tests and what you can expect the sample collection process and results to look like.
Is LetsGetChecked the best STD screening option for you? Can you trust the company to keep something as sensitive and important as your sexual health private? It’s time we take a closer look and find out.
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A Detailed Look at the Sexual Health Tests
LetsGetChecked has six different at-home STD testing packages, most of which cover a combination of common infections. I got to work researching each test to compile the following details:
- What STDs they cover
- What sample (or samples) you’ll need to provide
- When LetsGetChecked recommends you to take the test (since STDs aren’t always detectable right after exposure).
This test is the cheapest option and can detect two of the most common infections: chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Requires a urine sample only
- Take at least 2 weeks after potential exposure
The test is exactly the same as the Simple 2 except it can also detect trichomoniasis and costs a little extra.
On top of detecting the same infections that Basic 3 covers, the test also checks for HIV (I, II, P24 antigen) and syphilis. In addition, you’ll need to do a nearly painless finger prick for a blood sample and pay even more. According to LetsGetChecked, it’s the most popular test.
- Requires both blood and urine samples
- Take at least 4 weeks after potential exposure (or ideally 12 weeks after)
Here’s the most comprehensive and – you guessed it – priciest one of all. It covers all the infections Standard 5 does and even more: Gardnerella, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, and herpes simplex virus I and II. The test requires you to provide the same samples as Standard 5 and should be taken around the same timeline.
A test exclusively for detecting herpes simplex virus I and II, which serves as a cheaper alternative to Complete 10.
- Requires a blood sample only
- Take at least 12 weeks after potential exposure
Hepatitis B & C Test
The name of the test says it all, as it detects hepatitis B and C, which are two infections that take longer to become detectable.
- Requires a blood sample only
- Take at least 30 days after potential exposure
||Hepatitis B & C Test
|HIV (I, II, P24 antigen)
|Herpes Simplex Virus I & II
|Hepatitis B & C
Choose Your Test From LetsGetChecked Today!
Easy-To-Use Test…With a Catch
Your testing kit comes with clear instructions on how to collect a sample along with all of the items you’ll need to do it. The testing process is straightforward and relatively easy, but there’s a huge catch, summarized here in three points:
- You need to fast before the test
- You need to collect your sample(s) before 9 AM
- You need to ship the test back to LetsGetChecked the same day
Why do you have to send your sample back the same day? While tube samples contain a preservative liquid that keeps your sample fresh while in transit, LetsGetChecked wants to ensure that your sample reaches a lab in a timely manner. Here’s the good news: LetsGetChecked provides you with a return package, so you don’t have to pay more to send it back or spend time going to your post office.
Regardless of which test you choose, here’s a general overview of what the testing process looks like:
- Order your testing kit from LetsGetChecked
- Receive your testing kit wrapped in a plain envelope
- Register your kit using the unique patient ID card
- Collect your sample and ship back to LetsGetChecked the same day
- Receive your results online usually within 2 to 5 days
Now, let’s take a closer look at what the sample collection process looks like for each of the two methods:
- Use an alcohol wipe to sanitize your third or fourth finger on your non-dominant hand
- Once dry, press a lancet down on the end of your finger
- Squeeze blood drops from your finger into the collection tube
- Snap a lid onto the tube and turn it upside down 5 to 10 times to mix the contents
- Insert the tube into a biohazard bag
- Collect your sample using the urine collection box, which fills up a plastic lining on the inside
- Transfer urine collected from the box into the sample tube
- Snap a lid onto the tube
- Insert the tube into a biohazard bag
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5 Standout Features of LetsGetChecked
1. Anonymous Testing
To protect your privacy, LetsGetChecked assigns you a unique numerical code that’s included in your testing kit. The code serves as an ID that’s necessary for activating your test. Here’s why it’s so cool: The ID replaces your name, so you don’t have to worry about it being personally tied to your test as it goes through the process.
2. Nondescript Packaging and Billing
LetsGetChecked sends your testing kit in a plain envelope to attract as little attention as possible while in transit from its shipping facilities to your front door. There is no reference to LetsGetChecked on the outer packaging. Plus, LetsGetChecked adds confidentiality to your financial transactions too, with bank statements simply listed as “LGC Health Check.”
3. Registered Nurses Available 24/7
If you need to discuss your testing options or results with a healthcare professional, LetsGetChecked lets you speak with a registered nurse over the phone. With offices in Dublin and New York, nurses are available to address your questions and concerns around the clock. They can also offer treatment options depending on what test you choose and the outcome of your results.
4. Antibiotic Prescriptions For Positive Tests
If you receive a positive test, LetsGetChecked can provide you with treatment options depending on the STD. For six of the STDs screened, a nurse can prescribe antibiotics at no extra charge (the cost of the antibiotics will depend on your insurance). I wanted to know which STDs LetsGetChecked is able to write antibiotic prescriptions for, so I asked someone with the company’s support team (who told me the following over the phone):
5. Flexible Pricing With Tiered Testing Packages and Subscription Plans
Aside from its most comprehensive test, which screens for ten different STDs, LetsGetChecked offers three cheaper packages for less. If you’re looking for discounts of up to 30% in savings, you can choose a subscription plan for recurring tests every 3, 6, or 12 months. Plus, you can use FSA & HSA to pay for an order.
