Sample(s) required. Lesion swab (+/- oral/rectal swab)
Window Period. 3 weeks (if symptoms, can test earlier)
Time for test results. 4 working days (exc. sat/sun)
Length of appointment. Approx. 30 minutes
Cost of test. £180 (+ £130/ea for oral/rectal swab)
Paid at the end of the appointment
Testing for Monkeypox can seem like a daunting process, but is in fact rather easy and simple.
For those with possible symptoms of Monkeypox, we would take a swab from the suspected lesions (also called pustules). In some cases, we may need to burst the lesions so as to get a high quality sample. Whilst this should not be painful, you may experience a slight sting.
In those who engage in unprotected oral/anal sex (and are experiencing symptoms), we will also be able to take an additional oral/rectal swab to test for Monkeypox. This of course will depend on various factors and will be discussed in your appointment.
Furthermore, we use PCR technology when looking for the DNA of the virus. This means that even the smallest amount of virus can be detected from the sample making it a highly reliable and useful test.
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We will not take any samples or carry out the Monkeypox test without first discussing it with you.
In order to be most prepared and leave plenty of time for questions & discussions, we will ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire.
We will begin by assessing your medical & sexual history, any symptoms you may be experiencing and discuss any questions you may have.
If it is still appropriate to proceed with the Monkeypox test (and you would like to), we will take a swab from the suspected areas.
Once you have received your results, we will discuss the next steps with you (inc. notifying your partners).
Medicine is a complicated subject and sometimes these guidelines don’t always hold the answers.
For example, treating an STI in a patient who has developed a resistance to routinely used antibiotics.
Unlike most private clinics, we have medical consultants here to help you navigate through such problems and get you on the right track in no time.
About The Test
When should I get tested for Monkeypox?
You should get tested for Monkeypox if you have known exposure (i.e., have been in close contact with a symptomatic person) or you are displaying symptoms. It is recommended to monitor your health for up to 3 weeks as it may take up to 3 weeks for symptoms to appear.
Will I need a physical examination?
The benefit of a physical examination is that skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes can be identified and diagnosed. The most reliable sign of differentiating between Monkeypox and smallpox are swollen lymph nodes. Therefore, a physical examination can be advantageous in reaching a quicker, more accurate diagnosis.
What can affect my Monkeypox test results?
There are no health conditions or medications that can affect Monkeypox test results. However, we advise against applying any creams to your body before the sample swab is taken.
How can I prepare for my appointment?
Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your appointment:
- Try to remember (as much as possible) the details of why you are visiting. For example, if you are showing symptoms, try to remember when these started and the potential cause of exposure.
- If you are showing symptoms of Monkeypox, please wear a mask upon entry, during your consultation, and after you leave the clinic.
- Follow self-isolation guidance by travelling alone, not on public transport, and avoiding touching anything.
- Avoid applying any creams before your visit so that we can take an accurate swab of any lesions.
- Please let us know when you have arrived so that we can ensure that you are seen alone, not near other patients.
- Relax, Clarewell Clinics is a safe space. Your medical history with us is completely confidential so you can be as open and honest as you wish to be with us.
Is there a blood test for Monkeypox?
Blood samples may be taken from patients who are experiencing a fever as one of their symptoms.
However, as the virus does not reside in the blood for long, blood tests are less likely to be used as they may not provide the best sample from which to test from.
About The Results
How will I receive my results?
You can receive your Monkeypox results by either text or email.
Do I have to take any precautions whilst waiting for my results?
Follow the self-isolation guidance whilst you wait for your results.
If you test negative, you can stop self-isolating. If you test positive, continue to follow the guidance until your symptoms have resolved and your re-test is negative.
What do my results mean?
Like with any virus or infection, there is a window of time between exposure and the onset of symptoms. Likewise with monkeypox. However, because the incubation period for monkeypox is so long (5–21 days), it is difficult to understand the effect that testing before or after this window period has on test results as individuals may develop symptoms at different times during this incubation period.
As a general rule of thumb, if you are experiencing symptoms you should get tested.
If you have been exposed but are not yet experiencing symptoms, you should wait until you begin experiencing symptoms in order to receive the most accurate test result.
What happens if my Monkeypox test is positive?
If Monkeypox is detected (i.e. positive), the Health Protection Team at UKHSA will contact you and request you to complete a questionnaire with information regarding any individuals you have interacted with within the last 3 weeks. This includes family members, casual or romantic sexual partners, work colleagues or friends. Close contacts will not be given any identifiable information about you, however, they will be informed that they have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Monkeypox.
How to safely isolate following a positive test result:
- Stay at home, unless you need to leave the house for emergencies or urgent medical appointments. You must have permission to attend healthcare facilities before you arrive, unless in the case of an emergency where you are not eating or passing urine.
- If you do need to attend the hospital either walk, drive or cycle there. Public transport can be used but any lesions and scabs will need to be completely covered, a face mask should be worn at all times. This guidance applies for all instances when you may need to leave your home.
- You can enter your garden for fresh air but ensure that only you are in the garden at any one time, do not touch anything that could pass the virus on to others.
- Ask family members to buy any essentials for you such as groceries, do not let them into your home. If you live with other family members, try to isolate yourself in one room and ask them to bring any essentials up to your room and leave them outside of your door.
- Do not share any bedding, towels, utensils, cutlery or other general shared objects with anyone in your household.
- Try to use a seperate bathroom if one is available. If not, ensure that you are the last person to use it and that it is thoroughly cleaned after each use.
- Wash your hands frequently and cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Do I have to tell my partner if I test positive for Monkeypox?
It is recommended to inform any partners if you test positive for Monkeypox for their own, and others’, health and safety. If you are a close contact of someone with a confirmed Monkeypox case it is recommended that you self-isolate for 21 days, this provides enough time to recognise any developing symptoms. If you test positive, you need to continue isolating until all of the scabs on your body have fallen off and healed over.
You do not need to be isolated after 21 days if you do not develop any symptoms or you test negative for Monkeypox.
Can I get a certificate of my results?
Yes. Along with a text or email of your Monkeypox test results, we can email a certificate for official purposes.
Sexual Health Consultation (inc. in test) £75
Monkeypox Test (for one site) £180
Monkeypox Test (for every additional site) £130
Find out if you can claim your visit
Page reviewed by Dr. Manoj Malu (Clinical Director) & Magdelena Nowacka
With assistance from Shannon Abraham
Last reviewed date: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- NHS: Monkeypox
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Monkeypox
- Cleveland Clinic: Monkeypox: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
- BMJ: Monkeypox: New clinical symptoms are identified in confirmed cases
- GOV.UK: Monkeypox
- AAD: Dermatologist explains what the monkeypox rash looks like
- CDC: Monkeypox
- Fenway Health: Monkeypox and gay and bisexual men: Fact sheet
- ECDC: Questions and answers on monkeypox
- Terrence Higgins Trust: Monkeypox in the UK
- CDC: How to Protect Yourself | Monkeypox | Poxvirus
- ASM: Monkeypox: When to Get Tested and What to Do if Exposed
- British Society for Immunology: How vaccines work
- NHS inform: Vaccination to help protect against monkeypox
- Cureus: Monkeypox: A Comprehensive Review of Transmission, Pathogenesis, and Manifestation
- ASM: Monkeypox: What We Do and Don’t Know About Recent Outbreaks
- BMJ: Best Practices – Monkeypox
- International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology: Monkeypox and pregnancy: what do obstetricians need to know?
- MotherToBaby: Monkeypox