STD Testing In The UK: What To Expect

Every individual who is sexually active should visit a doctor regularly for testing even if he or she has no symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Some diseases may be asymptomatic, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea in women, while others, like genital warts and herpes, can lie dormant for a long time. Even if a person is not showing any symptoms of a disease, he or she could infect a partner. Fortunately, it is easy to get STD Testing In the UK at a free genitourinary medicine, or GUM, clinic.

Visiting A Clinic

Some GUM clinics require appointments, but many are set up as walk-in clinics. When patients arrive, they’ll be asked to give their name and contact information at reception. However, patients are free to withhold that information. If they do choose to share it, they should know it will be kept completely confidential and will not be shared with a family doctor or any other person without permission.

Giving Medical History

Before the testing begins, patients will talk with a doctor or nurse about their medical and sexual histories. Patients should be prepared to give such information as the last time they had sexual intercourse, whether or not they had sex with a regular partner, whether or not they used a condom, and what symptoms they’re having. Women should be able to give the dates of their last period, their last pap smear, and any pregnancies they have had.

Taking The Tests

Based on a patient’s symptoms and history, the doctor will determine which tests are recommended. Some tests require a blood or urine sample, while others require an examination of the genitals or a swab of the vagina or urethra. These tests may be somewhat uncomfortable, but they are rarely painful.

Getting The Results

In some cases, the results of an STD test are available right away, but for other tests, like an HIV test, the patient may need to wait a week or two. The clinic will contact the patient with the results, and if a test for an STD is positive, the patient will need to return to discuss treatment options.