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Are you looking after your sexual health?

Posted 13 January 2021 in Sexual Health

A happy young coupleHow seriously do you take your sexual health? Unfortunately, many people don’t give it a second thought until they catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

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 partner.

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 2018 (1).

What 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.

STIs 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?

It 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.

If 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.

PHE 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).

You 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.

The 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 medicines.

You 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.

If 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?

Don’t 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.

If you are unable to get to a clinic or your GP, you can order an at-home testing kit for the most common STIs, as well as sexual health screening tests and tests for HIV/ PrEP.

We pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive, high quality and confidential testing and treatment service.

And 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.

Which treatment do I need?

You’ll be asked to complete a confidential medical questionnaire, which will be reviewed by our GPs, who will prescribe the appropriate treatment for your infection.

We offer 12 different tests and treatments:



Trichomoniasis vaginalis

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 Test

HIV Lab Test

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prep treatment test kit

PrEP annual test

Genital herpes treatments

Test 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?

We use DPD for all mainland UK deliveries and Royal Mail Special Delivery for the Scottish Highlands and islands. Find out how our discreet delivery works.

Don’t 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: team@webmedpharmacy.co.uk or telephone: 0161 491 1899.


  1. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/sexually-transmitted-infections-pensioners-up-17718889

  2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/914184/STI_NCSP_report_2019.pdf

  3. https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/publications/hps-weekly-report/volume-54/issue-21/sti-diagnoses-continue-to-rise-in-scotland/

  4. https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/sexual-health/sexual-health-reports/sexual-health-in-wales-surveillance-scheme-quarterly-report-july-2019/

  5. https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/sites/default/files/2020-11/STI%20Surveillance%20Report%202020%20%282019%20data%29.pdf

  6. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/914184/STI_NCSP_report_2019.pdf p6

Written by Jayne Howarth 
13 January 2021

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