Doctorcall

This week is Sexual Health Awareness Week, designed to ignite conversations on sexual health and the stigmas surrounding it, while sharing advice and important information with the people who need it. The theme this year is relationships, sex and disability. At Doctorcall, our sexual health clinics in London and Manchester provide a range of sexual health services, including private STD testing, providing you with advice and helping you to take charge of your health.

Sexual health is important to both men and women, yet sex remains an incredibly difficult topic to talk about for a lot of people, raising feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness. Campaigns such as Sexual Health Awareness Week help to shed light on the subject, whether it’s by promoting safe sex, sharing information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or promoting the importance of testing. 

In 2018, there were 447,694 diagnoses of STIs made in England, a 5% increase since 2017. London has the highest rate of STIs in England, with rates of new STI cases more prevalent in men (1,623 per 100,000) than women.

A discrete and supportive service

Many people with sexually transmitted infections do not get symptoms. If left untreated, however, STIs can affect your health, which means the sooner you get tested, the sooner you’ll be able to start treatment if it’s needed. The only way to learn if you have an STI is through a check-up.

At Doctorcall, our sexual health clinics provide a range of sexual health services, including private STD testing. We understand the importance of discretion when it comes to getting tested for STIs, and our doctors are here to help you all the way – you don’t have to give us any information you don’t want to, and you don’t even have to give us your real name.

Home testing kits

As well as in-clinic tests, we also provide STI Home Testing Kits that allow you to test for STIs in the discretion and comfort of your own home, meaning you don’t have to squeeze regular appointments into a busy work schedule.

Why book with us

Our clinics were founded in 1989 as the first private sexual health clinics in the UK. As a private clinic we often have same-day appointments available, meaning you won’t be waiting any longer that you need be. Our clinics are conveniently located, with two in London at Harley Street and London Wall as well as one in Manchester in St. Ann's Square in Manchester.

To book an appointment or to find out more about the sexual health services we provide at Doctorcall, visit:

www.doctorcall.co.uk/sexual-health/sexual-health-testing.

Follow #SHW19 to show your support for Sexual Health Awareness Week (Monday 16 September to Sunday 22 September)

Unfortunately the earliest signs of an STI (sexually transmitted infection) can often be not having any symptoms at all. Our bodies are high functioning machines that, when faced with an infection, call the immune system to attention. In many cases this a beneficial counteraction but when it comes to an STI it can result in unknowingly spreading the infection to a partner or causing significant harm to our own bodies.


With no symptoms routine testing, communicating with sexual partners on their STI status and practicing safe sex are all crucial endeavours.  


When signs do appear, symptoms can include:


  • Unusual discharge or itchiness around the genitals

  • Burning feeling when peeing

  • Rash, sore or small lumps in genital area

  • Unusual bleeding from vagina, after sex or in between periods

  • Pain and swelling of the testicles (balls)


Some STIs can not be cured but there are treatments available to ease the symptoms in these cases. Though in each case STIs are more successfully treated if detected early on. If you are sexually active with a long-term partner or not, regular testing needs to be incorporated into your routine.

Doctorcall offer quick and discreet STI home testing kits so you can keep on top of frequently checking in with your sexual health status.

Sexual intercouse STIs (sexually transmitted infections) or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are infections contracted and spread through sexual intercourse, while some can also pass through skin to skin genital contact. If the infection modifies the regular function of the body it is then understood as a disease.


Risk of infections or diseases may not pass your mind while getting hot under the collar with a significant other. Though the dangers are certainly real and can cause a range of health problems from mild irritations to serious long-term illnesses.


Some STIs can be easily cured with antibiotics if detected early enough, while others can have permanent repercussions if left untreated. It’s vital to keep on top of your sexual health with regular tests.


Doctorcall offer quick and discreet STI home testing kits to cut out the inconvenience of travel and ensure peace of mind from the privacy of your own home.

STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are an easy mood killer to avoid but whether you’re with a long term partner or casually dating you must confront your sexual health.  


For men and women alike the risk of sexually transmitted diseases must always be seriously considered and understood when having intercourse.


So what are the most common types of STIs?


Chlamydia

 

Chlamydia (genital chlamydia trachomatis) is a bacterial infection spread through sex or contact with infected genital fluids (semen or vaginal fluid).

 

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI diagnosed in England, accounting for 46.1% of all STIs diagnosed in 2015. Around 70% of infected females and 50% of males will not have any obvious signs or symptoms or they may be so mild they go unnoticed.

 

HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

 

HPV, commonly understood as genital warts, is the name for over 100 types of viruses that affect your skin and the moist membranes lining your body. Around 30 types of HPV infection can affect the genital area.

 

HPV is highly contagious and will most likely spread to every sexually active person at some point.

 

Herpes


Herpes is caused by two different but similar viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both can lead to blistering sores around your vulva, vagina, cervix, anus, penis, scrotum, inner thighs, lips, mouth, throat, and in rare cases your eyes.

Herpes is an incredibly common infection that can spread from mere skin-to-skin contact, including areas that a condom doesn’t cover. Currently it’s being claimed that about 70% of the population have been infected by herpes virus or one of its close relatives.

 

Gonorrhoea

 

Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacteria Neisseris gonorrhoeae and can cause serious health issues if left untreated, including infertility for both males and females.

 

While the rates of gonorrhoea diagnosis seemed to decrease between 2005 and 2008, there has been a substantial increase each year since.

There were 3,800 diagnoses among people aged 45 and over in 2015, which is an 18.2% increase on 3,214 diagnoses in 2014.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)


HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.

The UK has a relatively small HIV epidemic with an estimated 89,400 people living with HIV. The UK has made significant progress in antiretroviral treatment coverage in recent decades. 96% of those diagnosed are now accessing treatment and 94% are virally suppressed.

However, late diagnosis remains a key challenge. In 2016, 42% of diagnoses happened at a late stage of infection.


Syphilis


Syphilis is a chronic bacterial infection that can cause long term organ damage if left untreated. While Syphilis is still not a hugely common STI, diagnoses have dramatically risen in the UK over the past few years.


In 2016, there were 5,920 syphilis diagnoses - an increase of 12 per cent from the previous year (from 5,281 to 5,920) and a 97 per cent rise from 2012 (from 3,001 to 5,920)


Trichomoniasis


Trichomoniasis is the lesser known STI caused by a miniscule parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.


Trichomoniasis is more common in women than men but is overall quite rare in the UK.


The answer is a resounding YES. When it comes to staying on top of your sexual health and testing for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) some of many obstacles can include the blush inducing waiting room or having to squeeze regular appointments into a busy schedule. It’s with a sigh of relief that such huge advancements have been made allowing for discreet yet reliable take home STI tests.


Doctorcall provides a wide range of home testing kits that deliver an entirely private and no-fuss STI testing experience.


Each STI testing kit is posted by Royal Mail in a plain, non-branded packet that will fit through your letterbox. After taking the test, you send it back to Doctorcall; results will be sent to you by your preferred method.

All of the equipment you need to take the sample is provided as well as easy to use instructions.