What is a sexual health screening?

First you will have a consultation with a doctor, nurse or health adviser. They will ask you questions relating to your concerns or symptoms as well as take a sexual history. This will involve asking questions about your sex life. You may feel embarrassed, but remember everything is confidential and you wonít be judged.

The examination:

Women:

  •   Samples will be taken to look for infections using a swab (a bit like a cotton bud). If you donít have symptoms all the tests can be done by inserting the swab gently into the vagina. You can take the samples yourself if you wish and the nurse will explain how to take them.
  •   If you have symptoms you will be examined on the couch. A full genital examination will be done. We use a speculum to examine you internally which is similar to when you have a smear test done. Samples are taken from inside the vagina using swabs to look for infections.
  •   All patients are offered tests for HIV and syphilis and this is a blood test.
  •   You may need to have additional tests done such as pregnancy or hepatitis B tests depending on your symptoms and these will be discussed with you beforehand.

Men:

  •   The doctor will examine your penis to look for any obvious sign of infection.
  •   In most men tests for infections are done on urine however in some cases we need to take a sample from the tip of the penis to do the tests. This is done by inserting a small loop or a very, very small cotton bud into the top of the urethra (tube where you urinate) found at the top of the penis.
  •   All patients are offered tests for HIV and syphilis and this is a blood test.
  •   You may need to have additional tests done such as hepatitis B or samples taken from other sites such as throat and rectum and these will be discussed with you beforehand.
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What happens next?

You may be given some of your test results straight away along with any necessary treatment. If your sample is sent off to the laboratory you will receive a text message of the test results within 2 weeks and if treatment is necessary we will arrange an appointment for you to attend the clinic.

Sometimes we ask patients to return to the clinic for test results and a follow-up appointment. This will be discussed with you before you leave the clinic if necessary.