About Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are usually spread through person-to-person sexual contact. There are more than 30 different types and they can have serious and long-lasting consequences:
- an untreated ulcerative or non-ulcerative STI (those which cause ulcers or those which do not) increases the risk of both getting and passing on HIV
- infection with certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to the development of genital cancers, particularly cervical cancer in women
- they can cause of infertility, particularly in women – between 10% and 40% of women with untreated chlamydial infection develop symptomatic pelvic inflammatory disease – post-infection tubal damage is responsible for 30% to 40% of cases of female infertility and women who have had pelvic inflammatory disease are 6 to 10 times more likely to develop an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
- untreated STIs are associated with congenital and perinatal infections in newborns
- in pregnant women with untreated early syphilis, 25% of pregnancies result in stillbirth and 14% in neonatal death
- up to 35% of pregnancies among women with untreated gonococcal infection result in spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries and up to 10% of perinatal deaths
- if left untreated, 30% to 50% of infants born to mothers with gonorrhoea and up to 30% of infants born to mothers with chlamydia will develop a serious eye infection (ophthalmia neonatorum), which can lead to blindness.
If you’re worried, think you might have an STI, have recently been exposed to the risk of an STI, or wish to discuss screening, testing and treatment you should do so now as early advice, testing and treatment is vital.
Signs and Symptoms
The following signs and symptoms may be present after an STI but remember that most are silent:
• Urethral discharge
• Genital ulcers
• Inguinal swellings (bubo, which is a swelling in the groin)
• Lower abdominal pain
• Painful intercourse
• Scrotal swelling (men)
• Vaginal discharge (women)
• Neonatal eye infections (newborn)
Ways to Prevent Them
There are several ways of preventing infection:
- always practice safe sex (oral, vaginal and anal sex) or choose to abstain from sex
- male latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in reducing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections including gonorrhoea, chlamydial infection and trichomoniasis
- when embarking on a new relationship, consider screening for STIs before starting any sexual activity
- have sex only within a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner
You can choose to visit our clinic for testing or order a kit online to complete at home. You can also choose to receive your results via confidential text or email if you’d prefer.
- High Vaginal Swab50.00A vaginal swab test (using a speculum) to test for candida, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and other sexually transmitted infections.
- STI Urine PCR Test Kit160.00A simple urine test kit (for home DIY use ) – a urine sample to test for 7 common sexually transmitted infections
- STI Blood Test100.00A blood test kit (home DIY) – fingerprick blood test for 4 common sexually transmitted infections (HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis)
- STI Combined Test250.00A combined home test DIY kit (a urine sample and a finger prick blood test) for 11 common sexually transmitted infections
- Private PrescriptionPrivate prescriptions are available from £30.00
Screening and Treatment for STIs
It is now possible to screen for many of the common STIs and then prescribe effective treatments.
Urine Test Kits will screen for:
- Herpes Simplex I/II
Blood Test Kits will screen for:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C