Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are infections that you can get if you have unprotected sexual contact with someone.
An STI test is fast and easy and will tell you if you have an STI and need treatment.
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 symptoms so you might not know you have an STI. Other STIs might have symptoms like discharge from the vagina or penis, pain in the lower abdomen, or sore testicles.
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 using a swab (like a long cotton bud). You may be able to take this swab yourself. If you have a penis, you will be asked to collect a pee sample so try not to wee before your appointment.
An STI test might also include:
- an examination to see if you have an infection
- a swab test from any sores, ulcers or discharge
- a blood test
- an internal examination of the vagina
- swabs in your mouth (if you have engaged in oral sex)
- anal swabs (if you have engaged in 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.
All Family Planning clinics offer STI self-testing. This is for people who don't have any signs of infection and who do not need to see a nurse or doctor.
If you are able to take your own STI test, you may take the test samples yourself in the clinic bathroom and give them to the receptionist or at the laboratory.
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.