How seriously do you take your sexual health? Unfortunately, many
people don’t give it a second thought until they catch a sexually transmitted
But, it’s something you make a priority from the time you become
sexually active, because it’s about keeping you – and your partner – safe.
With January 14 designated STIQ Day, which is
dedicated to raising awareness about sexual health, it’s a good time to think
about if you would benefit from a sexual health check up – especially after the
festive period, if you had casual sex, unprotected sex or do not have regular
An STI is not the Christmas gift you want to give or receive, but
cases are rising across the UK, and it’s not just young sexually active people
who are affected: the figures among the over-65s rose by 41% between 2014 and
is an STI?
Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea,
syphilis, genital warts, genital herpes and trichomoniasis vaginalis – are
passed from one person to another when having unprotected sexual contact.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if you have an STI because
you’ll develop no symptoms. For instance, about half of men and between 70% and
80% of women have no chlamydia symptoms, but if it is left untreated, men can
become infertile, while women are at greater risk of pelvic inflammatory
disease (PID). It’s also a major cause of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage.
in the UK
Public Health England (PHE) published a report in September 2020
(2), which showed a 5% increase in STIs between 2018 and 2019, with 468,342
diagnoses, while in Scotland, Health Protection Scotland (3) published two
reports in May 2020, which revealed that chlamydia was the most reported STI in
2019, with 17,366 diagnoses – up 6% from the previous year. It’s a similar
picture in Wales (4) and Northern Ireland (5).
Should you be
worried about STIs?
depends on how sexually active you are and whether you have a regular partner
or not, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
you don’t have a regular partner or have casual sex without using condoms, it’s
a good idea to have a sexual health
check-up, whichscreensfor STIs and HIV, every year.
recommends annual chlamydia screening for anyone aged 25 and under who is sexually
active or when changing sexual partner. For gay, bisexual and other men who
have sex with men, PHE recommends annual HIV and STI testing, or every three
months if you are having unprotected sex with casual or new partners (6).
don’t have to be referred to your local sexual
health clinic by your GP – you can book an appointment direct and you don’t have
to have any symptoms to see a medical professional.
process is straightforward: you’ll be asked about your sexual history –
remember these are professionals; no one’s judging you and there is no need to
feel embarrassed – and also about any medical conditions or prescription
may be asked to provide a test sample – this could be blood or urine, or it
could be a urethra or vaginal swab, or a swab from a genital sore, depending on
what you are being tested for.
your results show you have an STI you’ll be prescribed an appropriate
antibiotic or antiviral treatment.
What if I
think I have an STI?
delay if you think you have an STI or if a sexual partner contacts you to say
they have one. Many infections are easily treatable, but if you ignore the
symptoms, you risk avoidable health problems later on.
you are unable to get to a clinic or your GP, you can order an at-home
for the most common STIs, as well as sexual health screening tests and tests
for HIV/ PrEP.
pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive, high quality and confidential
testing and treatment service.
be assured: the test kit and treatment you receive from WebMed Pharmacy is the
same as you would have at any GP or sexual health clinic, because we all follow
the same medical guidelines.
do I need?
be asked to complete a confidential medical questionnaire, which will be
reviewed by our GPs, who will prescribe
the appropriate treatment for your infection.
offer 12 different tests and treatments:
2-in-1 test – for
gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
3-in-1 test – for
gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and trichomoniasis vaginalis
7-in-1 test – for
gonorrhoea, Clamydia, trichomoniasis vaginalis, genital herpes, bacterial
vaginosis, mycoplasma genitalium and ureaplasma urealyticum.
Home HIV Self
HIV Lab Test
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prep treatment test kit
PrEP annual test
Genital herpes treatments
kits are sent to The Doctors Laboratory (TDL), the largest independent
providers of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK, and we
guarantee to turn around results quickly:
- For HIV lab tests, the lab sends us the results within 24 hours of
receiving the sample
- For most other tests, we receive the results within 48 hours of
the lab receiving the sample.
How Do I
Receive the Test?
use DPD for all mainland UK deliveries and Royal Mail Special Delivery for the
Scottish Highlands and islands. Find out how our discreet
leave your sexual health to chance – stay informed and get tested when you need
to. If you are in any doubt, contact us today via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0161 491 1899.
Written by Jayne Howarth
13 January 2021