If you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s a good idea to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). At ZAVA, we offer 2 types of STI tests for women: a basic screen and a full screen.
The basic STI screen will test you for:
- gonorrhoea (vaginal, anal, and oral)
- chlamydia (vaginal, anal, and oral)
The full STI screen will test you for:
- hepatitis B
- hepatitis C
- Mycoplasma genitalium
- Ureaplasma DNA
- bacterial vaginosis
- herpes simplex I & II
Our home test kits are straightforward to use. You’ll need to provide a few different samples to be tested, such as a:
- small blood sample
- urine sample
- throat swab
- genital swab
We will provide all the materials in the test kit including a prepaid envelope to post your samples to the lab.
If you’ve recently received a hepatitis B vaccination, you should wait 8 weeks before taking this test. You may get a false positive result if you take this test sooner.
About female STI tests
You should use the STI test kit if you’ve had unprotected sex with someone whose STI status is unknown.
While you might find it embarrassing to request an STI test kit, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many STIs are very common in the UK and are treatable if detected early.
Our home test kits are perfect if you want to get tested in the comfort and privacy of your own home. The test kits are not invasive as you only need to take a small sample for each test.
The female STI test kit can detect a range of different organisms that cause certain STIs.
The basic STI screen will detect gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV and syphilis.
Gonorrhoea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can cause abnormal penile or vaginal discharge and bleeding in between periods.
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in the UK. It is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. You may not get any symptoms when you have chlamydia.
HIV is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV damages your immune system and gradually weakens you over time. If you are infected with HIV, it can progress into a serious illness called AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Nowadays, you can get treated for HIV as soon as you’ve been diagnosed. This will protect you from getting AIDS and allow you to live a full and healthy life.
Syphilis is caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum and can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
The full STI screen will test for additional STIs. This includes hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma DNA, trichomoniasis, and herpes simplex I and II.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is not an STI as you can get it if you are a woman without having sex. BV can make you more likely to get an STI as the infection changes the environment of your vagina.
If you’ve tested positive for any of these STIs, our doctors will guide you on the steps you can take to get better.
Our tests all come with an instruction leaflet that is simple to follow.
The female STI test kit comes with several swabs for you to collect the samples. These are:
- a vaginal swab
- an oral swab
- a rectal swab
- a finger prick test
The finger prick test will take a small blood sample to check for HIV. You can still do this at home. It is straightforward to do and should cause little pain, much less than a normal blood test.
Make sure you wash your hands before and after each swab to reduce bacterial transmission.
Our test kits come with protective packaging for each of your samples and a prepaid envelope. You can post all your samples in one go. Once the lab has received your samples, you’ll get your results in your confidential ZAVA account within 2 to 3 working days.
If you’ve had unprotected sex you may need to wait for a few days or weeks before you can test for an STI. Certain STIs will not be detected by a screening kit if you test too early. This can give you a false negative result.
The best time to get tested for each STI after unprotected sex is:
- chlamydia: 2 weeks
- gonorrhoea: 2 weeks
- Mycoplasma genitalium: 2 weeks
- trichomoniasis: 2 weeks
- Ureaplasma urelayticum: 2 weeks
- syphilis: 3-6 weeks, retest at 3 months
- HIV: 45 days, retest at 3 months
- hepatitis B: 3 months
- hepatitis C: 3 months
- herpes Type I & II: 2 weeks for swab test
You’ll need to send all your samples in one go for the lab to complete the screening. If you’re unsure about whether it’s the right time to get tested, speak to your doctor or sexual health clinic.
If you test positive for any of the STIs listed in this screening kit, there are a few steps you need to take next. This will depend on what STI you have tested positive for.
If you test positive for HIV, you’ll need to do another test to confirm that you have HIV. If this is confirmed, we can advise you on specialist treatment centres to contact so that you can get started on treatment as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can choose to speak to your doctor about your test results.
If you test negative, you should still practice safe sex and wear condoms when having sex. Remember that most STIs will not give you symptoms, so it’s always better to get tested if you’ve had unprotected sex.
Our STI test kits are accurate in detecting the organisms that cause infections. All our test kits are processed by our UK based accredited lab partner. These are the same labs that process tests and samples from hospitals and other clinical services.
For some STIs, you may need to test twice to confirm a diagnosis. This includes HIV, where you’ll have to do a follow up test after an initial positive result. By doing more than one test, we can confirm your STI status more accurately.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 01 Apr 2022
Sexually transmitted infections, National Health Service [accessed February 2022]
How soon do STI symptoms appear?, National Health Service [accessed February 2022]
STIs overview, Sexwise.org [accessed February 2022]
Chlamydia, National Health Service [accessed Feburary 2022]
HIV and AIDS, National Health Service [accessed February 2022]
ZAVA offers a convenient and discreet service to test for sexually transmitted infections. You will receive your test kit by post. Follow the instructions provided with the test kit and collect a sample (depending on the test kit this could be a blood, saliva, urine sample or genital swab). The test kit comes with an envelope, ready to send to our partner laboratory which will analyse your sample. Once your result has come back, you will be able to view it in your secure ZAVA account. We will never send medical or personal information via email.