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The best delivery service in the UK.

Posted 22 November 2019 in Allergies, Erectile Dysfunction, Hair Loss, Men's Health, Sexual Health, Weight Loss, Womens health

All of our treatments and tests are guaranteed next working day delivery in a 1 hour time slot by dpd to all mainland UK*.

DPD update

Predict & Follow my parcel

dpd are our preferred carrier with their industry-leading predict and follow my parcel service. With this service you will receive a message via your chosen method, SMS or email at approximately 8am, on the day of delivery giving you your one hour delivery window. It also allows you in real time map to track the progress of your parcel all the way down to a 15 minute window so you don’t have to wait in all day.

In-flight options

If you are not going to be home, you will be offered other options:

On the day you place your order you will receive a confirmation message by your chosen method, giving you the option to divert your parcel to the nearest dpd Pickup Shop. This could be close to home, or work or on your journey and many of the stores have extended opening times.

Divert to a Pickup Shop is also available at checkout. All deliveries must be signed for unless you ask for it to be left in a safe place (includes posting through your letterbox) where you will be asked to accept a disclaimer.

All of this excellent service is included within your price. No hidden extras at the checkout.

Webmed use dpd as our preferred courier to deliver to all mainland UK*.
*Excluding the Scottish Highlands and islands where we use Royal Mail Special Delivery.

Discrete packaging

At Webmed one of our most popular FAQ’s is what sort of packaging will it come in?

We understand the need for discreet packaging and there is no mention of what’s inside or where its from. Here is a picture of a typical dpd Expresspak bag used.

DPD packaging
 

DPD are the 'delivery company of choice' for the biggest and best-known retailers and are the UK's number one next-day specialist.

Today in the UK, DPD delivers over 200 million parcels a year, employs over 12,000 people  and operates more than 7,000 vehicles from 65 locations.

A DPD Van

Saturday and Sunday deliveries

At checkout we offer the option for Saturday or Sunday delivery to all mainland UK (except the Scottish Highlands and islands) by dpd for just a small cost of only £2.00.

For the Scottish Highlands, Northern Island, Scilly Isles and the Isle of Man we use Royal Mail Special Delivery offering a Saturday delivery for £4.00.

DPD Innovations

dpd have led the way with innovative technology including the “Your dpd App”, now used by more than 3.5million people.

dpd’s new £150m hub

Work is well underway on a new state-of-the-art hub in Hinkley, Leicestershire which is equivalent to 22 football pitches. Making it the largest parcel hub in Europe.

dpd Opens electric vehicle hub in central London

October 2018 saw the opening of dpd’s first all-electric vehicle depot in Westminster which will be delivering up to 2,000 parcels. They are using a fleet of 10 Nissan eNV200 all-electric vans for the last mile delivery which have a capability of making 120 drops per day. They plan to have 550 electric vehicles by 2021.

Webmed Pharmacy uses dpd as we want to offer our customers the best delivery service in the UK.



Cuts to sexual health service budgets – the rise of home testing and treatment

Posted 8 November 2019 in Sexual Health

A pipette dripping blue chemicals into a test tube of yellow chemicals. Source: medicalimages.comIn recent years, the government has cut funds for public health services across the country. One of the most drastically affected areas is sexual health – between 2016/17 and 2017/18, the budget for sexual health services provided by local authorities was slashed by around 30%. (1)

This has led to the closure of several sexual health clinics nationwide. For the general public, this means more people will be looking at STI home testing and treatment as an option.

What is the difference between STIs and STDs?

In recent decades, there has been a shift from referring to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) towards referring to STIs (sexually transmitted infections) - in fact, the NHS website refers solely to STIs, with no mention of STDs at all.

This is because not only does the word ‘disease’ hold more grave connotations, but ‘infection’ is the more accurate description since many cases of STIs experience no symptoms, contradicting the image of illness that ‘disease’ implies.

Furthermore, the infection leads to the potential disease, and the infection (not the disease) is what is transmitted from one person to another. For example, AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a disease which can occur as a result of infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). AIDS itself cannot be transmitted from one person to another, despite reference in society and popular culture.

What happens at a sexual health clinic?

