Embarrassed patients can now send photos of their genitals to their doctor to spare the shame of having to actually get them out in front of them.
Visiting the doctors can now become that little less awkward when you have a problem down there as it is now possible to send pictures of your genitals to your doctor for medical advice.
Better2Know, a private sexual health test provider, is offering this service as the doctors can check the sensitive images for a sign of STIs.
Patients will be allowed to email a picture over which shows their physical symptoms of a potential STI. These symptoms could vary from rashes, lumps or blemishes.
Instead of the patient’s name, they can use a “unique PIN number” so they won’t need to be identified, the clinic has informed.
A team of advisers will be monitoring the inbox and can arrange for an experienced doctor to look if they have any concerns.
Once the image has been examined by a doctor, they can discuss their thoughts with the patient over the phone and advise on the next steps they will need to take.
At this stage, a diagnostic test or even treatment cannot be given, instead, it is advised you attend an actual sexual health clinic.
For those who are still too anxious to visit the sexual health clinic, it is possible to request a self-administered testing kit which can be sent via the post.
If the results entail you to require treatment, this will mean you need to go to the clinic so you can receive the appropriate treatment.
The photo consultation service was launched earlier this week and costs an extortionate £160. At this price, maybe it’s worth just facing the embarrassment!
At the Better2Know clinic, a face-to-face appointment costs £50, so you’d be saving a whopping £110.
The clinic hopes that the launch of this service will mean more people will be getting STI screenings after figures have revealed that face-to-face appointments have declined by 85,000.
Since 2015/16, the total number of contacts with sexual health services has dropped by 24,000.
In 2017, figures from the Public Health England show about 420,000 STIs have been diagnosed.
Co-founder of Better2Know, Anthea Morris, said: “Some patients can, understandably, feel a little anxious about getting tested for an STI, especially if it is their first time getting a checkup.
“Our hope is that the photo consultation service will be the first step for many on a journey towards better sexual health and receiving a diagnosis, advice and treatment where necessary.
“However, STIs do not always produce visible symptoms, so it is important for people who are sexually active to get tested regularly – regardless of whether or not they are experiencing any visible indications of an STI.”
It is hoped that this service will mean people can be provided with a faster diagnosis, which means the prevention of STIs spreading and avoiding delays of vital treatment.
If left untreated, STIs can cause infertility, blindness, paralysis, and in rare cases, even death.
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Aimee is a Media & Communications graduate from Birmingham City University with a passion for everything related to cats, milkshakes and Oreo-flavoured consumables. You will often find Aimee typing furiously equipped with a Greggs’ sausage roll and a gingerbread man.