Some questions and answers about coming to the Sexual Health Clinic and what to expect. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please see our Guide to Confidentiality.
Q. I think I may have an STI, but I'm worried about being seen and talking to a complete stranger.
Please don't worry, here at our clinic we talk to and treat many people of all ages every day. Our team will help to put you at ease by talking to you about your sexual history in a friendly, non-judgemental way. We offer advice on safer sex and give you time to tell us about your concerns and worries. No matter how embarrassed you feel it is always worthwhile knowing that you are clear of any sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Q. I've booked an appointment at your clinic for an STI test. What will actually happen during my appointment? Will I need to have a blood test, an examination or can you take urine sample?
The usual routine would be for you to fill in a registration form in the waiting room, then be seen by a doctor or nurse who would take your medical history. If required, you would then have an examination and be offered tests for the infections we routinely screen for (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea) Although a blood test is advisable, it is not compulsory. You do not necessarily need to examined.
Men are asked not to pass urine for at least 1 hour before their appointment.
If you need treatment, for example, antibiotics or contraception, we will provide these for you for free .
Q. I've heard lots of scary stories about men and swabs in the penis...
If you don't have any symptoms, there is no need for us to take a swab - a urine sample for men is used to test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea. If you do have symptoms (a discharge from the penis, pain when going to the loo) a swab would be advised. A small sample is taken from the tip of the penis with a very fine cotton wool swab. It takes a second. There is no umbrella!
Q. Is it possible to catch an infection through oral sex? I've decided I'm not going to have proper sex, but I do still want to have unprotected oral sex.
Yes, oral sex is one of the ways that sexually transmitted infections(STIs) can be passed on. You can catch an STI if you have just one sexual partner, but the chance of catching an infection increases with the more partners you have.