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What are STIs?

Sexually transmitted infections, also known as STIs, can be passed from one person to another during sex. They are usually transmitted during sexual activity when a condom is not worn. However, penetrative sexual intercourse is not the only way to catch or pass on an STI – any form of genital contact can be enough.

Convenient & confidential consultations are available with our GMC-registered GPs, who will review your details and if appropriate provide prescription treatments for STIs. Home testing kits are also available, provided by our partner accredited pathology lab.

Some of the most common STIs can be symptom-free for both men and women - as a result, you may not be aware that you have caught an infection. However, the STI can be harmful and passed on to sexual partners if protection is not used. For example, chlamydia can cause infertility, but 70-80% of women don’t experience any symptoms. For this reason, if you are sexually active with multiple partners, you should be tested regularly for common STIs – especially if you have unprotected sex. If you test positive, the most common STIs such can usually be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.

The most common STIs are:

Other sexually transmitted infections include Syphilis, HIV, and Trichomoniasis.

What are the treatments for STIs?

Most STIs can be treated, and treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible. For this reason, if you suspect that you have an STI, either contact your GP, a local sexual health clinic or begin a confidential consultation with the Pharmacy2U online doctor.

If an STI is not treated, the infection is very unlikely to go away by itself, and can develop to cause other health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, and a painful infection in the testicles in men, both of which can lead to fertility problems.

Testing for STIs

If you think you may have an STI, it’s very important to carry out a test to make sure, so that you can quickly obtain the correct treatment and advice. You may be reluctant to go for a test because you will expect it to be embarrassing; however there are specialist clinics all over the UK that can offer tests and advice without judging your sexual behaviour.

Pharmacy2U offer fully confidential laboratory urine tests for STIs. Our test service is provided by The Doctor Laboratory (TDL), which is a medically-led laboratory, established in 1987. It is the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK, widely used by GPs to process health tests. The test is fully diagnostic, in other words, no other information is needed to be certain that you have or have not got an STI. You should consider taking a test if you are sexually active and have had unprotected sex with anyone other than a regular partner who you are certain is unlikely to have an STI.