Do I Need an STI Test? in Sex

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If you've had unsafe sex, having a test is the only way to be sure if you have an STI or not

Knowing your STI status means you can protect your health and your partners'

When should you go for an STI test? 

Did something go wrong during sex, like a burst condom or a spillage? Did you do something you regretted later?

Talk through what happened with your doctor or ring your nearest sexual health clinic.

Many people carry sexual infections without knowing it. They can still pass them on and can still get ill from them in future.

Find out why it's worth going for an STI test.

You have symptoms

Sometimes it's obvious from symptoms that something's wrong - for example painful pee or warts

Lovers with bad news

A former or current partner may have been in touch to say they infected, which doesn't automatically mean you're infected but you should get tested just in case.

You've had a note from a sexual health service

If a partner has tested positive, they might have given your details to their sexual health service so they can get in touch to invite you for a test. 

You want to change contraceptive methods

Only condoms can protect against sexually transmitted infections, so if you and your partner want to stop using condoms, you should both get tested first.

You want to start a family

If you want to start a family you'll have to stop wearing condoms, which means that you could pass on a sexually transmitted infection to your partner or be infected by them.

Mothers are routinely tested for a range of infections but it's better for mother and baby if pregnancy starts without any ongoing infections. Some infections make it very hard to get pregnant and cause other complications.

When you decide the time is right, do the responsible thing and get tested before you start trying for a family.