You’ll be asked a few questions about your sexual history, medication and medical conditions. This is to make sure you receive the medication that is the most appropriate for you, if you need it.

A sample may then be taken. The type of sample depends on the STI being tested for and can be in the form of urine, a swab of the urethra (the tube through which urine flows from the body), a vaginal swab, a swab from a genital sore, or blood. HIV results may be available instantly but urine and swab samples may need to be sent off to a lab, so the results will be available after a week or two. Dependent on this, you may then receive antibiotic or antiviral treatment. The service is provided confidentially, so your details are kept private and your GP won’t be informed unless you want them to be. (2)

Where can I get a home testing or treatment pack?

Because more and more sexual health clinics are closing, alternative sources of testing and treatment will experience increased demand, including online pharmacies.

At Webmed Pharmacy we offer confidential testing and treatment for a range of STIs, as can be found here.

Below are some examples of STIs for which treatment can be purchased online:

Chlamydia

What’s the test for chlamydia?

Testing for chlamydia involves either taking a sample of urine for men, and a vaginal swab sample for women. (3)

What’s the home treatment for chlamydia?

The first line (ideal) treatment for chlamydia is an antibiotic called doxycycline. The course lasts for a week. (4)

Is the home treatment for chlamydia the same as I would get at a clinic?

Yes. Sexual health clinics, GPs and online pharmacies all follow the same guidelines. The guidelines are those issued by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, BASHH.

Gonorrhoea

What’s the test for gonorrhoea?

For men, either a urine sample or a swab of the urethra. For women, a vaginal or cervical swab, and sometimes a swab of the urethra. (5)

At Webmed Pharmacy it’s a urine sample for men and a swab sample for women.

What’s the home treatment for gonorrhoea?

The home treatment is a combination of two different antibiotics, azithromycin and cefixime (Suprax), all taken as a single dose.

Is the home treatment for gonorrhoea the same as I would get at a clinic?

No, because the first line treatment for gonorrhoea is an antibiotic injection into the buttock or thigh, a procedure which is not suitable for home treatment. The home treatment is the second line. (6)

Trichomoniasis

What’s the test for trichomoniasis?

In a sexual health clinic, the healthcare professional will usually examine the area for symptoms, then take a vaginal swab for women, and either a swab of the penis or a urine sample for men. (7)

The home test involves taking either a vaginal swab for women, or a urine sample for men.

What’s the home treatment for trichomoniasis?

The treatment is a course of an antibiotic called metronidazole, either taken as a 2g single dose or as a five-day course. (8)

Is the home treatment for trichomoniasis the same as I would get at a clinic?

Yes. Sexual health clinics, GPs and online pharmacies all follow the same guidelines.

Genital herpes

What’s the test for genital herpes?

Testing is undertaken in a sexual health clinic or GP surgery. It involves taking a swab of a genital sore. If no sores are present, the test can’t be carried out. (9)

What’s the home treatment for genital herpes?

Treatment does not cure genital herpes, but it can help to clear up an outbreak of sores. A five-day course of an antiviral, either aciclovir or valaciclovir, is taken. (9)

Is the home treatment for genital herpes the same as I would get at a clinic?

Yes. Sexual health clinics, GPs and online pharmacies all follow the same guidelines.

Genital warts

What’s the test for genital warts?

Testing for genital warts is done at a sexual health clinic or at your GP surgery. Diagnosis is in the form of an examination of the area. (10)

What’s the home treatment for genital warts?

Imiquimod (Aldara) cream can be used for any type of external genital warts – soft or hard, and in the genital or anal area. It is applied three times weekly for several weeks until warts have cleared. (11)

Podophyllotoxin (Warticon) is an alternative that comes as a cream or a topical solution. It can only be used on external soft warts of the genital area. It is applied for three consecutive days each week for a total of four weeks. (11)

Is the home treatment for genital warts the same as I would get at a clinic?

It depends on several factors, including how big your warts are and where they are positioned. A doctor or nurse may freeze, cut, burn or laser the warts off if topical treatments aren’t suitable or haven’t worked. (10)

How quickly can I get a test kit delivered?

If you order before 4pm Monday to Friday, then your test kit will be delivered the next working day by tracked delivery. The packaging is very discreet with no mention of the contents or who it’s from.

