Sexual Health

If you’re worried at all about any symptoms or potential exposure to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) then we can help you quickly and discretely. Or you may just want peace of mind and have a regular screening test.

We frequently provide same day test results and if there is an infection, can offer treatment for the common infections.

A confidential service which helps take away the anxiety and hassle of testing and treatment.

Getting tested is very important to protect your health and that of your loved ones.

 

Book a Sexual Health Consultation

Please book a consultation with one of the team and we will help you choose the right test for you. The consultation is £30 with testing fees in addition.

For same day results, please book in the morning and click the button below.

Your test may involve a urine sample, blood test and/or swab.

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Safe, private clinic

Our beautiful award-winning clinic is in the centre of Winchester and we look forward to welcoming you. Keeping you and others safe is our priority so please do wear a mask if you’re unwell. Your testing requirements are completely confidential.

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Trained clinicians

Your appointment will be with a trained and knowledgeable clinician in one of our private consultation rooms. You can be assured there will be no judgement and we will listen sensitively to your concerns.

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Testing

Your urine, blood and/or swab will be sent by private courier to one of our specialist partner laboratories. Results are normally available same day and always next day. Results by text, phone or email.

Our STI service

There are many different Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). We have tests for a comprehensive range of infections. Our clinicians will help you decide which tests to choose.

Whether you are worried about a recent incident, or just want peace of mind, we will have the right screens and tests for you. We will get you your results quickly, and will help you with any treatment you need if you do test positive.

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About the Sexual Health Consultation

Your clinician will take you into the private consultation room and explore your concerns and any symptoms. They will also discuss the time from exposure to testing, and what will happen if the test is positive.

Once you have agreed which test to have, you will be asked to produce some urine, have a blood test or, in some cases, a swab.

You may know what test you want, such as a full screen, in which case we can fast-track to the testing.

Common infections - Chlamydia

What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a type of bacteria that can infect various regions of the body in both men and women, including the penis, vagina, anus and throat.

What are the signs and symptoms of chlamydia?

Approximately 80% of women and 50% of men will have no symptoms or early signs of a Chlamydia infection. This makes it difficult to tell whether an individual is infected or not. However, some people do get symptoms, which may include:

  • Burning or painful sensation when urinating in both men and women
  • Vaginal discharge or “mucus” coming out of the vagina, back pain, unusual pain during sex and bleeding between periods in women
  • Penile discharge or “mucus” coming out of the penis, inflamed or swollen testicles and/or discomfort around the tip of the penis in men.

What are the risks if chlamydia is left untreated?

Chlamydia can be very harmful, so it is important to get tested regularly.

Chlamydia is one of the most important preventable causes of infertility.

If left untreated, Chlamydia can permanently damage the sexual organs leading to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men. In women, it can infect the cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina) and urinary tract. In men, it can infect the urinary tract causing swelling or inflammation of the testicles.

In pregnant women, Chlamydia can lead to increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and potentially fatal tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. If the baby is exposed to the infection during delivery, he or she could suffer from an eye infection or pneumonia; therefore, it is important to get tested.

How do we test for chlamydia?

Our usual test for Chlamydia is with a urine sample but we can also test you with a swab from your throat, anus or vagina, if you choose (we also test for Gonorrhoea at the same time).

The results of the urine test are available the same day if the appointment is in the morning.

How is chlamydia treated?

Chlamydia can be treated with a short course of antibiotics which we can prescribe for you in the clinic. To cure Chlamydia completely, the antibiotic treatment usually takes seven days. During this time, the infection could still be passed during unprotected sex, even when symptoms have disappeared.

You may want to consider having a repeat Chlamydia test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she/they may also need to get tested.

Common infections - Gonorrhea

What is gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea, also referred to as ‘the clap’, is one of the fastest-growing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK, caused by a bacterium (pathogenic microbe) called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. Gonorrhoea can be transmitted during sexual activity, even without ejaculation.

How can we get gonorrhea?

Gonorrhoea is highly contagious and can be transmitted through sexual contact with the vagina, mouth, penis or anus of an infected person. Gonorrhoea can live in the throat and rectum of both men and women, as well as in the testes, penis and semen of males and the vagina of females.

What are the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea?

Gonorrhoea can be a major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women. In men, it can cause inflammation of the testicles and prostate. Signs of Gonorrhoea are typically mild or non-existent, especially in the first few days after the infection.

However, 5−30 days after sexual contact with an infected person, symptoms will start to appear, differing slightly between men and women, and may include:

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Painful bowel movement
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis
  • In women: yellowish discharge from the vagina and/or vaginal bleeding
  • In men: painful or swollen testicles and/or unusual white, yellow or green discharge from the penis.

