It is your choice whether you want to get tested for a sexually transmitted infection, however if you meet any of the below criteria you are recommended to get tested as soon as possible.
Getting tested can also stop you worrying, and could even save your life.
You should get tested if you meet any of the following criteria:
If you have had sex in the past without protection and you have never been tested, then you should get tested at a sexual health clinic. Many sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms, meaning you may have one without even knowing it.
Not treating them could lead to serious health issues in the future.
It’s important to stay safe when you are in the early stages of a new relationship, many sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms, so without a test it is not possible to know if you will catch or pass on a sexually transmitted infection.
You should definitely use condoms until you have both been tested and are sure you are clear of any infections.
Condoms are the only contraception which can prevent sexually transmitted infections from being passed on, this is why it is important to know you and your partner are both clear of any infections before you stop using them.
You can both get tested at a sexual health clinic, speak with your doctor or call your clinic.
Important: If you are stopping using condoms and are not using any other form of contraception while also having vaginal sex then you could fall pregnant.
If someone has cheated on you then they may have had unprotected sex with an infected person, your partner could then pass this infection onto you.
The more sexual partners you have, the higher risk of catching an STI, if you have multiple partners you should get tested frequently.
Common symptoms of STIs are:
- pain when peeing
- pain when ejaculating
- pain during sex
- discharge from vagina or penis
- bleeding after or during sex
- sore or blisters on genitals
Use our online test, select your symptoms from the most common ones and find out what sexually transmitted infections usually have those symptoms.
To be absolutely sure you are not infected you should always get tested at a sexual health clinic.
If your condom split during sex (including vaginal, oral or anal), this means that you could have caught or passed along an infection, you should always get tested whenever this happens.
If you were having vaginal sex it is also possible that some of the mans sperm entered the vagina which could mean you or your partner are pregnant.
The sharing of sex toys can spread sexually transmitted infections. You should get tested If you have shared them with someone whom you don’t know is clean from sexually transmitted infections. If you don’t know for sure you should not take their word for it.
If you find out you are infected then you should try to inform any person whom you have shared sexual contact with.
To start a family you need to stop using condoms, which means you could pass an infection onto your partner, you should both get tested before stopping using condoms.
It is also important to get tested for your baby’s sake, sexually transmitted infections can be passed from mother to baby and can lead to serious complications if not treated.
If an ex-partner has been responsible enough to tell you they had an infection this means that you may also have the infection.
Sometimes ex-partners can ask for the sexual health services to contact you if they have been tested positive for an infection.
People generally do this to save the embarrassment of telling you themselves. You should take the sexual service’s recommendation in getting tested yourself.
Sharing needles with another person puts you at risk of catching HIV or any other STI that is passed on through blood.
The good news is that most sexually transmitted infections can be cured with medication, and those that can’t can be managed, allowing you to continue a normal life.
However, the later you leave this, the more dangerous your situation could get - it is important to get tested as soon as possible.
Feeling nervous about visiting a sexual health clinic is normal, you can find out what happens at the clinic on this website, it’s not as bad as people think it is!