A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection that can only be passed on through sexual contact with another person. Typically these viruses or bacteria get passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral contact.
Everyone has sex, it’s fun and in most cases harmless. However it is very easy to pick up more than you bargained for especially if the sex is unprotected, which happens more often than anyone would care to admit. Also most people forget that oral sex is also a risk for catching certain sexually transmitted infections, especially as oral sex is usually unprotected. Alcohol, drugs or lack of planning are all common causes for unprotected sex. This often leads to anxiety and worry about whether you might have picked up an sexually transmitted infection . This could be even more worrying if the sex was with someone other than your regular partner. Having access to a knowledgeable doctor who has been working in this field for over 15 years and a fast, confidential sexual health screening service like the one we provide, can help alleviate anxiety and keep you and your partners safe.
Despite major public health campaigns, rates of sexually transmitted infections are still on the increase. In particular we are still seeing a rise in chlamydia, HIV and syphilis, despite all the information about risks out there.
Whilst condoms protect against most sexually transmitted infection, there are some, such as genital warts ( HPV) and Herpes, where condoms do not provide 100% protection. Both of these conditions can cause great anxiety and have a big impact on relationships and people’s sex lives. In the case of HPV there is also the added risk of cervical/anal or throat cancer.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)
STI’s such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital warts and herpes infect only the area where the contact occurred (throat/mouth, vagina, anus) giving localised symptoms, such as blisters, ulcers, lesions, discharge and discomfort on urination. However they can also have no symptoms ( asymptomatic)
Other STI’s such as HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis are systemic, which means symptoms are more generalised, such as fever, sore throat, aching joints, enlarged lymph nodes and flu like symptoms. In the case of Hepatitis, symptoms can even be delayed for decades. Many STI’s have no symptoms or very mild symptoms and are often picked up only during routine screening. This is why it is recommended to have regular STI screens if you are sexually active and certainly before embarking on a new sexual relationship.
If you are infected with an sexually transmitted infection , then it becomes easier to contract or transmit other sexually transmitted infections. For instance we know if you have herpes it becomes easier to contract (and transmit) HIV, similarly having HIV makes it easier to pick up Hepatitis C. Recently it has been shown that women with BV are more at risk of picking up other sexually transmitted infections including but not limited too, HIV.
The more sexual partners you have the bigger the risks. STI’s do not have an age limit and do not discriminate between the sexes and therefore, with the advent of treatment for erectile dysfunction, internet dating sites, more frequent anonymous sexual contacts, GRINDR, TINDER, and so on we are seeing an increase in STI’s in all populations, including in the over 50’s, a generation that might not be as aware of all the risks out there and who are easily overlooked.
The good news is that there are treatments available to cure most STI’s, and in the case of HIV at least keep people healthy and allow them to live a normal lifespan. There is really no excuse for not getting tested these days. I am here to discuss any sexual health concerns you might have in a completely confidential environment.
Sexual Health Screening Services
Many people delay testing because they are worried about getting a positive result, others are not keen to attend a NHS clinic due to the fact that everyone knows why they are there and because of the time they have to take off work and the length of time it takes to get results. As I run a private medical clinic people attend for services ranging from GP consultations to travel vaccinations, physiotherapy and osteopathy. Nobody knows why you are here and as you can be seen on the same day when it suits you, you do not have to take a half day off work and lose income or ask for sick leave.
I have over 15 years experience providing sexual health screening and I offer a completely confidential, professional, non judgemental service from start to end. If you are not sure if you have been at risk, you can have a consultation to discuss the possible risks and whether screening would be appropriate and the timing of testing. We discuss and agree all costs beforehand so you know exactly where you stand and I will always provide you with clear and accurate advice based on current British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH )guidelines.
Many clinics in the area offer STI screening, but when it comes to diagnosing and treating STI’s it is vital that you see a doctor with experience in this field, who can advise you about whether you have been at risk and when to test. I have been working in this field for over 15 years and therefore have the experience to give you the correct advice on the different possibilities and treatment options.
I am the only sexual health screening practice in the Canary Wharf mall, where you will always see a doctor with over 15 years experience of diagnosing and treating STI’s and who can perform same day sexual health screening and get results for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea in 4-6 hours and in addition also offer instant HIV testing . I offer a more bespoke service than the other local services where you just get your samples checked, but don’t get the opinion of someone experienced in STI’s. This means you could be given appropriate advice, get screened and have your results that same afternoon, having taken almost no time off work.
Everything you do with us remains private and confidential and is not shared with anyone, including your NHS GP, unless you want us to.