We usually ask for a urine sample to test for gonorrhea with results back the same day if your appointment is in the morning.

What are the risks of having gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a highly preventable cause of infertility, especially since most infected women show no symptoms until their fertility is affected. If left untreated, it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which can lead to infertility and potentially fatal ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

Pregnant women with the infection can have higher rates of miscarriage, infection of the amniotic sac and fluid and preterm birth. Mothers can transmit the bacteria to their unborn child during pregnancy or labour, which might lead to eye infections and blindness if left untreated.

Men with an untreated infection are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Untreated Gonorrhoea can lead to an increased risk of getting other STIs, such as HIV. Therefore, it is important to get tested and treated to cure this infection.

How can gonorrhea be treated?

Gonorrhoea is usually treated with a course of antibiotics which can completely clear the infection. Its is recommended that all people with gonorrhoea are referred to a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic or other local specialist sexual health service for management.

You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should abstain from sexual intercourse until you finish your treatment. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.

Common infections - Herpes

What is Herpes?

Herpes is a very common and highly infectious disease that is caused by two closely related viruses: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

  • HSV-1 infections, or oral Herpes, are more common than those caused by HSV-2 and result in the formation of fever blisters or cold sores, especially around the mouth and lips.
  • HSV-2 infections, or genital Herpes, result in the formation of sores, usually around the genitals or rectum. Although HSV-2 infection may be caught around the mouth through oral sex, it is more commonly found below the waist.

How can we catch Herpes?

Herpes can be transmitted through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal contact with an infected individual. This contact can be sexual or non-sexual. HSV-1 is often spread by kissing, which is why it is very common. You are at a higher risk of catching either one of the two viruses when the person you come into contact with (sexually or non-sexually) has blisters or sores than it is when there are no visible symptoms.

You cannot get Herpes from sharing objects such as towels, cutlery or cups because the virus dies very quickly when it is away from the skin.

You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should abstain from sexual intercourse until you finish your treatment. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.

What are the signs and symptoms of Herpes?

Oral and genital Herpes infections often have no symptoms or mild symptoms that can either go unnoticed or be mistaken for other types of bacterial or fungal infections, in both men and women. Occasionally, the virus may be present with no visible signs and can still be passed on, by a process called ‘asymptomatic viral shedding’.

Symptoms of oral Herpes include painful blisters or open sores (ulcers) in or around the mouth, preceded by a tingling, itching or burning sensation around the mouth. Symptoms of genital Herpes include having one or more genital or anal blisters or open sores (ulcers), preceded by fever, body aches and swollen lymph nodes when contracting the virus for the first time. The first episode or outbreak is usually the most severe with later outbreaks (recurrence) becoming milder and less frequent with time.

Recurrent symptoms are almost always on visible skin. Sores inside the vagina or anus are usually only present as part of a primary infection and are unlikely to accompany a recurrence.

How can Herpes be tested?

We have three ways of testing for the Herpes virus:

  • Blood Test – if you have no symptoms
  • Urine Test – if you currently have symptoms
  • Swab Test – if you have a blister or other lesion for swabbing to see if it is caused by HSV.

You can choose your test method: urine or a swab if you have symptoms, and blood if you do not. Results are available usually the same day if the appointment is in the morning. The test will tell you whether you have HSV-1, HSV-2, both types or neither.

Risks associated with Herpes

If you have symptoms for Herpes, the use of condoms might not protect your sexual partner from getting the virus from your infected areas that are not covered by the condom. Therefore, it is advised to abstain from sex if you have symptoms.

Neonatal Herpes can occur in rare cases (1 in 10,000 births worldwide) and might lead to lasting neurologic disability or even death of the infant. Pregnant women who get their first viral infection during late pregnancy are at a higher risk of acquiring the disease than those infected prior to pregnancy.

The symptoms and pains associated with recurrence of Herpes might lead to psychological distress, which could negatively affect the quality of life and sexual relationships of infected individuals.

If Herpes is left untreated, there is an increased risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

What happens if you test positive for Herpes?

Since the virus stays in the nerves surrounding the infected area permanently, there is no cure to eliminate the virus from the body. However, there are many treatments which are very effective at reducing both the severity and frequency of any outbreaks.

We can write a prescription for anti-viral treatment if appropriate to help to manage the symptoms and keep outbreaks under control. If you test positive for Herpes, we will be able to prescribe the right treatment for you. You are most likely to pass the virus on when you have symptoms, so you should abstain or practice safe sex with a condom during this time.

Common infections - Syphilis

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that causes the formation of sores, called chancres, around the oral, genital and anal areas. Cases of this potentially life-threatening disease are on the rise in the UK. Therefore, you should get tested if you have has a new sexual partner or any reason to think that you might be infected.

