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Female STI test

Female STI test
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This sexually transmitted infection (STI) test for women tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. If you don’t know whether you need an STI test or not, you can visit Online Doctor and take a free STI assessment. Our NHS-experienced clinicians will then be able to tell you whether you need a test or if you need to go to a sexual health clinic or your GP. 

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Female STI tests

These test kits are designed for women who are not experiencing symptoms of STIs. They come with instructions on how to take the various samples required as part of the test, plus all the equipment needed.

A vaginal swab is provided for you to collect a sample to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. For syphilis and HIV you’ll need to take a finger prick blood sample, using a small device called a lancet. Don’t worry, neither the swab nor the finger prick should hurt, so the test is relatively easy to complete by yourself, at home.

STIs tests

Chlamydia - This is one of the most common STIs in the UK and is particularly common among teenagers and young adults who are sexually active. It’s a bacterial infection usually spread through sex or contact with genital fluids.  Most people with chlamydia don’t experience symptoms, but if you do these might include pain while peeing, unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or bottom. Women may experience pain in the stomach or bleeding after sex/between periods. Men might experience swelling in the testicles.

Gonorrhoea - Gonorrhoea infects the cervix, the urethra, rectum and in some cases the throat and eyes. Symptoms usually include a thick yellow or green discharge from the vagina or penis, which are the sites the bacteria that cause the disease are usually found. Some people will experience pain when peeing and women often experience bleeding between periods. However some people (1 in 10 men and nearly half of women) will experience no symptoms at all.

Syphilis - Syphilis is a bacterial infection mainly spread through contact to an infected sore. This transmission usually occurs during sex with an infected person. Some people don’t experience symptoms with syphilis. However, others may experience symptoms such as sores or ulcers, skin tags or growths in the genital area, a rash on the hands or feet, white patches in the mouth, tiredness, aches and pains or a fever.

HIV - HIV is a virus which is found in the bodily fluid of infected people. It is usually transmitted by having unprotected vaginal or anal sex, but it can also be passed on through sharing needles or during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Most people will experience a short flu-like illness after being infected with HIV, after this HIV may not cause any further symptoms for some years. 

How the STI service works

To use the Online Doctor STI service you simply need to select the test kit you would like to request. You’ll have to complete a short questionnaire and, if suitable, one of the clinicians will approve your request. You’ll then receive your test kit by post with all the instructions to do the test, packaging and postage to send it to our partner laboratory. Once the lab has received your samples you’ll get your results within 3 days. Your results can be viewed securely online in your Patient Record. 

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Female STI tests frequently asked questions

  • When can I take this test?

    With STI tests there is a so-called ‘window period’ for getting an accurate result. This period is the time between potential exposure to an STI and the point at which a test will give that accurate result. Testing too early may mean the result is not accurate. The window period for chlamydia and gonorrhoea is 2 weeks after exposure, HIV is 4 weeks after exposure and syphilis is 12 weeks after exposure. 

    This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test quickly after exposure, it just means you might need to retest to confirm the accuracy of your result. 

  • What will happen if I test positive?

    If you test positive for chlamydia, Online Doctor will offer you a free course of antibiotics, if clinically suitable. 

    If you test positive for gonorrhoea or syphilis the clinicians will advise you to go to your local sexual health clinic for treatment and advice. 

    If you test positive or ‘reactive’ (this means maybe positive) for HIV, you will also be directed to your local sexual health clinic. However, one of our clinicians will ring you to discuss this.

  • I have symptoms of an STI, what should I do?

    If you have symptoms, this test kit is not for you. You’ll need to get an appointment with your GP or visit your local sexual health clinic. If you think you might have been infected with HIV and have either a rash, flu-like illness, fever, sore throat, headache or swollen lymph nodes and you should get urgent medical advice at your sexual health clinic, GP or ring 111.