Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are infections that you can get if you have unprotected sex with someone.
There are many reasons why you might want to have an STI test, such as:
- if you and a new partner are beginning a sexual relationship
- if you have had unprotected sex
- if you think you may have an STI
- if you just want a routine sexual health check
- if a condom broke
- if you are pregnant
- if you have symptoms or just feel something is not right.
Some STIs don’t have any symptoms so you might not know that you have an STI, while other STIs might have symptoms like discharge from the vagina or penis, pain in the lower abdomen, or sore testicles.
An STI test is fast and easy and will tell you if you have an STI and need treatment.
When you see the nurse or doctor, they will ask a few questions like:
- how long since your last STI test
- if you have any symptoms
- if you have a new partner
- what types of sex you've had.
You don’t need to feel embarrassed – our nurses do this every day and just want to know what sort of tests you need.
An STI test usually involves the nurse or doctor getting a sample from inside your vagina or urethra using a swab (like a long cotton bud). Sometimes you may be able to take this swab yourself.
An STI test might also include:
- an examination to see if an infection is present
- a swab test from any sores, ulcers or discharge
- a urine test - so try not to wee for two hours before your appointment
- a blood test
- an internal examination of the vagina.
- swabs in your mouth (if you have received oral sex)
- anal swabs (if you have received during anal sex).
You will get your results within a week.
TREATMENT FOR STIS
Many STIs are easily treated with antibiotics. Other STIs are treated with creams or tablets. Some STIs can be treated but not cured.
Many Family Planning clinics now offer do-it-yourself STI tests, so you don’t need to see a nurse or doctor. This is for people who don’t have any signs of an infection.
You will take the test samples yourself in the clinic bathroom and give them to the receptionist.
A nurse will contact you within a week with your results. If you need treatment, they will help you book an appointment.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.