How can we catch Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which means that it is mainly spread during oral, vaginal or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys with an infected person. It is also possible to contract the infection through sharing infected needles (e.g. during drug use) or receiving a blood transfusion from infected blood; however, the latter is very rare in the UK as all donated blood samples are screened for Syphilis.

What are the signs and symptoms of Syphilis?

The first symptoms of Syphilis can appear 10−90 days (21 days on average) after infection. Even if no symptoms are present, the infection can still be transmitted to another person.

For many people, symptoms can include:

  • A chancre or sore
  • Body rash
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Head ache
  • Sore throat.

There are three stages of Syphilis infection: primary, secondary and latent. Primary is marked by a sore/chancre that, if left untreated, progresses to the secondary stage, resulting in rashes, fever, swollen glands, sore throat, hair loss, headaches and muscle aches. If the infection remains untreated, it reaches the latent stage and damages internal organs including the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and/or joints.

How can Syphilis be tested?

If you have symptoms (i.e. sores), a swab test is performed. If you do not have any symptoms but are concerned about being infected with Syphilis, a blood sample is collected. Results from a blood test are usually available the same day if your blood test is in the morning.

Risks associated with Syphilis

Untreated cases of Syphilis can be fatal. A person infected with Syphilis has an increased risk of contracting other STIs including HIV.

For pregnant women, untreated Syphilis can lead to further complications, including miscarriages, premature births, stillbirths or death of new-born babies. There are also risks of deformities, delays in development or seizures along with many other problems such as rash, fever, swollen liver and spleen, anaemia and jaundice. Congenital syphilis in babies might cause irreversible health problems or death in as many as 40% of all live babies born to women with an untreated infection.

Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and to treat the infection when present.

What happens if you test positive for Syphilis?

It is important to get tested and treated as soon as possible to avoid Syphilis advancing to a later stage, which may be harder to cure and could have irreversible effects on your health.

Syphilis is an infection that can usually be cured with antibiotics. All individuals who test positive for syphillis should be refered to a GUM clinic for treatment.

Following treatment, you should avoid sexual activity or close sexual contact for at least 2 weeks to avoid transmitting the infection to another person. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.

You should be aware that repeat Syphilis tests after successfully completing treatment may still indicate the presence of antibodies even when your primary infection has been successfully treated.

Common infections - HIV

What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that attacks the immune system of an infected individual. If untreated, HIV infection can result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This is the term used to describe the reduced ability of the immune system to fight infections and illnesses, leading to life-threatening complications. However, people who are HIV-positive but receive treatment on time are likely to remain healthy with normal life expectancy.

UKHSA estimates that there are over 100,000 people with HIV in the UK. 92% know their status, however, around 1 in 12 people who are HIV positive in the UK do not know that they are infected, emphasising the importance of regular testing.

How can I catch HIV?

HIV can be transmitted sexually and non-sexually through the exchange of bodily fluids. These include:

  • Semen
  • Pre-cum (the fluid that the penis produces for lubrication before ejaculation)
  • Vaginal fluids, including menstrual fluids (period blood)
  • Breast milk
  • Blood
  • The mucus found in the rectum.

Unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person could transfer virus, through vaginal, anal or oral contact, although acquiring or passing on HIV through oral sex is rare.

HIV cannot be transmitted by air, water, insect bites, saliva, tears or sweat. The virus also cannot be passed through healthy, unbroken skin.

What are the signs and symptoms of HIV?

HIV signs and symptoms may not always be present in the early stages after exposure. If symptoms are present, they can occur in the first four to six weeks following infection and include flu-like illnesses, sore throat and swollen glands. This is usually when your body has begun the ‘seroconversion process’. This is where your body tries to counteract the virus by producing antibodies.

Following this phase, symptoms can clear for up to 15 years. However, during this time you are still infectious, and the virus is still causing harm to your system. If the infection remains untreated, you will become more susceptible to other infections including bacterial, viral or fungal diseases.

As HIV advances in the body, symptoms of a weakened immune system start to appear.

Common symptoms include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Recurrent infections, such as chest infections
  • Skin rashes, especially on the face, genitals or anus
  • Increased Herpes ulcers or thrush infections on and around the mouth and genitals
  • Sweats, especially at night
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck, groin or armpits.

If you have these symptoms and think that you may have been at risk of HIV at any time, then it is advisable to get tested. You may have been at risk of HIV if you have had any unprotected sex with different partners, shared injecting equipment when using recreational drugs or steroids, or if you have taken a blood transfusion outside of the UK.

