It’s often wrongly assumed that sexual health testing is only for people who have had numerous sexual partners. But just one encounter with one partner can expose anyone to an STI. Meaning if you’ve had unprotected sex with someone who was already sexually active, and that includes mishaps where the condom may have split or came off, then getting tested is always a good idea.
As most STIs show no symptoms whatsoever, it’s possible to live with an infection for years without ever realising. Considering that all it takes to treat the majority of STIs is a short course of antibiotics, and reinfection can be easily prevented by practising safe sex using a condom, it’s just not worth the risk.
Put your mind at ease
Even if you think you’re at low risk of contracting an STI, it’s worth getting checked out just in case. There’s absolutely no reason to feel embarrassed about getting tested. You can rest assured that the healthcare professional you speak to conducts sexual health consultations on a regular basis, aims to be non-judgemental and will keep all information confidential.
You can obtain a variety of STI tests and STI treatments through the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. You will have to answer a series of questions containing multiple-response questions that you can answer from desktop, mobile or tablet. Once you’re finished, our clinicians will review your responses and if suitable, a STI test kit will be sent out in discreet packaging.
Take an STI test in the comfort of your home
It’s quick and easy to use a home testing kit. They save you the hassle of booking an appointment and taking time off work, meaning that you’ll be able to get your results and take the appropriate action in no time. Depending on the kind of test, all you’ll need to do is a simple swab, urine sample or finger-prick blood test. Then, you’ll just send off your sample in the freepost pack provided and keep an eye out for your results – you’ll receive them in 3 working days.
If you test positive, there’s no need to worry. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor also offer treatments for chlamydia, genital warts or genital herpes.
Spotting the STI symptoms
Although most STIs are symptomless – which is why it’s so important to get tested – there are a few exceptions. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you need to head to your local sexual health clinic or GP to be checked out by a healthcare professional.
- Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus
- Pain during sex or urination
- Sores, blisters, ulcers, warts or rashes in the genital area
- Itchiness or irritation in the genital area
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Fever or flu-like symptoms
- Abnormal or unusual vaginal bleeding, especially after having sex
- Pain in the scrotum or testicles
- Lumps and bumps on the genitals
- Abdominal pain
Don’t forget that these symptoms aren’t exclusive to STIs. They could be indicative of a number of conditions and infections, so it’s really important to speak to a healthcare professional. They’ll be able to diagnose you, and help you get the treatment you need. Whether you choose to visit your local clinic or opt for a home testing kit, you’ll be able to get checked out in no time and, should you require treatment, more often than not a simple course of antibiotics is all that’s needed to give you peace of mind.