How quickly will I receive my test results?

The time taken for test results varies according to the test ordered.

For HIV lab tests we receive the results within 24 hours of the lab receiving your test sample.

For most other tests we receive results within 48 hours of the lab receiving your test sample.

What are the advantages of ordering online?

The advantages of ordering from us at Webmed Pharmacy are that you can order and test in the comfort of your own home at a time that is most suitable to you and receive your test results much quicker than you would from a sexual health clinic. It also saves the embarrassment of having to attend a clinic if you can still find one that’s near to where you live or work with all the recent cut-backs.  

References

  1. British Medical Association. Feeling the squeeze: The local impact of cuts to public health budgets in England [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.bma.org.uk/-/media/files/pdfs/collective%20voice/policy%20research/public%20and%20population%20health/public-health-budgets-feeling-the-squeeze-briefing-march-2018.pdf?la=en

  2. NHS. Visiting an STI clinic [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/visiting-an-sti-clinic/

  3. NHS. Chlamydia – Diagnosis [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/diagnosis/

  4. NHS. Chlamydia - Treatment [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/treatment/

  5. NHS. Gonorrhoea – Diagnosis [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gonorrhoea/diagnosis/

  6. NHS. Gonorrhoea – Treatment [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gonorrhoea/treatment/

  7. NHS. Trichomoniasis [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/trichomoniasis/diagnosis/

  8. NHS. Trichomoniasis – Treatment [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/trichomoniasis/treatment/

  9. NHS. Genital herpes [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/genital-herpes/

  10. NHS. Genital warts [cited 9 October 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/genital-warts/

  11. British National Formulary (version 2.1.23) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: www.bnf.org

    Author
    Gabby Gallagher MPharm

    Medically reviewed by
    Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
     6th November 2019

Period drama on holiday? What would Lady Crawley think...

Posted 20 September 2019 in Womens health

This week’s blog is from our guest blogger Hanna, reminiscing about her summer holiday and how Aunt Flo tried to ruin it.

Summer sunbathingWell we’re into the last days of summer and as I was barbequing at the weekend in my puffy coat and bobble hat (slight exaggeration but I feel the summer’s getting shorter each year), I was wistfully thinking back to my summer holidays…
 
I’m renowned for leaving everything to the last minute and my holiday plans are no different. Whilst the holiday might have been booked months in advance, the panic buying of hair products, sunscreen and hangover remedies were being done in a supermarket-sweep style rush during my lunch break, on the Friday before we were due to fly. 

Finally, almost packed with over 24 hours to go – the most prepared I’ve ever been for a holiday – I’m just putting together my ‘first aid’ kit; which consists of rehydration sachets, paracetamol and aloe vera, and I find I’m down to my last four contraceptive pills for a fourteen day holiday.

Panic sets in. I’ll be on my next vaycay before I can get an appointment in at my local doctor’s and although these girls on the feminine hygiene adverts look like they’re having a whale of time; plugging their flow and dancing around in white shorts, my monthly experiences are more hormonal, spotty, bloated and all the other side effects that are not conducive to me looking hot in a bikini.

Online ordering again saves the day! And unlike the hoards of dresses that I can’t quite fit in but were too late to return, this online order will be utilised; Norethisterone. Or period delay pills, as they’re more commonly known. Three a day, started three days before you’re due on and you can take them for up to 14 days. It may have been my favourite accessory this holiday. But girls, it does not stop you getting pregnant or contracting any other venereal disease – so ensure you pack the trusty condoms too.

Buy Norethisterone online right here

#perioddelay #supermarketsweep #holidayblues

What's happened to Aindeem?

Posted 19 September 2019 in Hair Loss

Aindeem and Finasteride boxesIt’s annoying and frustrating when your favourite brand of aftershave, perfume or cosmetics is discontinued by the manufacturer and you have to change to another brand.

It’s even more disappointing and worrying when your trusted brand of medication is no longer available.

Actavis, who make the Aindeem brand of finasteride 1mg tablets have been acquired by Accord.

Accord are now manufacturing the finasteride 1mg tablets to the exact same recipe that Actavis did.

