STIs are most common in those under the age of 25 years, and often do not cause any symptoms. They are passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex, sharing sex toys, or genital-to-genital contact. Condoms are the only method of contraception that protect against both pregnancy and STIs. Even if you’re using another method of contraception, like the pill, to protect against pregnancy, you should still use a condom as well every time you have sex.
Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK. 1 in 10 young people who are sexually active are thought to have chlamydia. Left untreated, this can affect fertility in men and women. It usually causes no symptoms.
It is important to get tested ideally prior to starting a new relationship and if you have unprotected sex. It is also important to consider emergency contraception such as the morning after pill.
In boys, this involves a urine test, and in girls, this involves a vaginal swab that you can take yourself.
These free testing kits can be collected from the surgery (if you are 15-24 years).
If you are outside this age range, please book an appointment to discus testing with the nurse or doctor.
If you have any symptoms such as discharge, or have had unprotected sex with a partner known to have an STI, it is recommended you have a full STI screen. Any of the below centres will be able to assist you.