Testing for HIV

We have different HIV test options:

  • HIV blood test (HIV I & II, P24 Ag) if it has been at least 28 days since any encounter
  • HIV RNA test (with viral load) it has been at least 10 days since any encounter
  • Instant HIV test if it has been at least 26 days since any encounter

Some visas or jobs may need you to have an HIV certificate to proove your HIV status.  We can help you with this.  Please request at the time of booking your test.

If you have had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours you may be able to get Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)  which is a medicine that must be taken every day to stop you getting HIV. We can advise you about this treatment.

Risks associated with HIV

If an HIV infection is left untreated, the reduction of CD4 cells affects the immune system. This means it will be harder to fight infections and other diseases. Eventually, the development of an AIDS-defining illness, leading to a diagnosis of AIDS, can be fatal.

It is possible for a HIV-positive female to pass the infection to her baby; this can occur during pregnancy, at birth or through breastfeeding. In the UK, this possibility is considered as a rare occurrence because pregnant women are routinely tested for HIV and given appropriate treatment if found HIV-positive, which would prevent transmission of the virus to the foetus.

What happens if you test positive for HIV?

With access to effective treatment, HIV is no longer life-threatening. Medication can help to control the virus to prevent it from causing further harm to the immune system. More so, if drugs can manage the condition so that the virus is undetectable – this means you cannot pass HIV on.

Early detection and treatment are highly important to protect your long-term health. You should start to monitor the effects of the virus as soon as possible.

We will refer you to appropriate specialists, such as the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), to help you get the support and advice you need. THT has 37 centres nationwide that are there to support you. With over 30 years of experience, they will help you decide whom to tell about your HIV status and how. Having helped thousands of newly diagnosed people, THT are the UK’s experts in this area.

There are also apps and webpages which can help you to monitor your condition, allowing you to manage the virus whilst maintaining your health and lifestyle.

It is important to notify recent sexual partners if you test positive for HIV. This prevents further transmission and enables earlier treatment if they have been infected. You can use the Better2Know notification system in your patient area to notify your partners.

Common infections - Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is most common in developing countries that have poor sanitation and untreated water. Most cases of Hepatitis A reported in the UK are in people who have returned from overseas. It is an acute (short-term) infection, meaning people usually recover from it quite quickly. However, as part of the acute phase, it can cause life-threatening liver damage, although this is very rare.

How can I catch Hepatitis A?

There is evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted sexually, particularly via anal sex. This is because the virus is found in the faeces of infected people and can be passed on through contact with infected faeces. However, the virus can also be passed in non-sexual ways, through contaminated food and water, drug use (sharing needles) and person-to-person skin contact.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Like many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), the virus often has no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include flu-like illness, weakness, tiredness, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Jaundice, where the skin or whites of the eyes may appear yellow, can also occur if the liver becomes unable to remove bilirubin (a substance that is normally removed by the liver) from the blood.

Therefore, getting tested is vital to protect yourself against developing these symptoms.

Testing for Hepatitis A

We offer a blood tests for Hepatitis A. Results are usually back the same or next day if the blood test is done in the morning.

Risks associated with Hepatitis A

If Hepatitis A is left untreated or unmonitored, a chronic (long-term) infection can increase the risk of contracting HIV and other STIs through unprotected intercourse. It can also cause chronic inflammation of the liver and may eventually lead to liver cancer. Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and, if necessary, to start a treatment plan.

What happens if you test positive for Hepatitis A?

Most people do not need specific treatment other than rest, maintaining high levels of hygiene and avoiding alcohol. These precautions will usually result in full recovery within a few weeks. However, it is still important that the infection is monitored to check whether chronic disease develops and to receive advice about the risk of passing the infection on. We will be able to advise you.

How do I protect myself from Hepatitis A?

You can choose to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A with REMEDI HEALTH. The vaccination offers you excellent protection against the Hepatitis A virus. For more information, see our vaccines page. Once you have recovered from the Hepatitis A infection, you should have life-long immunity against it.

 

Common infections - Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver that can result in different symptoms and treatment needs in infected patients. The Hepatitis B virus can cause an acute (short-term) illness that often resolves itself quickly without causing chronic (long-term) liver damage.

However, in about 20% of cases, it can result in a chronic illness that lasts more than 6 months (sometimes for life), causing cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. In these cases, the infection may eventually be fatal.

How can I catch Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is usually transmitted through sexual and non-sexual contact with infected blood or body fluids. Only a tiny amount of blood is needed to transmit the virus because it is highly infectious. The virus may also be present in saliva, vaginal secretions, breast milk and other bodily fluids.

In the UK, infection most commonly occurs through unprotected sexual intercourse, but also through sharing instruments such as needles and razors contaminated with infected blood. Hepatitis B cannot be transmitted through kissing, coughing or sneezing nor by sharing cutlery, towels or toilet seats.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis B?