This means that all the same excipients (the inactive ingredients) used to make the Aindeem brand are being used to make the Accord brand. Each Accord tablet contains 1mg of Finasteride just like Aindeem brand.

Therefore, the tablets will be exactly the same.

The only difference is that they will now be branded “Accord” instead of “Aindeem”.

However, we understand that when our customers are taking a hair loss product that they have  confidence in and faith that it works, that they don’t want to switch to another product that they fear may not produce the same successful results.

Please be assured that the new Accord brand will produce the exact same results for you as the Aindeem brand.

When our current stock of the Aindeem brand runs out we will be supplying the Accord brand.

The advantage to you is that you will now pay less for the same tablets.

Other generic manufacturers of Finasteride may use different excipients and so they will not be exactly the same but should produce the same effect. The best way to check is to consult the patient information leaflet.

We believe in giving our customers a choice, so we will not only be stocking the Accord brand but also another generic brand that will be more competitively priced.

Don't forget to check out the Total Scalp Care page for shampoo, conditioner and Regaine Solution or Foam  at discounted prices.

Author
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
 19th September 2019

What are the best value erectile dysfunction pills?

Posted 19 September 2019 in Erectile Dysfunction

A triumphant manThe cheapest erectile dysfunction (ED) pills are generic Viagra, called Sildenafil.

What is a generic drug?

The term "generic" refers to the active ingredient of a medicine or drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the medicine is sold. It is a term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.

Pfizer made the original Viagra tablet that is often referred to as the “blue pill”. The patent expired in 2013 which then allowed other pharmaceutical manufactures to make a generic version under the name of the active ingredient called Sildenafil. They are exactly the same medically and perform in the same way with the same side-effects.

As with most branded products, Viagra is sold at a higher price, therefore the generic tablets sold as Sildenafil are much cheaper.

What is the difference between generic and branded drugs?

Medically there is no difference between a generic medicine and the branded medicine, as they both have the same active ingredients to make them perform in the same way. They only differ in the “bulking” agents used to fill the tablet as the amount of active ingredient required, in this case Sildenafil, is very small. This makes the tablets bigger and easier to handle.

The main difference between generic and branded named prescription medicines is cost with generics being much cheaper

Every pharmacy can choose what price they sell at, as there are no fixed prices. It will depend on what price the pharmacy can buy the drug from the wholesaler and the cost of their own overheads. They can they decide what mark-up they require and some pharmacies choose to sell some products at higher prices.  

At Webmed pharmacy we aim to keep our prices as low as possible, without compromising the quality of service, as we are the only online pharmacy to offer dpd courier guaranteed next working day as standard.

We offer a very fast, confidential and discreet service that is  fully approved and regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A large proportion of our sales are made up of returning customers as they have been delighted with our service.

What is the best brand of sildenafil?

When you choose to buy any prescription medication online, you must first of check that the pharmacy is fully approved and Regulated with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

All pharmacies using a UK General Medical Council, GMC, registered doctor to prescribe their medicines will also be registered with the UK government Agency the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Those online pharmacies who are not registered with the CQC either use pharmacist prescribers or foreign doctors.

You will then know and have the confidence that all the Sildenafil brands being offered are genuine and will work in the same way. All the pharmaceutical companies are inspected by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to ensure they manufacturer the drugs to the same quality standard. This means that the key ingredient that is referred to as the “active” ingredient is exactly the same in all brands.

The other inactive ingredients that make up the bulk of the tablet are called “excipients” and can vary.

For those people who are allergic to or have an intolerance to lactose, then the Mylan brand of Sildenafil is ideal for you as it is lactose free. You can check the additional excipients on the patient information leaflet supplied with your tablets.

Although medically all the generic Sildenafil tablets are identical, they may look different as they can vary in colour, shape and size due to the varying excipients.

The patent for Viagra, owned by Pfizer, expired in July 2013, which then allowed other pharmaceutical companies to produce generic Sildenafil. There are a number of companies now manufacturing generic Sildenafil which include Accord, Ajanta, Dr Reddy’s, Mylan, Teva, Torrent and Zentiva. Even Pfizer make a cheaper generic Sildenafil that they sell cheaper than Viagra although generally more expensive than the equivalent generic brands. 

