Okay okay it’s time for us to come clean. My blogpost “Pub Loos to test for STI’s” is in fact an April Fool’s Hoax.
The technology for it probably does exist although my husband is a patent attorney and did a search on the database and no patents exist (in fact quick better get him to draw me up a patent for it- it was MY idea everyone (erm apart from fact I wrote about it on here which now makes it unpatentable or something!).
The reason I wanted to pull your leg in such a way was actually to highlight something rather important that many people don’t seem to realise.
STI tests don’t always have to be about genital swabs. Many people fear getting an STI test because they don’t want to “have an umbrella shoved up their “wookey hole”” (N.B The “umbrella test” is a urban legend– an STI test swab is actually similar to a cotton bud but with much smaller head). However urine tests (all you have to do is pee in a pot in the privacy of a loo!) can actually detect lots of STI’s including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and simple blood tests can detect Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis amongst others. Pubic lice, Herpes, and Warts can be often diagnosed with a visual examination alone.
If you are asymtomatic (no symptoms) then you may not always need a swab at all. But even if you do swabs can be done fairly quickly and usually painlessly although some people can find them a little uncomfortable.
I debated with myself about including the following videos but in the interests of demystifying the process and trying to remove fear I have decided to include links to videos on the male sexual health check swab taking (here) and female sexual health check swab taking (here). The videos are quite graphic close ups of the process- but as you can see no umbrellas involved (although I still think the speculum (used for females) resembles a duck beak!) and the patient isn’t in any obvious discomfort and the male test in particularly is very quick.
If you are worried about STI’s it is always good to get yourself checked out. You can find your nearest clinic here.
Please note: I am not a trained medical professional- so while I have endeavoured to ensure this post reflects current STI testing protocols this may vary from clinic to clinic so please speak to a medical professional if you are unsure. Many thanks to Dr Stuart Flanagan for checking this post for me.