Like many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), the virus often has no symptoms, which is why it is important to get checked regularly.

Symptoms, if they occur, can include feeling tired, fever and high temperature, aches, nausea, vomiting, passing darker urine than usual and jaundice, where the skin or whites of the eyes may appear yellow.

Testing for Hepatitis B

We offer a blood tests for Hepatitis B. Results are usually back the same or next day if the blood test is done in the morning.

Risks associated with Hepatitis B

If left undetected and untreated, the Hepatitis B virus can weaken your immune system and make you more at risk of contracting HIV and other STIs through unprotected sexual intercourse. It can also cause chronic inflammation of the liver and may lead to cirrhosis (20% of patients), liver cancer (5% of patients) and fulminant Hepatitis B, which is when the immune system attacks the liver and causes extensive damage (1% of patients). Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and, if necessary, to start a treatment plan.

If you are a woman who is pregnant, the risk of transmission to your baby can be minimised; your midwife will be able to advise you.

What happens if you test positive for Hepatitis B?

Most people with Hepatitis B do not need specific treatment, other than rest and possibly painkillers, to make a full recovery within a couple of months. However, if the disease becomes chronic, then you will be treated with medication to keep the virus under control and prevent prolonged damage to the liver.

Your clinician will advise you to see a specialist who will carry out further tests to determine the effect the virus is having on your body and the best treatment options for you. Regardless of whether the infection is producing symptoms or not, you are advised to avoid alcohol, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet.

If the infection is more advanced, you may be referred to a specialist who will be able to provide the right treatment for you. Treatment is an antiviral medication, which will be prescribed. The course can last up to six months, during which time you will receive regular support and monitoring. This should clear the virus from your body. You can then continue to lead your normal life.

How do I protect myself from Hepatitis B?

You can choose to be vaccinated against Hepatitis B with REMEDI HEALTH. The vaccination offers you excellent protection against the Hepatitis B virus.

Family and other household members of an infected person should be vaccinated. Healthcare workers and volunteers, medical employees, police and emergency services personnel, and anyone who is likely to come into contact with infected blood through their job should also be vaccinated.

For more information, see our vaccines page. Once you have recovered from the Hepatitis B infection, you should have life-long immunity against it.

 

Common infections - Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by many types of the virus; types 1 and 3 are the most common in the UK. It is considered a common infection with around 210,000 people in the UK living with chronic Hepatitis C. Many more are thought to be infected but do not know because they have not yet been diagnosed.

How can I catch Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C can be passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral intercourse as well as body contact, as the virus is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. One common route is through sharing needles when injecting recreational drugs – nearly 45% of intravenous drug users have contracted Hepatitis C in this way.

Similarly, it can be caught by having a tattoo or body piercing with equipment that has not been properly sterilised, and by sharing toothbrushes or razors. If you have had an accidental needle stick injury, then you should be tested for Hepatitis C along with Hepatitis B and HIV.

Hepatitis C can also be caught through medical treatment in developing countries, blood transfusions (before 1991 in the UK) or from mother to baby during pregnancy and/or birth. Sexual transmission is extremely rare in monogamous heterosexual couples but there is an increased risk of infection for homosexual men.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Like many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), there are often no symptoms at first, which is why it is important to get tested regularly, especially if you have ever been at risk. Symptoms, if they occur, can include feeling tired, having aching limbs, and suffering from digestive problems and brain fog.

Testing for Hepatitis C

We offer a blood test for Hepatitis C. Results are usually back the same or next day if the blood test is done in the morning.

Risks associated with Hepatitis C

About 75% of people infected with Hepatitis C develop a chronic condition. Many people are unaware they have a problem and by the time they become ill and seek help, considerable damage to the liver has already occurred.

In chronic cases, people will have intermittent symptoms of fatigue, and up to 30% will develop cirrhosis of the liver within 20 years. Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and, if necessary, to start a treatment plan.

What happens if you test positive for Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C can be treated with medication which can clear the infection in more than 90% of people. Even if the virus is not completely cleared, treatment can help to reduce inflammation and scarring of the liver. Many people also find that a complementary lifestyle helps to cope with symptoms and improve their quality of life.

If you test positive for Hepatitis C, your clinician will advise you to see a specialist. You will need to have further tests to determine the effect of the virus on your body and the most appropriate treatment options for you. In some people, their immune system will fight off the virus on its own, but careful monitoring of the infection is always necessary.

Treatment may include antiviral drugs to help your body combat the effects of the virus. You will be advised to have regular check-ups to monitor your body’s reaction to the drugs. There are several new treatments available which have few side effects and have proven to be highly effective in eliminating the Hepatitis C virus.

