Going for an STI (sexually transmitted infection) test can be quite nerve-racking, especially if it’s your first time and you’re not sure what to expect and what questions you’ll be asked. Here we go through some of the more common questions our clinicians (doctor, nurse or healthcare worker) may ask you when you visit our clinic and explain why they ask them.
Please note: Each person is assessed individually so you may be asked additional, fewer or different questions to the ones listed below.
Firstly, we’ll ask you for your basic details via a form.
When you first arrive at one of our clinics we’ll give you a form to fill in which will ask for some basic information about yourself; name, date of birth, address etc. All information you give us is completely confidential. Find out more about confidentiality in our clinics here.
Do you have any symptoms?
When you see one of our clinicians for an STI test, they’ll ask you if you have any symptoms, like unusual discharge, pain when urinating or lumps/bumps in your genital area. We ask this to help determine whether your symptoms could be due to an STI or not, and also to ensure we do the right tests. So it’s important to be honest with us.
Do you have any pelvic/abdominal pain? (women)
Do you have any testicular pain? (men)
This is another symptom based question which our clinicians will ask to help determine whether you may have an STI or not.
Do you have oral, vaginal or anal sex?
We’ll ask about this to make sure we’re testing for infections in all relevant areas e.g. giving you oral/rectal swabs in addition to genital, if relevant.
How many sexual partners have you had in recent months and did you use condoms?
We may ask these questions to assess your risk of STIs which helps us decide which tests to suggest. Don’t worry if you don’t know an exact number, just give us your best estimate. We can also offer you free condoms there and then if you wish!
When did you last have unprotected sex?
We ask about the last time you had unprotected sex because some STIs take a while to show up on tests.
Common bacterial STIs (such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea) take at least two weeks to show up in tests following the potential sexual exposure. This means that if someone had a ‘one night stand’ one week before they visit the clinic for testing, we would advise to wait until two weeks has passed to test.
Less common STIs like HIV and syphilis can take up to 3 months to show up on a blood test, so we would advise repeat tests for these infections 3 months after potential sexual exposure.
Visit the sexual health clinic at Cobridge Community Health Centre for a full STI test - see clinic opening times and contact information here.