People who have been affected by STIs know very well how uncomfortable it can be to talk face-to-face with a doctor about your sexual health. And undergoing an STI test in the clinic can also be a daunting experience. But, with the advances in modern medicine and diagnostic science, one can now get tested for STIs in the comfort of one’s home, without any medical stuff.

What’s on this page?

This is how the emergence of at-home STI testing kits changed the first step of STI treatment for good. Now it is possible for everybody to order their own STI test kit online and collect the required samples without any assistance. And it comes as no surprise – samples required for a successful and comprehensive STI test are surprisingly easy to collect. Depending on the exact kit you choose, you might be required to collect urine and blood samples, and in some cases, a vaginal swab.

After the samples have been collected and sealed in the provided package, they are simply to be posted to the relevant pathology lab with the note on the prefer method of contact. Once the results are in, the laboratory will provide you the results via the channel of your choice. If you test positive, the results of the at-home STI test kit will be accepted as valid and will be used to recommend and prescribe the needed treatment.

Which STI test kits are there?

There are many different STI test kits on the modern market, and they differ mostly by the infections they can confirm or deny and on the exact nature of the sample you will be required to provide. Here we will list the most common tests while including information on both of these factors.

STI test kit type

Type of sample(s) required

Gonorrhoea test

Urine sample

Chlamydia test

Urine sample

2-in-1 combined test:

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chlamydia

Urine sample

7-in-1 combined test:

  • Gonorrhoea
  • Chlamydia
  • Mycoplasma genitalium
  • Reaplasma
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Gardnerella vaginalis
  • Herpes

Urine sample

HIV test

Blood sample

4-in-1 combined test:

  • Syphilis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV

Blood sample

It is worth mentioning that each kit contains all the tools and containers needed for safe and easy collection and transport of samples. So, the usual kit will include small discreet container for urine samples with secure packaging for posting, and also a finger lancet, container and special envelope for blood samples.

Depending on the type of the STI test (and the type of sample required), the lab will be able to provide you with the results in two days after receiving the sample (in case of an urine sample) or four hours after reception (in case of a blood sample). You will be notified about the results of the test via the method of your choosing (SMS text message and email being the most common ones).

Why should I take STI test?

Just within the United Kingdom alone, there are more than 400.000 new cases of STI reported to the relevant authorities, with chlamydia amounting to 40% to 50% of the total number. And if we keep in mind that many STIs remaining asymptomatic and dormant for long periods of time, but also that many people choose not to get tested and receive appropriate treatment, one can suspect that the real number of those affected is even greater.

STIs can be transmitted through various types of sexual contact, depending on the exact nature of the condition. Unprotected vaginal and anal sex as well as sharing of sex toys are the risk factors common for all STIs, while a significant number of STIs can also be transmitted through unprotected oral sex. This is why it is highly advisable for anyone who is sexually active and not involved with just one long-term partner to undergo regular tests.

When left untreated, STDs can lead to a number of other more severe health conditions and complications. For example, both chlamydia and gonorrhoea can lead to infertility, while conditions such as HIV, syphilis or hepatitis C can even lead to a fatal outcome.

How are STIs treated?

The treatment prescribed for any given STI will depend on the nature of the condition as well as on other factors which will determine whether the first-line treatments are suitable for you. Bacterial STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can be managed and treated surprisingly easily and efficiently with the use of antibiotic medicine. On the other hand, viral STIs such as HIV and hepatitis cannot be completely cured as of yet, and they will surely become life-long conditions that can only be properly managed.

However, with a large number of common STIs being completely asymptomatic or at least dormant for long periods of time, the only way to know for sure if you are affected is to take the STI test.

How to buy STI test kit online?

Buying at-home STI testing kits online has never been easier – in fact, most of online clinics operating today offer these products. This is especially suitable for people who feel uncomfortable talking about their sexual health with a doctor or undergoing examinations in somewhat unpleasant clinical setting. By ordering an STI test kit online, you will avoid these situations and receive the kit on your address.

All you need to do is simply find an online clinic that offers testing kits. The doctor employed at the clinic will ask you just a couple of questions to ensure that testing kit is suitable for you and no immediate medical attention is needed. After these short consultations, the kit will be sent to the address you provided.

How do STI test kits work?

The name STI test kit might be a bit misleading since you won’t be really testing your samples, but just collecting them. After you collected the required samples and posted them in the provided special packaging, the relevant laboratory will first have to receive them and then conduct tests. For urine samples this involves detecting the presence of bacteria or parasites in the urine, thus diagnosing conditions such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, mycoplasma genitalium, ureaplasma, gardnerella vaginalis and trichomonas vaginalis.

Blood tests used for the detection of viral STIs such as HIV and hepatitis work in somewhat different way – as opposed to detecting the infection itself, they test the sample for the presence of antibodies that the body will produce in response to the viral infection of the given type.