 

 

Common infections - HPV and Genital Warts

What are Genital Warts?

Genital Warts are signs of a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK.

This STI is caused by certain types/strains of viruses that belong to the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. There are over 140 types of HPV, some of which are linked with the development of cancer in the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis and anus.

Sexually transmitted HPVs fall into two categories:

  • Low-risk HPVs which do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts on or around the genitals or anus. Types 6 and 11 cause 90% of Genital Warts.  Better2Know tests for 9 Low Risk HPV types.
  • High-risk HPVs which can cause cancer. Fourteen high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, types 16 and 18, are responsible for the majority of HPV-caused cancers. Better2Know tests for 19 High Risk HPV types.

How can I catch Gential Warts?

Genital Warts (HPV) are passed from person to person through an exchange of infected bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact. This includes unprotected vaginal or anal sex, or by sharing infected sex toys. Although rare, it can also be transmitted via oral sex.

Genital Warts cannot be passed on by kissing or sharing objects like towels, cutlery, cups or toilet seats.

What are the signs and symptoms of Genital Warts?

An infection with the Genital Warts virus (HPV) does not usually show any symptoms. However, potential visible symptoms include the formation of warts, which are small, red or pink growths resembling raspberries or cauliflowers, in or around the genitals or rectum.

Testing for Genital Warts

Testing for Genital Warts (HPV) is different for men and women.

For women, we take a cervical swab to look for the presence of HPV. If you have a smear test, this will also screen for HPV.

For men, the standard HPV test is a swab of a visible wart or lesion; we will help you to determine the appropriate site (visible wart, urethra, or anus) for sampling.

Your results will be available within 2-3 days of sampling.

Risks associated with Genital Warts

Contracting HPV increases your chances of getting other STIs, such as HIV. It is important to know your HPV status, so you can take appropriate measures to protect your personal health as well as that of any current or future sexual partners.

If your HPV infection remains undiagnosed and untreated, you may develop precancerous lesions that progress into cancer (e.g. cervical, penile and anal).

Pregnant women with Genital Warts can find that their warts enlarge due to hormones during pregnancy. If left untreated, the warts could become an obstacle to delivery, resulting in a caesarean birth. In some cases, the mother can pass on the warts to her child during childbirth, where new-borns develop warts in their throat, leading to a potentially life threatening condition. Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly and to treat the infection where necessary.

What happens if you test positive for HPV?

If you do test positive for HPV or Genital Warts, we will arrange an appropriate confidential follow-up consultation to access treatment as needed. You will be referred to a specialist who will be able to recommend follow-up tests and provide advice on the most appropriate treatment for you. Alternatively, this can be arranged through your own GP.

Genital Warts can be managed and even removed with various treatment methods, including creams, lasers, surgery and cryotherapy (freezing). Repeat courses of treatment may be required to remove the infected tissue fully. However, the virus responsible for Genital Warts cannot be cured by external treatment. For some people, the virus will clear naturally over time.

How can I protect myself from HPV?

We provide a vaccine against HPV for those who are concerned about Genital Warts or HPV. Our vaccines will protect you from several types of the virus, including types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. These types are associated with causing most cases of HPV related cancers and Genital Warts. You will need 2 doses of the vaccine to be fully protected.

For our patients who test positive for HPV or Genital Warts, we will arrange an appropriate confidential follow-up consultation to access treatment as needed.

 

Common infections - Mycoplasma

What is Mycoplasma?

Mycoplasma is a bacteria that can typically infect the genitals, urinary tracts, rectums and lungs of both men and women. It is thought that up to 2% of all adults are infected with the Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria.

Although Mycoplasma is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it has also been found in normal, healthy genital tracts. It is not clear yet how Mycoplasma affects the body and its method of treatment is not yet standardised.

How can I catch Mycoplasma?

Mycoplasma is transmitted mainly through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and less likely through oral sex. It is most common in smokers, those with multiple sexual partners, young people of both sexes and older age groups of men.

In men, Mycoplasma can infect the inside lining of the penis (urethra).

In women, Mycoplasma can infect the neck of the womb (cervix), the womb (uterus) and fallopian tubes.

In the UK, 7% of men who have sex with men have Mycoplasma. Those who are HIV positive are significantly more likely to have Mycoplasma than their HIV-negative counterparts. On the other hand, 3% of young women in the UK have Mycoplasma.

What are the signs and symptoms of Mycoplasma?

Mycoplasma infection does not usually have any symptoms and often goes unnoticed. However, when symptoms appear, they can be different for men and women.

In women, symptoms include:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Lower pelvic pain
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods.

