Frequently asked questions about Fettle, our home tests and ordering with us.
What if I can't get enough blood for the test?
We know that the blood test can be difficult at times, but here are some top tips.
Make sure your hands are warm (shower or do some exercise just before)
Keep your arm straight, and when massaging your finger don't squeeze too hard.
When using the lancets, be brave and push firmly into your fingertip.
How to take a blood sample
A blood sample is used to test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Most people find it easier to take the test after watching our short video. Watch it here to see someone doing the tests. And read out helpful tips on taking your sample.
How accurate are the STI tests?
Our simple home STI test kits are highly accurate when you:
wait the recommended window period before you test
follow the kit instructions carefully
complete additional tests in a clinic setting, if recommended by our clinicians.
Your samples are sent to our partner laboratory to be processed by specialist technicians. We use similar tests that are used by many NHS clinics.
If you are experiencing any STI symptoms, you should visit your local sexual health clinic for further testing and examination.
Help with returns and refunds
We want you to have a great experience when using our services but we understand that sometimes you might need to review or cancel an order.
How quickly will my order arrive?
All orders are sent by Royal Mail. They should arrive 2-3 days after being dispatched. We'll send you a text message when your order has been dispatched.
If your kit has not arrived 7 working days after you've had the dispatch text, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not reorder - we cannot accept a new order while another is in process.
Contraception and medicine deliveries can be tracked. We'll send you the tracking information by text when we dispatch your order.
When you order emergency contraception, we'll let you know if we cannot deliver it in time for it to be effective and we'll help you find your nearest sexual health clinic or pharmacy.
Can I track my order?
If you have ordered contraception or treatment from us, you’ll be sent a text with a tracking link for your delivery.
If you have ordered an STI test kit, this is not tracked. It is sent by Royal Mail 1st Class.
Where can I have my order delivered?
We cannot deliver orders to pick-up locations such as InPost, Post Office, or Amazon lockers.
Is the test anonymous?
The test is not anonymous, as we need your details so we can send the test to the right person. And then make sure you get accurate information about your results.
Only our technicians and clinical team will see your results.
All our products are delivered in plain, discreet packaging and it will not say what's inside.
Who sees my details?
Regardless of whether you have an infection or not, only our clinicians and service managers will see your test results.
All our staff sign a data protection agreement, similar to the ones used by NHS staff. Your results will never be shared with anyone else without your permission.
How to get a blood pressure reading
You need to get your blood pressure measured before you can order a combined hormonal contraceptive.
When you order the combined pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring, we'll ask you for a reading that was taken in the past 12 months.
How to use at home test kit safely
The tests we use are all safe and most people find them easy to use. Some people experience a small amount of discomfort when pricking their finger to take a blood sample.
All kits are CE certified and come with instructions, a lab card and a Freepost return pack.
The tests are similar to those used in NHS clinics and your samples are sent to a professional laboratory for testing.
What does the packaging look like?
All our tests and products arrive in plain, discreet packaging that fits through your letterbox. They don’t need to be signed for.
Everything you need is inside the pack. Including easy-to-follow instructions for how to do your test or take the medication you’ve ordered. And we've been working hard to make our kits more sustainable.
Do SH:24 and Fettle operate outside the UK?
Fettle currently operates in the UK only.
SH:24 is available in the UK and in Ireland.
We also work on a number of international projects, like jojo.ke, a free contraception advice service in Nairobi, Kenya.
And self-test.hiv, a free service to order HIV self-test kits in Accra, Ghana and in Awka and Jalingo, in Nigeria.
How secure is the website?
We use encryption to protect all your data. And it’s all kept securely on a certified network connected to the Health and Social Care Network.
No website can guarantee 100% security. But we can guarantee that we work to some of the highest security and privacy standards in the UK.
What's the relationship between Fettle, SH:24 and the NHS?
Fettle is powered by SH:24. Which means that we share a clinical and administrative team. And we develop our service using what we've learnt from how SH:24 operates, and what works for our users.
