STI Tests & Full STI Screens

Depending on the route you follow, testing and screening for sexually transmitted illnesses are usually targeted to test for the presence of one STI. In some cases however, you can have either a general STI screen or a combined test. The latter is a test investigating 2 conditions, usually Gonorrhea and Chlamydia because of their prevalence. The former is a general screen that investigates for the presence of any and all STIs.

Why have a full STI screen?

There are two main reasons for having a full STI screen. The first is as an investigation after having unprotected sex which you can opt for if you are worried about STIs or if you have some non-specific symptoms which you or your doctor would like to investigate. The full STI screen can accurately determine whether or not you are suffering from an STI when there is uncertainty about your symptoms or about whether an STI is causing illness.

Some people opt for a full screen if they have been sexually active in the past and are entering a longer term relationship. This screen can be a useful way of ensuring your partner’s health, particularly as some particularly common STIs don’t present with symptoms for quite some time, if at all, and are therefore easy to transmit through regular sexual intercourse.

In some cases pregnant women might opt for a sexual health screen. This is because a number of STIs can be very dangerous if passed on to newborn babies. This transmission is also quite likely because the baby’s passage through the birth canal will often involve exposure to STI causing agents like bacteria.

Where can I get a full STI screen from?

Under the NHS the full STI screen is often referred to as a sexual health screening. This screen is available through your GP or through a sexual health clinic (often referred to as a GUM or genitor-urinary medicine clinic). You can also receive this test from private clinics or antenatal clinics if you are pregnant.

You can also opt for an STI screen from private companies like mail order testing providers. These will send you a testing package requesting a sample for testing, and will usually charge between £100 and £150 for the complete testing service, while a private hospital or clinic can charge as much as £300-400.

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