In men, symptoms include:

  • Pain on urinating
  • Discharge from the urethra (the duct through which urine passes out of the penis)
  • Penile irritation and pain.

Testing for Mycoplasma

If you or your sexual partners had, or suspect that you had, a Mycoplasma infection in the past six months, you should have a sexual health check, even if you are showing no symptoms.

Our 10-plex urine test test includes a test for Mycoplasma with results available the same day if your appointment is in the morning.

Risks associated with Mycoplasma

If left untreated, Mycoplasma infections can lead to complications in men and women.

In women, the infection can be associated with:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which, in turn, can damage the fallopian tubes and cause fertility problems
  • Sexually associated reactive arthritis (arthritis triggered by infection)
  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth.

In men, the infection can be associated with:

  • Sexually associated reactive arthritis
  • Pain and swelling of the testicles because of inflammation of the epididymitis (the tube that stores sperm).

What happens if you test positive for Mycoplasma?

Mycoplasma is treated and cured with a course of specific antibiotics. If you test positive for Mycoplasma, we can provide a prescription and the antibiotics or you can referred to the local GUM clinic.

Once the treatment has been received, you are advised to abstain from any sexual activity for at least two weeks to avoid passing the bacterium on to your sexual partner. You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she may also need to get tested.

Common infections - Ureaplasma

What is Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma is a bacteria that lives naturally in the respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts of both men and women. It can be passed through sexual contact but is not always considered to be a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the same way that others are.

When a colony of the Ureaplasma bacteria overgrows, it can cause irritation, discomfort and can lead to other health issues. Ureaplasma is highly contagious and infected individuals have been shown to be more susceptible to contracting other STIs. Therefore, it is important to have a full STI check-up.

How can I catch Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma is very common amongst sexually active individuals. The infection is transmitted mainly through unprotected vaginal or anal sex.

Pregnant women can pass the infection on to their unborn baby. The infection usually goes away within a few months, or will clear up with antibiotics.

What are the signs and symptoms of Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma usually shows no symptoms in the early stages. However, when they occur, symptoms include inflammation of the urethra in both men and women. This can lead to pain during urination, a burning sensation and unusual discharge, plus redness and inflammation around the site of infection. In women, this can lead to an unusual watery vaginal discharge, unpleasant vaginal odour and lower abdominal pains.

Getting tested and having an early diagnosis means that you will reduce the likelihood of health complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) or a more serious infection.

Testing for Ureaplasma

If you or your sexual partners had, or suspect that you had, a Ureaplasma infection in the past six months, you should have a sexual health check, even if you are showing no symptoms.

Our 10-plex urine test test includes a test for Ureaplasma with results available the same day if your appointment is in the morning.

Risks associated with Ureaplasma

If left untreated, Ureaplasma may increase the risk of developing other conditions including kidney stones, premature labour, respiratory diseases in new-borns and increased likelihood of contracting other STIs such as HIV. In extreme cases, Ureaplasma can spread to other parts of your body and damage your joints, nerves and muscles, causing meningitis and even pneumonia.

In women, a prolonged Ureaplasma infection also increases risk of infertility.

What happens if you test positive for Ureaplasma?

Ureaplasma is usually treated with a course of antibiotics, although some people might clear the infection by simply resting and avoiding sexual activity. Once the treatment has been received, you are advised to abstain from any sexual activity for a couple of weeks to avoid passing the bacterium to your sexual partner.

We can provide you with a prescription for treatment if you test positive for Ureaplasma or take your results to your own GP or local GUM clinic.

You may want to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared. You should also contact your previous partners to notify them about your result as he/she/they may also need to get tested.

Common infections - Gardernella

What is Gardernella?

Gardnerella is a bacteria that infects the genital tract of women and causes a change in the bacterial balance, or rather, imbalance. This imbalance can cause a condition known as bacterial vaginosis (BV). The bacteria can also be passed on to men by women during sexual intercourse.

Most reported cases of Gardnerella infections are related to sexual activities, women who have never had vaginal intercourse can also acquire the infection. Therefore, it is important to get tested if you suspect you may have BV.

How can I catch Gardernella?

Gardnerella can be spread by sexual contact and is most frequently observed as occurring from women to men and from women to women. It has not been definitively established that men can transmit a Gardnerella infection to women.

BV develops when the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted. This imbalance can occur due to sexual contact, such as a new partner or not using a condom, or non sexual reasons, such as changing soap or using certain contraceptive devices.

What are the signs and symptoms of Gardernella?

Up to 50% of people who are infected with Gardnerella often have no symptoms. When there are symptoms, in women these can include an unusual watery vaginal discharge (often grey, green or yellowish in colour, thinner than the “cheesy,” thick discharge seen in vaginal yeast infections), a “fishy” odour, and itching or burning when urinating.