SH:24 is commissioned by local authorities around the UK to deliver sexual and reproductive health services. As a community interest company, all of SH:24’s profits are reinvested into improving public health services.
SH:24 works in close partnership with NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers across the UK to offer the highest quality sexual health advice, support and treatment. Our in-house clinical support team are all qualified clinicians.
Fettle’s profits are channelled back into developing the SH:24 service.
What if I don’t have a smartphone?
You do not need a smartphone to use our service. If you have a traditional handset our messages may be delivered to you in 2 or 3 parts, but you'll get the same information and the same level of service.
You can view our website and order a test kit on any mobile device, laptop or computer that's connected to the internet.
What if I have an infection? How do I get treatment?
If you have an infection, we will advise you how to get treatment and further support.
If your test result is positive for chlamydia, we can offer treatment by post. If you have complicated symptoms that require examination or further testing, we will help you find a clinic for treatment.
One of our clinicians might contact you to talk about your treatment. We’ll always text you first to agree on a good time to speak.
Do you have access to my medical records?
Fettle is delivered by SH:24, a community interest company working with the NHS.
When you place an order or consultation with us we create a brand new, unique record made only of the details you've given us.
We don't hold your medical records or anything from a hospital or GP.
What information do I need to share to order emergency contraception?
As part of our emergency contraception order form, we'll ask you:
when you've had unprotected sex in your current menstrual cycle
the date when your last period started
if you've used any medications that may affect your contraception
your medical history and health history.
One of our clinicians might call you to talk things through and make sure that emergency contraception is suitable for you. We'll contact you quickly to avoid delaying your order.
How will I get my test results?
Every test kit has to be sent back to the lab for analysis. There’s a Freepost return pack included. Just pop your samples in the pack and send them back to us.
Your details will not appear on any of the samples or the packaging. Our service is completely confidential.
We'll keep you updated by text message. You'll get a text when the test kit has been dispatched and we'll text you again to let you know that your samples have reached the lab.
Most people get their test results by text message within 7 days. In some cases, one of our clinical team will call you to talk about your test results and treatment.
What if I lose my phone or change my mobile number?
If you lose your mobile phone after you've made an order, please contact us as soon as possible.
Email us at email@example.com or text us on 07400 370 855. Let us know your name, date of birth and postcode. And give us your new telephone number, if you have one.
Can I buy chlamydia treatment from Fettle?
Yes. If you get a positive chlamydia result from Fettle, we'll offer you treatment by post.
Before we prescribe, you'll need to fill out a short online form. This will ask some questions about you and your health history. Your treatment will be delivered by Royal Mail 1st Class.
If you have complicated symptoms that need further testing or should be checked at a clinic, we can help you find where to go.
Can I buy gonorrhoea treatment from Fettle?
If you get a positive gonorrhoea result from Fettle, we'll help you get treatment for free through the NHS.
The recommended treatment for gonorrhoea comes as an injection. So it's not a treatment we can give you by post.
I'm trans, which gender should I choose when I order?
Our order form is designed to be trans-inclusive, so you can choose the option that’s right for you. We ask for your gender and then ask if it matches the sex you were assigned at birth. We also ask about your genitals so we’re able to give you advice on which test kit will work best for you.
If your genitals don’t fit the cisgender definitions of male and female, or you are intersex, we can help you find the right tests, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I request a hard copy or letter with my Fettle results?
We do not send letters, emails or hard copy test results from Fettle. This is because we cannot confirm the identity of the person who provided the sample.
Our self-test kit results are not accepted as official documentation of STI test results.
Can I request a record of my previous contraception orders from Fettle?
Yes, once you have ordered contraception from us, you can email email@example.com and ask for a copy of your contraception orders.
Who are our laboratory and pharmacy partners?
In the UK, samples are processed at Southwest Pathology Services and TDL (The Doctors Laboratory). These laboratories are accredited for medical laboratory testing to the ISO 15189 standard by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS).
In Ireland, samples are processed at Enfer which is accredited for medical laboratory testing to the ISO 15189 standard by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB).
Medications are dispensed by our partner pharmacy, The Independent Pharmacy, registered and regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).