What are some of the symptoms that I can be treated for?

Common symptoms which can be diagnosed and treated include:

  • Discharge through the urethra or vagina, which can be pus-like or watery
  • Burning sensation on passing urine
  • Urgency to pass urine and increased frequency. More frequent urination at night time
  • Ulcer or break in the continuation of the skin or mucus. Can be painful or painless
  • Swelling in the testes or vulva
  • Rash which can be red, flat or raised, itchy or non-itchy, painful or painless
  • Pain on intercourse or ejaculation
  • Bleeding in between periods and after intercourse
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty in penetration or pain on penetration
  • Pain in the vulva, clitoris or testicular area

Please see our STI pages for more information on each STI.

Are sexually transmitted infections common?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are extremely common. For example, 1 in 10 women in the age group 16 to 20 have a Chlamydia infection; 1 in 10 men in the age group of 20 to 24 have a Chlamydia infection; Syphilis has come back with a fifty-fold increase in its prevalence. More and more people are still getting infected with HIV, and in fact about 1 in 4 HIV-infected individuals do not know they have this infection. The incidence of Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, Hepatitis B and C have all increased in the last year. 1 in 5 sexually active people in the UK have Warts and the Herpes Type II virus, both of which can have long term effects.

Why get tested for an STI STD or HIV?

Many STIs are asymptomatic for long periods of time; in other words you are unaware you are infected in your day-to-day life. Because of this, perhaps the main reason people worry about having an STD is the risk of infecting another partner unknowingly.

However, serious additional medical risks also top the list of reasons to get tested. Among these potential consequences are:

Infertility (in both men and women)

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most important preventable causes of infertility. Moreover, other infections can increase the risk of miscarriage and pre-term pregnancy.

Increased Risk of Cancer (in both men and women)

  • Men with a history of Gonorrhoea are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • Persistent HPV (Genital Wart) infections are now recognized as the major cause of cervical cancer, and may play a role in some cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, penis and oropharynx.

Increased Risk of Other Infections, Especially HIV (in both men and women)

  • STIs are the primary risk factor in HIV transmission among heterosexuals. Individuals who are infected are at least two to five times more likely than uninfected individuals to acquire HIV infection if they are exposed to the virus through sexual contact.

Increased Risk of Mother to Child Transmission and Death or Disability to Your Baby

STIs can directly lead to the following adverse conditions in newborns:

  • Severe neurological damage, mental retardation or death.
  • Miscarriage, pre-term delivery.
  • Blindness, eye infections, pneumonia.
  • General deformities, delay in development, seizures.
How long does it take to get the test results?

Result times vary depending on your selected test or screen, but are usually ready within one to five working days from receipt of the sample by the laboratory.

Are STI tests always accurate?

No test for any infection is 100% accurate. Some infections do not show up right away. It could take an infection anywhere from a couple of days to a few months to show up in testing. But if you think you have a STI, get tested. You may have to go back again to get tested if you test negative. Even if you test negative, keep practicing safe sex. Talk to your health care provider about speaking with a counsellor if you have concerns.

When can I be seen for my test?

Once you have made your booking you can go to your choice of clinic whenever you like.

Why should I be treated for STI’s?

The answer is that most of the STIs do not present any signs or symptoms; however, they can have drastic consequences. For example Chlamydia when left untreated can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Men can have inflammation of the testes, prostate and suffer from infertility. Syphilis if left untreated can cause heart failure and mental health disorders in the long term. HIV can destroy your immune system and can result in opportunistic infections and cancers. It can even be fatal if not treated in a timely manner. Hepatitis B and C, over many years, can cause liver failure and may require a transplant.

Is all information confidential about my STI test?

Yes. Any information is treated as highly confidential and will not be shared with third parties. Furthermore, you can choose to provide a false name and/or receive an anonymous PIN number.

What should I do if I have a STI?

You should tell all sexual partner(s) who may have been exposed. Try to get them to get tested. If you feel that you cannot tell your partner(s), talk to your health care provider. He/she will help you to tell your partner(s) or will help you find another way to let your partner(s) know he/she has been exposed. You and your current sexual partner(s) need to get treated at the same time to prevent re-infecting each other. Make sure you follow your health care provider's directions on taking medications and make sure you finish all of the medicine prescribed, even if you feel better. Schedule a follow-up exam with your health care provider after you have finished treatment. Do not have sex again until your health care provider says you are cured. If you are concerned or upset about having an STI, think about getting counseling, we can help you to find a counsellor.