About The STIs

Below is a list of the STIs we can test for, and some information about them.

Chlamydia

   (Read more at NHS Choices)

Chlamydia is the most common STI, and around one in every 12 people tested find they are positive. In most cases, Chlamydia shows no symptoms yet if undiagnosed and untreated it can lead to serious health problems such as infertility. In fact, it's the leading easily preventable cause of infertility in the UK and possibly worldwide.

Gonorrhea

   (Read more at: NHS Choices)

Gonorrhoea is a less common STI in the UK than chlamydia, genital warts or genital herpes, but over 16,500 new cases of gonorrhoea were reported in 2008. Young men and women aged 16-24 are the most affected: in 2008, they accounted for 47% of new gonorrhoea diagnoses. Typical symptoms are an unusual discharge from the vagina or penis and pain when urinating.

Genital Herpes (HSV-1 & HSV-2)

   (Read more at: NHS Choices)

Genital herpes is a chronic STI caused by the herpes simplex viruses (HSV). There are two types of HSV, Type 1 and Type 2: both types are highly contagious and can be passed from one person to another by sex (oral, vaginal and anal) or by direct contact with the infected area. Over 80% of those who carry the virus are unaware they have the infection because there are often no symptoms. Even if there are no symptoms the virus it can be passed from one person to another, making testing essential for diagnosing and treating the problem.

  • HSV-1 can cause similar sores in the genital area, but can also cause infections of the mouth and lips - often known as 'cold sores'.
  • HSV-2 causes sores on the genitals and is generally only transmitted via sexual contact with another person who has the genital HSV-2 infection.

Trichomonas Vaginalis

   (Read more at: NHS Choices)

Trichomonas vaginalis is also called trichomoniasis or shortened to TV. Trichomoniasis is one of the most common STIs, meaning that you may not have had many sexual partners to catch the infection. It is caused by caused by a single-celled parasite Trichomonas vaginalis and often has no signs over several years, making testing the only way to know if you have the infection.

While a large number of people may have the infection, only 30% show any noticeable symptoms. The most common symptoms include mild irritation and redness of the genitals (in both men and women) to severe inflammation, which can increase the chance of contracting HIV. Pregnant women with Trichomoniasis are also more likely to have premature births and have babies that have lower birth weights.

Syphilis (treponema pallidum)

   (Read more at: NHS Choices)

Syphilis is an STI caused by treponema pallidum bacteria. Syphilis is one of the less common yet most dangerous STIs in the UK, however number of cases that syphilis had been diagnosed has risen sharply in the past decade. Syphilis usually shows the same symptoms in both men and women and are often mild. Symptoms of Syphilis can include painless sores on the site of infection (usually the genitals), swelling of the lymph gland, rashes, tiredness and headaches developing. Without treatment Syphilis can affect the brain, nerves, eyes, bones, skin, blood and heart leading to further serious complications.

Mycoplasma hominis

   (Read more at: Wikipedia)

Mycoplasma hominis is a living organism common in almost all humans, residing in the urinary and genital tracts of both men and women. It usually causes no adverse symptoms and is not classes as a classic STI, yet sudden growth of large cultures can cause symptoms such as painful urination, pain during sex or painful discharge. Some people more than others, such as those with weak or suppressed immune systems or people who have contracted HIV, are more likely to develop an infection. In certain, rare cases the infection can spread to beyond the genitals, affecting organs which can lead to further health complications.

Ureaplasma urealyticum

   (Read more at: Wikipedia)

Ureaplasma Urealyticum is a bacterium that resides in the urinary tract of both men and women: it is not considered a traditional STI but can be passed through sexual activity or contact with the genitals. Outbreaks or rapid expansion are usually treated with a single dose of antibiotics.

Generally it is advised that the Ureaplasma infection is not harmful and does not causes serious complications or symptoms in humans and that a large portion of the population it causes no problems. However severe symptoms or rapid expansion or large cultures of the infection can cause irritation and lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in women, resulting in infertility.

Mycoplasma Genitalium

   (Read more at: Wikipedia)

Mycoplasma Genitalium is a small parasitic bacterium that can infect both men and women, passed through sexual contact or activity. Mycoplasma Genitalium testing is usually undertaken to diagnose a problem if all other tests are inconclusive, for example very often urethritis that is not caused by either Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacterium. Mycoplasma Genitalium is often asymptomatic, however other symptoms often include those similar to other STIs, such as pain while urinating, pain during sex, painful or discoursed discharge. If untreated, it can lead to futher complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Diesease.

Haemophilus ducreyi

   (Read more at: Wikipedia)

Haemophilus ducreyi is a bacteria that is the leading STI cause of genital ulceration. Common symptoms in both men and women include the development or painful ulcers on the genitals alongside genital tenderness and pain while urinating. Further symptoms in women include pain during defecation and rectal bleeding. Infection occurs via physical contact with the infected area, making it transferable during sexual intercourse or activity (including oral and anal sex). Treatment usually consists of a course of antibiotics, however left untreated can lead to complications such as a likelihood of contracting HIV and enlargement of lymph nodes due to increasing infection. In men it can cause damage to the foreskin, making it unable to be retracted over the glans.