Author
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
 19th September 2019

Why Nitrofurantoin for Cystitis? The burning question!

Posted 12 September 2019 in Womens health

A lady suffering from cystitisWe have changed to Nitrofurantoin(brand name Macrobid) as first line treatment for women with lower urinary tract infection (also called cystitis)due to the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines for women who do not have a catheter. It aims to optimise antibiotic use and reduce antibiotic resistance.(1)

Previously Trimethoprim was recommended as first line treatment but developing resistance to it’s effectiveness has meant that Nitrofurantoin may be the preferred choice. It depends on your geographical location and your kidney function.

PHE (Public Health England) have found that the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by drug resistant bacteria is increasing. One in three (34%) of the samples analysed were found to be resistant to Trimethoprim whereas only 3% of the UTI samples showed resistance to Nitrofurantoin.(2)

NICE have recommended that the first choice antibiotic for an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, UTI, be either Nitrofurantoin, if you are not suffering from reduced kidney function, or Trimethoprim  if there is a low risk of resistance to it where you live. (3)

There are AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance Indicators) local indicators that can give your doctor and yourself information on the effectiveness of any antibiotic. (4)

Antibiotic prescribing and antibiotic resistance are inextricably linked, as overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics are major drivers of resistance. The AMR local indicators are publicly available data intended to raise awareness of antibiotic prescribing. They can be used by your doctor to prescribe the most effective antibiotic appropriate for your infection.

We will offer Nitrofurantoin to women with cystitis but if Trimethoprim is deemed to be more appropriate by our doctor, using the AMR local indicators and other factors, then she will change it to Trimethoprim.

Why do we only treat women?

Urinary tract infection is more common in women and easier to treat than in men ; when it occurs in men they have to have the cause investigated and treated.

We only treat women with typical symptoms of cystitis when there is no concern that the infection has extended beyond the bladder. This is defined as acute simple cystitis. When there is concern that the infection has spread (eg when there is flank pain or other features suggestive of inflammation of the kidneys, fever and/or other signs of systemic illness including sepsis) we consider this to be a complicated UTI and needs referral to the GP.

However, Nitrofurantoin should not be used by women who have a reduced kidney function where their eGFR (estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate) is below 45(ml/min/1.73m ).

Most people are aware that their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are important in knowing their risk for heart and blood vessel disease. Yet few know about their eGFR, one of the numbers that tells them about the health of their kidneys.

What is the glomerular filtration rate (GFR)?

When your kidneys are working well, they filter out wastes and excess fluid that become part of the urine your body makes each day. When kidneys aren’t working well, you do not remove enough wastes and fluids to keep you healthy. You also cannot make important hormones for your blood and bones. Your eGFR number is an estimate of how well your kidneys are working and keeping you healthy. If your eGFR number is low, your kidneys are not working as well as they should.

In adults, the normal eGFR number is more than 90. The eGFR declines with age, even in people without kidney disease.

How is kidney function measured?

A blood test called eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) indicates roughly how well the kidneys are working to filter out waste from your blood. eGFR is reported in millilitres per minute and a normal eGFR is greater than 90 mL/min. eGFR is often shown as a percentage of normal and people find it useful to think of kidney function as a percentage, going from 100% (fully functioning) to 0% (no function). (5)

The table below indicates the various stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Therefore, people with a moderate to severe loss of kidney function should not take Nitrofurantoin.

Our doctor will review your completed medical questionnaire for cystitis and decide which antibiotic is most appropriate for you.

References

  1. https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/nitrofurantoin.html
  2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/656611/ESPAUR_report_2017.pdf
  3. https://cks.nice.org.uk/urinary-tract-infection-lower-women#!scenario
  4. https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/amr-local-indicators
  5. https://www.kidneyresearchuk.org/health-information/stages-of-kidney-disease
  6. Author
    Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
     12th September 2019

Epididymitis: “a real ball ache!”

Posted 30 July 2019 in Men's Health

Source: medicalimages.com. Testicle shown in purple with epididymis running along back.Epididymitis is a painful condition which affects men and has several causes, with a major cause being sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly in men under the age of 35. Most cases can be resolved with a course of antibiotics. (1)

What is epididymitis?

