Google no replacement for sexual health

genital embarrassment

A study has found a worrying disparity between the numbers of Londoners googling sexual health symptoms and the actual cases diagnosed. 

Public Health England data on STIs showed that London has 1,275 cases per 10,000, yet there are 34,480 monthly searches in the capital – so 27 times the rate of diagnosis. Source:

Most of us now turn regularly to the internet for information on every aspect of life and googling symptoms is not in itself wrong. Yet this data raises concern among medics who fear that people with worrying symptoms are not taking the next step in seeking proper diagnosis and care.

When it comes to sexual health, the majority of conditions can only be diagnosed through proper medical testing. Self-diagnosis without testing could be misleading and some of the symptoms could also actually be for something else potentially more serious.

It is interesting to note that the most googled STI in London was chlamydia, yet the most diagnosed according to Public Health data was Gonorrhoea. Some of the symptoms are similar so relying on self-diagnosis is difficult, yet it is crucial to get it right, because Gonorrhoea has more severe potential complications and is could cause long-term problems like infertility if not properly treated at the right time.

Experts are urging patients with any kind of STI symptoms to come forward for proper testing. Sexual health clinics specialising in diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases deal with many patients and are expert at putting you at ease. Patients can self-refer or go via their GP.

Private Sexual Health Clinics

For those looking for a private, local and fast service, The Smart Clinics offers a private and confidential STI screening service at their sexual health clinics in London with no waiting lists.

We understand that it is natural to feel embarrassed about sexual health, but there is no need for stigma or embarrassment. Doctors and sexual health practitioners are trained and experienced in dealing with issues such as discharge or concerns about the vagina, penis, testicles or anus.

The Smart Clinics sexual health clinic offers a choice of services depending on requirements:

  • HIV testing with results in 4 hours
  • STD tests option 1 Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma with results in 2 days
  • STD comprehensive screening includes both of the above plus Herpes and Hepatitis B&C with results in 4 days

Get in touch to arrange an appointment.

Private Healthcare London

The Smart Clinics is a private healthcare company established in 2013, offering a membership-based alternative to NHS care for individuals and families. Vital health services include private GPs, travel clinic, sexual health, skin treatments, psychology and much more. There are also a range of children’s services available, including immunisation and health visitors.

The Company describes itself as:

“London’s pre-eminent integrated healthcare clinics”

The Smart Clinics brings together a host of medical professionals offering patients high quality health services in a choice of accessible London clinic locations.

For more information contact us on or call  020 7052 0070.

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Services are available through our a affordable membership packages or on a drop in 'pay as you go' basis. High quality medical healthcare is readily available:

  • Longer appointment times
  • No waiting lists
  • Evening and weekend appointments
  • Telephone, video and in-person consultations


Call our team on 020 7052 0070

  • Chelsea - Hollywood Rd: Option 2
  • South Ken - Thurloe Place: Option 4
  • Wandsworth - Northcote Rd: Option 5
  • Wandsworth - Bellevue Rd: Option 6

Lines open 8.30-5.30 Monday to Friday, 9.00-12.00 Saturday

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