In men, symptoms may include itching or burning on urination, or other urinary or penile discomfort.

Testing for Gardernella

We can test you for Gardnerella by collecting a urine sample – testing for Gardinella is included in our 10-plex urine test. Your results will be available the same day if your appointment is in the morning.

Risks associated with Gardernella

If left untreated, the infection can make you more susceptible to contracting other STIs including HIV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. In women, Gardnerella can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and can also cause some complications in pregnancy, including premature labour and delivery. Therefore, a woman who experiences complications during birth might be tested for BV, even when no symptoms are present.

It is generally thought that the presence of Gardnerella in men does not pose any risk factors and that, under normal circumstances, his body will eliminate the bacterium over time.

What happens if you test positive for Gardernella?

Gardnerella can clear up on its own. If you have symptoms, or you and your partner are trying for a baby, it can be treated with a short course of antibiotics.

We can provide you with a prescription for treatment if you test positive for Gardnerella. Alternatively, you can take your results to your own GP or local sexual health centre.

Common infections - Trichomonas

What is Trichomonas?

Trichomonas is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), also known as Trichomoniasis or ‘Trich’. It is caused by a parasitic protozoan, a single-celled organism, called Trichomonas vaginalis that can live in semen or vaginal fluids. In women, Trichomonas infects the vagina and urethra (tube that transports urine to the outside). In men, it infects the urethra, head of the penis and prostate gland.

How can I catch Trichomonas?

You can contract the infection by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact or intercourse with an infected person. However, there is very little evidence to indicate that Trichomonas is transmitted through oral or anal sex.

Trichomonas can be spread by sharing unwashed and unsterilised sex toys. It cannot be transmitted through kissing or hugging nor through sharing cups, plates, cutlery, or toilet seats.

What are the signs and symptoms of Trichomonas?

People who are infected with Trichomonas often have no symptoms. If you do have sumptoms then they will usually develop within a month after the infection. The most common symptom of Trichomonas is pain on urination.

In women, symptoms might include having a frothy vaginal discharge with a “fishy” odour, vaginitis and pain during sexual intercourse in the vagina and vulva.

In men, Trichomonas might lead to pain during urination or ejaculation, increased urination, or abnormal thin white discharge from the penis. In some cases, men can also experience soreness, swelling and redness around the head of the penis (balanitis) or foreskin (balano-posthitis).

Testing for Trichomonas

We can test you for Trichomonas by analysing your urine sample. We can also conduct the test using a swab for women. Your results will be available on the same day if your appointment is in the morning. 

Risks associated with Trichomonas

For both men and women, an untreated Trichomonas infection can lead to an increased risk of contracting other STIs such as HIV. In women, an untreated infection during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of having early labour and/or a baby with low birth weight. In rare instances, an infection can lead to prostatitis in men which is an unpleasant infection of the prostate gland.

What happens if you test positive for Trichomonas?

Trichomonas can usually be treated with a short course of antibiotics to completely clear the infection. You may wish to consider having a repeat test at the end of your treatment to check that the infection has completely cleared.

You can choose whether to access treatment through us, or take your results to your own GP or local GUM clinic.

You are advised not to have unprotected sex with your partner until you have finished your treatment and any symptoms have been relieved. Your sexual partner(s) should also be tested and treated to avoid re-infection.

Our tests

Platinum STI Test

Blood and urine – £205

HIV
Syphilis
Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C
Herpes Simplex 1
Herpes Simplex 2
Trichomonas
Ureaplasma
Mycoplasma
Chancroid

Gold STI Test

Blood and urine – £155

HIV
Syphilis
Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C

Silver STI Test (Hep B)

Blood and urine – £125

HIV
Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea
Hepatitis B

 

Silver STI Test (Syphillis)

Blood and urine – £125

HIV
Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea
Syphillis

 

Standard STI Test (10-plex)

Urine – £125

Syphilis
Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea
Herpes Simplex 1
Herpes Simplex 2
Trichomonas
Ureaplasma
Mycoplasma
Chancroid

 

Pre-IVF Screen

Blood – £130

HIV
Syphilis
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C

 

Chlamydia/Gonorhoea Screen including pre-coil fitting

Urine – £100

Chlamydia
Gonorrhoea

All prices include collection of samples, lab fees and report but exclude mandatory consultation fee of £30.00, payable when booking online. An additional consultation and fee may be required if treatment is needed. Bespoke tests can be quoted for in-clinic.

Can we help you?

Our team are standing by to help you with any questions or queries that you may have. We can advise you on the best test, product or service for your requirements.