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What happens after you return your samples

Getting your results

This information is for people who have received a female or male self-sampling kit.

More instructions

We know that waiting for test results can be an anxious time and that you will want to know your results as soon as possible. This page explains how you'll get your results, what they mean and what you need to do next.

How will I get my results?

We send results via text message. This is the quickest, easiest and most discreet way of sending your results to you.

What if I don’t have a mobile phone?

If you don't have a mobile phone, you won't be able to order a self-sampling-kit. You can book an appointment at the clinic to have a test.

After your test. you will need to attend the clinic to get your results in person.

Alternatively, we can send your test results to your home address or your GP. Please make sure you provide us with your home address or GP’s details. Please note we will only write to you or your GP if you have an infection. We will not write to you if your tests say your result is normal (no infection).

What if I lose my phone or my number changes between having a test and getting my results?

If the mobile phone number you supplied is no longer available, please contact us as soon as possible to provide an alternative mobile number. We will use your new phone number to send your results or to make an appointment if you prefer to come to clinic and get your results in person.

What will the results message tell me?

You will be notified as soon as your results are ready. If you are being tested for multiple infections, you may receive multiple text messages to inform you of your results. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t receive all your results at the same time as some tests take longer to process than others.

Your tests are normal – negative result

If you do not have the infection you will receive a message which says your test for a particular infection was normal. The message will look something like this:

Your tests for [infection], [infection] and [infection] on [dd/mm] were all normal. Be safe, use a condom.

This means there is no evidence of the infection in the sample and you do not have the infection(s) mentioned in the text message. If you received treatment when you had the test, you may also receive instructions in the text message relating to that treatment.

You have an infection – positive result

If you do have an infection you will receive a message which says you have a particular infection and you will be asked to attend the clinic for treatment. The message will look something like this:

On [dd/MM] you had [infection]. Please re-attend for treatment. Please ask your partner[s] to attend. If untreated you may develop health problems.

If you have an infection, it's really important that you follow the instructions in the message so you get the treatment you need.

Repeat test needed

Sometimes there are problems with the sample which mean we need to repeat the test to make sure we have the correct result. If this happens you'll receive a message like the one below and you'll be asked to take another test.

Due to technical problems your test on [dd/mm] needs to be repeated. Please attend a clinic. We apologise for the inconvenience.

How long will my results take?

If you used a STI self-sampling kit you will get your test results within one to two weeks of us receiving the samples. Remember, it will take two to three days to reach us in the post, and sometimes it may take a little longer, especially over busy holiday periods.

If you had your test in clinic you may get your results the same day, depending on what you've been tested for. For some infections the test analysis is quite quick and you will be able to wait in clinic while we process your test. Some samples take much longer to analyse and have to be sent off to a laboratory. You should receive your results within one to two weeks of the test but it may take a little longer over busy holiday periods.

If you have not had a text message within two weeks, please call us on 0121 237 5700 and ask to speak to a health advisor.

Why hasn't my sample been processed?

Our STI self-sampling kits are very convenient. However, we can only process them if you followed the instructions carefully. Your samples will not be processed if:

  • you did not provide a valid mobile number
  • you did not label the samples as described in the instruction leaflet
  • you did not provide enough blood for the test to be carried out
  • your sample was damaged/lost in the post

I’ve got my results, what happens next?

If you had normal results

You do not need to take any further action unless we ask you to do so, but it's really important that you practice safe sex by using condoms. This is the only reliable way to protect against STIs.

If you have an infection

You will need to go to an Umbrella clinic for treatment. Try not to worry; our specially trained staff will be there to help you and answer your questions. You can either make an appointment at the clinic or, if you prefer, you can walk in at a time that suits you and wait to be seen on the day.

It's very important that you receive treatment and that you take the full course of any medication we give you, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Untreated STIs can lead to long-term sexual health problems for both men and women, including the following:

  • Genital pain or sores
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Complications with pregnancy
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pain in the scrotum
  • Swelling and redness of the testes
  • Genital sores
  • Infertility

You will also need to contact your sexual partner(s) to let them know they need to be tested too.

Contacting your sexual partners

If you have an infection, it's important to contact any partners you have had sexual contact with so they can be tested and treated.

Sexually transmitted infections can only be passed from person to person so if you have an infection you must have got it from someone else.

We would recommend that you should inform anyone you have had sexual contact with over the last three months but if you are unsure about who you should contact, speak to our health advisors. The health advisors can also help you with contacting any sexual partners to discuss being tested or treated.

Staying safe

To protect yourself and your sexual partner(s) in future, it's important to practice safe sex.

To avoid STIs:

  • use condoms correctly and consistently when having sex
  • use condoms or dental dams when having oral sex
  • avoid sexual contact if you think your partner may have an infection
  • wash sex toys thoroughly after every use

Our health advisors will be able to advise you on how to stay safe, or you can find advice on how to avoid STIs on the Umbrella website.

How to avoid STIs

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