Epididymitis is the medical term for inflammation of the epididymis, which is a tube which runs along the back of the testicle. Both testicles have an epididymis and it is possible for one or both to become inflamed. When the condition also affects the testicles themselves, it can be known as epididymo-orchitis (orchitis means inflammation of the testicle(s)). (1)

What are the symptoms of epididymitis?

Epididymitis symptoms can include:

  • Pain in one or both testicles (the onset of epididymitis pain can be sudden or gradual)
  • A painful, swollen, tender scrotum which can feel hot to the touch
  • Fluid collecting around the testicle(s), giving a swollen or lumpy appearance and feel
  • Trouble passing urine
  • Discharge from the tip of the penis - this can be white, yellow or green, which signals an infection (1)

What are the causes of epididymitis?

There are a number of epididymitis causes, but the most common is an untreated STI - the main culprits being chlamydia and gonorrhoea - especially in men under 35 years of age. A less common cause is a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is rare in men. However, men are at higher risk of a UTI if they have an enlarged prostate gland, a urinary catheter, or are recovering from groin, prostate or bladder surgery. Even less commonly, epididymitis can be caused by mumps, tuberculosis, injury to the groin area, Behçet's disease (an autoimmune condition affecting the blood vessels), and can be a side effect of the heart medication amiodarone. (1)

How is epididymitis treated?

Epididymitis treatment in most cases is a course of antibiotics. The aim of treatment is to clear up both the primary infection (e.g. the STI or UTI) as well as the associated epididymitis. It is important that the course is completed, even if symptoms ease off - otherwise the infection will most likely persist and symptoms will return. It can take as long as two weeks to feel completely better.

Over-the-counter painkillers can be used alongside antibiotics. Ibuprofen is the best choice because of its anti-inflammatory action. A cold pack can also be applied to the area to help soothe burning and inflammation.

Antibiotics for epididymitis can be prescribed by your GP, but are also available from sexual health clinics and, if the epididymitis is linked to chlamydia or gonorrhoea, they can be purchased from Webmed Pharmacy.

Wearing supportive underwear can also help to ease epididymitis pain. (1)

What is chronic epididymitis?

Chronic epididymitis is inflammation of the epididymis that has persisted for a long time, and it may come and go. The pain tends to be milder, but can be more widespread, affecting the rest of the groin area and even the thighs and lower back. A cause is rarely found. Chronic epididymitis treatment is most commonly a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, usually ibuprofen taken for at least two weeks. Occasionally, chronic epididymitis is caused by a long-standing infection and can be treated with antibiotics. (2)

References

  1. The British Association of Urological Surgeons. Chronic Epididymitis [cited 22 July 2019]. Available at: https://www.baus.org.uk/_userfiles/pages/files/Patients/Leaflets/Chronic%20epididymitis.pdf

Author
Gabby Gallagher MPharm

Medically reviewed by
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
30th July 2019

~

STD testing experience

Posted 25 July 2019 in Sexual Health

Our returning guest blogger Hanna, 35, today talks about her experience getting STI tested.

A couple in bed looking stressed. Source: Shutterstock 259619195Well I never thought my last boyfriend and I were destined to be together forever, but we’d fallen into a comfy routine of watching box sets whilst eating take away. Plus, we’d both reached our mid-thirties and were cohabitating in relative contentment; or so I thought…

When I found out that his ‘work’ nights out were a string of one-night Tinder hook ups I suddenly had that dread that he’d left me with more than just the outstanding rent; so I started looking online for ways I could get tested, sharpish, and without anyone finding out.

It’s a mine field. The local G.U.M. (Genito-Urinary Medicine; and yes, I had to look it up) clinics open no longer than three hours at a time and the slots that are by appointment only are notoriously difficult to call through and get booked on to. I looked at the NHS home test kit, but due to a staff back log it would take 14 days to send me a kit out and then I wouldn’t get the results for 3-4 weeks. Well, the thought of what I could potentially be harbouring in my nether regions meant that I wanted results in days, not weeks, and certainly not over a month – so I tootled off to my local walk-in clinic.

