Will the GUM Clinic put an umbrella in my pee hole?

No definately not.

Even I heard that one 20 years ago – strange how do rumors like that still exist?!

If you have symptoms like discharge coming from your penis, they may take a swab with what is called a genital swab and most people call these “q-tips” or “cotton buds”. The swab plastic part is thinner than a cotton bud and has even less cotton on the end of it.

It can be slightly painful, most people call it a sting because the end of the swab is dry and your pee hole is moist. Only a few millimeters actually touch in the inside of your urethra.

If even that small swab is making you feel ill, you can save yourself having to do that test – by wearing a condom!

Many years ago every GUM clinic used these little swabs but these days, they use a urine sample. Which is why it’s so important that you don’t pee before your GUM appointment. If you feel the urge to pee, ask at reception for a urine container – they will probably give you a pot to pee into.

But if you have symptoms, probably best not to pee at all if you can help it. If you think your close to peeing yourself, have a word at reception – they might get that part of your appointment done faster than usual, so they get the swab they need and you can finally have that pee.

If in any doubt, always ask at reception – or if another patient is called, perhaps, you could let that member of staff know you need to pee. I’m sure the other patient will appreciate your predicament!

If your waiting in a waiting room – you could always try and give them a call saying you don’t want to leave the waiting area, if reception is far away. Most GUM toilets have warning signs about not peeing before testing. The poster might also say what to do if you think your bladder is about to explode!

You could also tell another patient what your name is and if someone calls for your name that the staff member knows that you have dashed off to reception quickly.  The staff member might come over to reception to come and find you. You can have the swab and that well deserved pee!

Don’t forget that you can avoid these swabs by using a condom!