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Rapid Results That Are Clear and Straightforward
When it comes to your test results, LetsGetChecked does two things very well: Speed and presentation. First, let’s cover speed. Results are fast and take 2 to 5 days to show up in your account.
Now, on to the presentation. LetsGetChecked wants to give you the straight facts, which is refreshing for an STD test. Since I don’t want to scroll through background information about the infections – which, frankly, I can get from searching Google – LetsGetChecked tells you only what you need (and want) to know, which is whether you’ve tested positive or negative for any infections.
You can view your results in your account’s dashboard, which lists out the infections in a simple and easy-to-read format. Each infection has its own status that states one of two possibilities: ‘Detected’ or ‘Not Detected.’ That’s it, nothing fancy.
If you really want more information than that, you can always click a drop-down arrow on each infection. What you’ll find here is a history of any previous tests you took along with the date and results.
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A Reasonable Price to Pay for Privacy
Except for its Complete 10, LetsGetChecked offers very affordable STD testing packages. The starting price for its basic test is reasonable, and the cost increases for each test are minimal.
Although the Complete 10 has the most dramatic increase in price – at more than double the cost of Standard 5 – it’s also the most comprehensive option. The price tag is not completely unreasonable considering the level of privacy that comes with such a thorough STD screening.
No matter which test you pick, the shipping of testing kits to you is free (unless you pay for express). You also get a prepaid return envelope so you don’t have to worry about paying for shipping at any point in the process.
But how does LetsGetChecked compare to other companies such as Everlywell? First off, many of Everlywell’s individual tests check for only one STD. Secondly, while there are bundled STD testing packages – specific to male or female – they are more expensive. And if we simply compare the number of STDs the two companies test for overall, LetsGetChecked comes out on top.
Unfortunately, LetsGetChecked only accepts two payment methods at this time: credit/debit card and PayPal. It’s too bad considering there are other at-home testing companies that accept more payment options such as Apple Pay and Bitcoin.
Highly-Informative Support Team That Takes A Little Work to Get Ahold Of
In my other review of LetsGetChecked, I had success communicating with its support team on three contact methods: Email, live chat, and phone. But this time around, I only had success with one method while working on this review.
With questions for LetsGetChecked about how it prescribes antibiotics, I tried filling out a contact form on its website first. That same day I got an email with a ticket number for my case and an alert that LetsGetChecked was “experiencing a large volume of emails.” I believe it, because I never heard back from anyone!
I wanted to try the live chat option next (since it’s so fast and convenient), but I couldn’t find the option available for it anywhere. Later, when I asked a representative over the phone about it, they told me the live chat was currently down.
Using the only contact method left at my disposal, I got in touch with someone over the phone who was able to answer all of my questions about LetsGetChecked prescribing antibiotics and more (the representative was very patient and thorough in her responses).
You can also find answers to basic questions about its products and the ordering process on the website’s FAQs page.
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Improves Confidentially in STD Testing, but Not in All Areas
Getting tested for STDs is not always a relaxed or easy process, but LetsGetChecked makes a compelling case for the contrary. The company cares about your privacy and it really shows in the way it handles the testing process. Assuming you have the budget to pay for one of its testing kits, you won’t have to worry about the shipping materials or bank transactions tipping others off to your STD screening.
For some, however, the privacy may not be enough. After all, you still have to register and create an account on its website (where it asks for your name and address). Plus, in order to activate your test when it comes in the mail, LetsGetChecked requires you to provide a mobile number for verification. Of course, you also give up some of your confidentiality to an extent if you talk to a nurse on the phone (should you choose to exercise this feature).
Still, LetsGetChecked is a great way to find out if you test positive or negative for common STDs in what is, for the most part, a confidential process. Apart from the investment, it definitely beats going to a doctor’s office in person.
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Are LetsGetChecked tests accurate?
LetsGetChecked processes samples at labs that are CLIA certified and CAP accredited to make sure it complies with industry standards. On its website, LetsGetChecked claims to produce its testing kits at an ISO 13485 certified facility, which is an international regulation for making medical devices.
Is LetsGetChecked covered by insurance?
In addition to its available payment methods, LetsGetChecked also accepts payment from either a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) for orders. If in doubt, you can always check with your healthcare provider directly to see if they offer any coverage for at-home STD testing. It’s worth checking in case a healthcare provider may be able to reimburse you for part of your purchase with LetsGetChecked.
Is LetsGetChecked legit?
You can rest easy knowing that LetsGetChecked is reliable and professional when it comes to its at-home testing options. Plus, the company continues to adapt according to customers’ needs, and has a coronavirus test available for purchase on its website.
How long do LetsGetChecked results take?
Results are quick and usually take 2 to 5 business days before they’re available in your account. It’s important to note that LetsGetChecked recommends that you avoid collecting and sending samples on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday so that it can reach a lab for processing in time.
Does LetsGetChecked send tests in discreet packages?
LetsGetChecked sends your testing kit in a plain envelope so that no one knows what’s inside. Intended to protect your privacy, this feature ensures there are no clues on the packaging related to testing.
Is LetsGetChecked confidential?
For the most part, yes. You still need to create an account online and provide your mobile phone number to activate a testing kit. Otherwise, LetsGetChecked uses a patient ID code instead of your name to track its tests.