Things to Expect at Any Sexual Health Clinic on Your First Visit

As health consciousness across the society is steadily rising, an increasing number of people in London are getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. Sexually transmitted infections were considered a taboo even in the recent past. It is a positive development that people are coming over that mental barrier and getting tested and treated straightaway. GUM clinics in London, have significant contribution behind the development of this positive mindset in our society.

Do You Know What a GUM Clinic is?

It is basically a sexual health clinic and GUM is the shortened form of Gento-Urinary Medicine. Sexual health clinics are run both by the NHS and private investors and the clinics provide queries, advice, consultation, suggestion, testing and treatment related to your sexual health and wellbeing. You are free to visit such clinics regardless of your gender, sexual orientation or age.

Why Should I Visit a Sexual Health Clinic?

If you experience any of the following conditions, you must visit a sexual health clinic nearby without delay:

  • Having unprotected sex with a new partner.
  • You think you are pregnant.
  • Experience something strange in your genital area.

Sexual health clinics do not limit their service to STI testing. Expert doctors and healthcare professionals there also provide pregnancy test, advice on birth control measures and answer your queries related to sexual health that you cannot ask elsewhere.

When Should I Visit a Sexual Health Clinic?

If you suspect to have picked up an STI, it is better to visit a sexual health clinic straightaway than going to the GP. Unlike GPs, STI clinics are better equipped to handle specific concerns related to sexual health and wellbeing. Sexual health clinics are a better choice also because of another reason. Such places cause less embarrassment compared to a GP office because one knows that everyone else present there is on the same boat.

Should I Book an Appointment?

Usually sexual health clinics are walk-in and you aren’t required to make any appointments in advance. However, you should better make a call in advance to be certain about the business hours. When you go there, you need to make sure that there’s ample time in hand because you may have to wait for long before seeing a doctor.

What Questions Do I Have to Face?

Once you have checked into a sexual health clinic, you have to keep waiting till a nurse or a doctor sees you. The healthcare professional will ask you a few questions to get more information about your sexual history. You should better answer every question the professional asks with honesty and truth. Typical questions that are asked at this round include the following:

  • When did you last have sex?
  • Did you have unprotected sex?
  • What are your symptoms, if any?
  • Why do you think you may have transmitted an STI?
  • When was your last period?
  • What makes you think you may be pregnant?

What Examinations Do You Typically Go Through at Any Sexual Health Clinic?

If the reason for visiting an STI Clinic in London is the concern that you may have transmitted an STI, then you have to take a test. The attending medical professional will explain you the test procedure in detail. You may also ask questions at this stage to clear out all doubts.

The professional would probably like to have a look at the symptoms or problem area. There is no point of being embarrassed at this stage.   

More about STI Testing

An STI test at any sexual health clinic involves any of the following procedures:

  • Collecting a urine sample.
  • A genital examination.
  • Collecting a blood sample.
  • Collecting swabs from the urethra.
  • Collecting swabs from the vagina in females.

Any standard sexual health screening involves a test for the following sexually transmitted infections (STIs):

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Genital warts and
  • HIV
  • Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia both are tested with a urine sample or a swab in women.
  • Both Syphilis and HIV testing require a blood sample.
  • Herpes is tested with a swab although testing is done only when sores become visible on your anal or genital area.

How Do I Get Access to My STI Test Results?

If your STI results are not available during your visit, it becomes the clinic’s responsibility to contact you within a week or two to deliver the results. The findings are handed over either over phone, by text or an unmarked letter to maintain confidentiality.

Finding a Reliable Sexual Health Clinic Near You

Taking an HIV testing or any other STI screening is now easier in London. An increasing number of people rely on a private clinic located at Harley Street in Marylebone. The clinic is named STI Clinic London and stays open every day of the week. On weekdays business hour stretches from 9 AM to 9 PM while on Saturdays and Sundays it is from 10 AM to 2 PM. Latest infrastructure, reliable reports, skilled and knowledgeable doctors and nurses, warm friendly environment and strict confidentiality are few of the factors that spell popularity for this private clinic.