Well it wasn’t the best start to the day as I had to take last minute half-day holiday as I couldn’t get in before 08:30 (my actual office start time) and I had no idea how long I’d be waiting there. I should be spending my half day holidays in a beer garden, not needing a beer by 10:30. To give the clinic its dues, the place was clean and the staff were very polite. I was the oldest in there by a fair age gap and was by far the most conspicuously fidgety but realised that college students don’t have to explain to their sixty-year-old male boss that they need between 1-3 hours for a personal issue.

Two and a half hours later I was on my way with the promise of the results being texted to me sometime in the next couple of weeks. I’ve never been so anxious about every text I received in that time.

A month later in the pub, after a few wines for courage, I admitted all this to my best friend. She then told me I could get a test kit delivered straight to my home, next day delivery and the results within a week – all for less than we spent in the pub that night. No stress, no time-off, no-one would know. No contest, right? Well I’m actually hoping for no knob-head boyfriends in future…

Want discreet home testing with quick results? Get your home test kit here; delivered within 24 hours* in discreet packaging. Safe, secure, sorted.

*to mainland UK

Genital warts treatment now available from Webmed Pharmacy

Posted 2 July 2019 in Sexual Health

What are genital warts?

HPV. Source: medicalimages.comGenital warts is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections – in fact, in England, the only STI that is more common is chlamydia. Genital warts are caused by certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), a large group of viruses which mainly affect the skin. Other strains of HPV are responsible for warts and verrucae found on the hands and feet, plane warts which are usually found on the face, and changes in cells which may lead to development of cancer – most commonly of the cervix. (1, 2, 3)

Genital warts can be unsightly, embarrassing and can cause irritating symptoms, including itchiness, inflammation and disruption of flow of urine, depending on the area affected. Fortunately, they are harmless, they don’t lead to any serious conditions such as cancer, and they are not known to affect fertility. There is no cure – once you have caught the virus, you will have it for life. However, it is possible for your body to eventually clear the warts in time, and there are also treatments available to help with this. (1, 4)

How do you catch genital warts?

You don’t need to have penetrative sex to contract genital warts – the skin of your groin area coming into contact with the skin of the groin area of an infected person can be all it takes to pass the virus on. Sharing sex toys can also lead to infection. Using condoms during sexual activity is highly recommended to reduce the chance of transmission, but since genital warts can affect the surrounding areas and upper thighs, infection can still occur. However, don’t forget that condoms are a highly effective barrier against other STIs, so unless you know for sure that you and your partner are clear, you should be using them regardless! (4)

I think I might have genital warts, what can I do?

If you think you might have genital warts, you can visit your GP or a sexual health clinic for a diagnosis. They appear as painless lumps on the vulva, penis, anus or surrounding areas, and can even be found on the upper thighs. The warts can sometimes become itchy and inflamed, and if warts are present inside the urethra (in men or women), the vagina or the anus, this can lead to bleeding from these areas. Warts inside the urethra can also cause urine to flow at an angle. On the other hand, you can carry the virus without ever having shown any symptoms, or symptoms may develop years after exposure. Despite this, you can still pass the virus on to others through sexual contact. If you have a sexual partner who has genital warts, you should visit a sexual health clinic, even if you don’t have any symptoms yourself. (4)

How are genital warts treated?

Treatment for genital warts is prescription only. Don’t use treatments for warts and verrucae, such as salicylic acid gel, found in pharmacies and some shops to treat your genital warts – they are not designed for this purpose and will irritate and damage the sensitive skin of your genital area. (1)

Topical treatments (liquids and creams) which can be prescribed to treat genital warts include podophyllotoxin, a liquid that is applied to the warts with an applicator stick or as a cream. As the name suggests, it is toxic to the warts and works by killing the cells. It is applied in ‘cycles’ of three days followed by four treatment-free days. In most cases, warts will disappear after four or five cycles. At Webmed Pharmacy we supply it under the brand name Warticon. It can be used for soft genital warts. (5)

Imiquimod (Aldara) is a cream which is applied to larger warts three times a week and left for six to ten hours before being washed off. It encourages your immune system to fight off the virus that causes the warts. Warts should begin to clear up within a few weeks. Aldara can be used for both hard and soft warts not only on the genitals but also those visible in the anal area.  (5)

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is applied to small, hard genital warts once weekly by a healthcare professional at a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. It breaks down proteins in the cells of the warts to kill them. Unlike the other topical treatments, it is safe to use in pregnancy. (5)

Genital warts can also be removed using physical ablation:

  • Cryotherapy is a procedure during which warts are frozen using liquid nitrogen, which can cause a sensation of burning. Once the procedure is finished, the skin can take up to three weeks to heal.

