Helpful advice on Taking Your Test

We get a lot of Home STI Kits returned to our lab with insufficient blood to enable the various tests to be completed. In these instances, you need to re-test. If you need another kit sent to you within one month of completing your last test, please get in contact with us, by email, using our Contact Page and we'd be happy to get another one out to you. 

Find below some general advice on doing the Home STI Kit tests, that may help you to provide sufficient and accurate samples to the Lab:- 

  • Fill the blood bottle to above the top orange line – that’s really important. Use the 3 lancets provided if you start to heal and “dry-up” so you get enough blood out
  • If the side of your little finger doesn't work for you, choose a more fleshy finger instead.
  • Drink as much water as you can on the day you do the home test kit – try and get at least a litre down yourself and make sure you do the test after a couple of hours of drinking it, so that the water is still in your blood stream when you use the lancets. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks on the day, as these can make your blood much thicker. If you can't stomach water, drink weak tea of coffee, but again, cut down on the sugar. Hydration is really important.
  • Warm your hands for a few minutes in hot water – it really does help you bleed - try and get the water quite warm but not scalding hot, it should be pleasant and warm your hands in the water for at least 3 - 5 minutes.
  • When you use the lancets press firmly on your skin, they're designed to create a crescent wound that will bleed but not to injure you. They only work once and make a snapping sound like a stapler. That's normal and not a malfunction. Once you hear the snap, release the pressure on the lancet and have your bottle ready to capture the blood.
  • Use the fingers of your other hand to drag tightly down the finger that you've cut, to draw blood towards the finger tip, away from your palm. If your hands are warm, this should help you get the blood into the bottle.
  • If you need to, use all 3 lancets. If one wound dries up or clots then use another finger and another lancet. If you stop bleeding its easier to make another cut than to try and get more blood out of a closed wound.
  • There is a white “request slip” in the box. It has your name, date of birth and phone number on it – make sure you put all your completed tests back in the box and cellotape that request slip on the top and around the box to keep it closed and sealed. If the Lab don’t get your request slip, then they won’t process your kit.
  • Check your phone number is correct on the request slip, to make sure you get a text and let us know if you don’t hear within 7 days (this allows 2 days for postage)
  • Label all your samples & check the expiry date of your kit by looking at the box and the blood collection bottle
  • When you do your throat swab, try and avoid touching your tongue and give the back of your throat a good scrub with the swab to pick up the bacteria we need to look for – use the guidance notes in the box for assistance
  • When you do your urine test, make sure you collect the very first part of your pee that you let go of. That’s really important and don’t pee for at least an hour to 1.5hrs before you collect your urine sample, so that any bacteria shows up in the test.
  • Screw up all the sample bottles tightly (but not too tightly as they're only plastic), to prevent any leakages of the samples in transit.