Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

At Umbrella, we advise all sexually active people to get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. Some patients may need testing for other infections too.

STI self-sampling kits

If you're aged 16 or over and living in Birmingham or Solihull you can request a free STI self-sampling kit. You can use the kit to take your own samples at home and send them back to us for free. We’ll test your samples and let you know the results by phone or text message.

Request an STI self-sampling kit More about self-sampling kits

Being tested in clinic

If you're worried about STIs and you're not sure whether you need to come to clinic to get tested, let us help.

Find the right service for you Worried about STIs?

Find a clinic

The types of tests you'll have will vary depending on your situation and on why you're worried. A nurse or doctor will explain what tests you need and why.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
  • For most tests, it's best not to urinate for two hours before your appointment
  • If you need to be examined you may have to undress
  • If you don't have symptoms you may not need to undress or be examined. Sometimes the nurse will explain how to take the swab(s) and you can take them yourself

The doctor or nurse may carry out the following as part of the physical examination.


  • Visual check of your genitals
  • Examine the penis and testicles to check for discharge, pain or sores
  • Take a swab from the urethra (the opening of the penis)
  • Ask for a urine sample
  • Take a blood test


  • Visual check of your genitals
  • Speculum exam: this involves placing a device called a speculum inside the vagina to hold it open so the vagina and cervix can be seen
  • Swabs may be taken from the vagina and/or cervix
  • Bi-manual exam: this involves the doctor or nurse placing the fingers of one hand into the vagina while the other hand presses on the abdomen. This is so they can feel your ovaries and uterus
  • Take a swab from a lesion or sore if you have one
  • Ask for a urine sample
  • Take a blood test

Our doctors and nurses are fully trained to make you feel comfortable during the examination.

Men without symptoms may provide us with a urine sample for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing. Women without symptoms may provide us with a self-taken vaginal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing.

More on attending our clinics

Are you worried because you've had sex without a condom, or maybe because you used a condom and it broke? Don't worry – we can point you in the right direction.

Find the right service for you

See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.

View FPA leaflets