Testing

Testing

At Devon Sexual Health we are ready to provide simple and reliable testing for all your sexual health needs. The testing you need will change from time-to-time and from partner to partner. We can help you find the right tests for your current situation.

What are the right tests for me?

We are here to help provide the right testing for you. We work this out by talking through your medical history, recent sexual partners alongside a few other things.

 

Routine check-up

Routine check-up

People often see us for a “check up” or “screen”. This is a standard set of tests that are offered to people we see without symptoms. This is well established as testing for:

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea – swab samples for this can be taken from the vagina, penis, bottom or throat. Men usually provide a urine sample rather than a penis swab.
  • HIV and syphilis – tested for on a quick blood test. These are routine tests that are offered to everybody as both infections can be caught without causing symptoms.

All our samples taken in our clinic appointments are sent away to be tested at our local hospital laboratories.

Some patients are tested by post. This testing is managed by Preventx, a testing company based in Sheffield. If you are aged under 25 and are symptom-free you can request your own testing directly here. If you are aged over 25 please call our service so we can review your testing needs.

Tests for symptoms

Tests for symptoms

When people see us with symptoms we sometimes perform other tests looking for other clues and/or infections that we can treat. These include:

However the most common symptom we see in the clinic is discharge. Using a microscope we are able to look at discharge quickly, within minutes, to diagnose a number of common conditions including thrush, bacterial vaginosis and NSU. Only sexual health clinics provide this service.

We also diagnose a lot of conditions just by looking. Our expert staff have seen many sexual health conditions before and know what they’re looking for. This includes symptoms such as rashes, lumps/bumps, crabs, skin damage, or haemorrhoids for example.

Other tests

Other tests

We also commonly see other situations where the following tests can be helpful:

  • Urine pregnancy tests
  • Blood tests for Hepatitis A, B and C
  • Rapid result (point of care) tests for HIV – our current test is the INSTI
  • Cervical smear tests
  • Kidney function tests for people taking PrEP
  • Skin biopsies
  • Blood testing for herpes virus (in pregnancy only)
HIV home testing
Chlamydia testing
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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

We have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

Despite any changes made to COVID risk measures outside of NHS premises our staff, patients and visitors will be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting our clinics, including wearing a face covering. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been requested to self-isolate please do not attend the clinic.

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info