As syphilis is usually symptomless, it is crucial you get tested regularly. If you are in stable relationship that should be at least once a year and if you have multiple sexual partners, get tested every three months or each time you change partner. Even if you haven't had unprotected sex, syphilis can be spread through oral sex, sharing sex toys and by close bodily contact. Remember, you can be infected and still feel perfectly fine.
If you do test positive, it is vital you contact any previous sexual partners as they may be infected and are at risk of spreading the infection to others. Untreated syphilis leads to serious health complications and even death.
There are many ways to get tested for syphilis and we recommend a method that is the most comfortable for you.
You can be tested:
- in the comfort of your own home with our easy-to-use self-collection test
- a sexual health clinic
- a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic
- your GP
- a contraception, young people's or well woman clinic
If you don't want to get tested by your GP or at a clinic, you can order an easy-to-use syphilis self-collection home test kit from our online sexual health shop. The test is simple and is the same for men and women - you just need to take a small sample of blood from your finger, and it can be done discreetly at a time convenient for you.
If you test at home, you can choose our priority option and get your results in just 4 hours (after your sample reaches the laboratory) or the standard option one which is only 24 hours.
The self-collection test is highly sensitive and specific. Its results are comparable to usual clinical tests, especially as it's still tested in the laboratory. Only the first step - the blood sample - is done by yourself at home. It's then sent to a laboratory just as it would be if you were tested at your GP or in a clinic. If you choose a syphilis self-collection kit you increase your chance of being diagnosed correctly. Why?
- You can do it on your own, as long as you do it the right way. There is no rush like at the clinics where health care workers are overloaded with the number of patients.
- Your sample is sent to the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK - The Doctor's Laboratory. Laboratory testing is the most specific and sensitive, so it's the most precise way of doing a test.
- It doesn't matter if you take a test at your home or at the clinic as both of them are going to the same laboratories to be checked. The only difference is, if you order a syphilis self-collection kit you have to wait just 24 hours to get the results (or even 4 hours if you choose the high-priority service) whereas in a clinic you have to wait between 7 and 10 days.
Last updated June 1, 2018