  • Excision is surgical removal of warts, often used for harder warts. Once the warts are removed, the area is stitched together and should heal within three weeks.

  • Electrosurgery involves applying a metal loop to a wart, then using an electric current through the loop to burn the wart. Because this procedure can be so painful, general aesthetic is occasionally used.

  • Laser surgery can be used for hard-to-access warts, such as those in the urethra or anus. A laser is used to burn the warts, and as with electrosurgery, this may be performed under general anaesthetic. The area may be painful for up to four weeks after the procedure. (5)

It is important to avoid sexual activity until the area has fully healed. (5)

Can I buy treatment for genital warts from Webmed Pharmacy?

Treatment for genital warts is now available to buy from Webmed Pharmacy. You’ll just need to answer a few questions about your symptoms, health and any other conditions so that the doctor can determine whether the treatment is right for you. If so, as with all of our other tests and treatments, your medication will be posted securely to an address of your choice the following day within a one hour time slot!

References

  1. NHS inform. Genital warts: About genital warts [cited 23 June 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive/genital-warts

  2. Mayo Clinic. HPV infection: Overview [cited 23 June 2019]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20351596

  3. NHS. Warts and verrucas [cited 23 June 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/warts-and-verrucas/

  4. NHS. Genital warts [cited 23 June 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/genital-warts/

  5. NHS inform. Genital warts: Treating genital warts [cited 23 June 2019]. Available at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive/genital-warts#treating-genital-warts

Author
Gabby Gallaher MPharm

Medically reviewed by
Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons) MRPharmS
2nd July 2019

Festival season is here

Posted 1 July 2019 in Sexual Health

Today’s blog is written by Hanna, a 35 year old single female living in the city; but less Carrie Bradshaw and more Bridget Jones. Hanna will be writing for us from time to time on issues that arise in the modern world of dating, love and life in her 30s; and whilst many of us can relate to what Hanna has experienced, all views are her own.

A festival crowdWell festival season is upon us and those who attended Glastonbury this weekend got very lucky with the weather. Of course with scorching sunshine comes the inevitable festival issues; the stench of the toilets and ending up with your face in your dancing-neighbours sweaty armpit; all rounded off by being boiled alive in a tent at 6am with a killer hangover. Yet still we flock, in the thousands, to watch our favourite artists, create amazing memories and meet a range of new people. Mix this in with some alcohol and the laissez-faire environment created at a festival; it’s inevitable we’re going to want to hook up with that hot one we met at Silver Hayes.

This brings me to a topic I’ve discussed many times with my girlfriends and I can honestly say that the group is 50/50 divided; festival sex, yes or no? Stats show that, on average, 34% of Glastonbury attendees will have some sort of sexual encounter; it’s the most promiscuous music festival in the UK. These liaisons mainly happen in the tents but some brave souls get it on in crowds and I read that some even attempt it in the port-a-potties – I had to read that twice.

Those that are in the yes camp (pun intended) are my more free spirited friends that jump into the festival vibe with gusto from the moment we arrive. I, on the other hand, am firmly in the no camp and whilst that may make me seem uptight; you have not seen me at 7am when I’m sweaty, have no make up on and have scarecrow hair. I wish I could be free-loving and not care about intimate hygiene but as I shower at least once a day at home- you’re at Glasto for four days with only wet wipes. I know you’re thinking, “But surely it’s not that bad as you’d use a condom” and the great thing about Glastonbury is the availability of free condoms, the only single-use plastic that they did allow this year. So each to their own but I’ll abstain for four days, it’s not like I’m not used to it #singlelife

Just returned from Glastonbury and worried you may have contracted an STI? Get your home test kit here - delivered within 24 hours* in discrete packaging. Safe, secure, sorted.

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