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Your guide to sexual health clinics

Sexual health clinics are often not talked about enough, but they’re a super important part of taking care of your body and your well-being, so luna’s here with everything you need to understand what they are, how they can help and where you can find them. Keep reading to Learn more 💙

What is a sexual health clinic? Sexual health clinics are there to give you advice on sexual health (as the name suggests) – so, things like sexually transmitted infections and contraception (which is used to prevent pregnancy). All of their services are completely confidential, and NHS clinics are free and available to all – it doesn’t matter what your age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is 🫶

What can a sexual health clinic help with? Sexual health clinics provide many services to help you 💞Such as…

  • advice and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

  • information on different types of contraception, including emergency contraception

Some, but not all, clinics also help with more specialist services.

How to book an appointment? You may need to make an appointment with a clinic whereas others do ‘drop-in’ sessions where you can turn up without an appointment. You should be able to find this on your local clinic’s website 💻

Where to find a sexual health clinic? To find a sexual health clinic near you, enter your town, postcode or city into the NHS website ‘Find a sexual health clinic’. This will find you all of the clinics in your area 👩‍⚕️

What to bring to an appointment? It may be useful to bring your period and emotion tracker to your appointment to be able to show the doctor. This makes it easier for them to see patterns and symptoms about your cycle which may be helpful 🩸

If you’re under the age of 16, it may be a good idea to bring a guardian with you, but you don’t have to. This is just to make sure you feel safe and comfortable ❤

What happens at the appointment?

  • Paperwork: when you visit a sexual health clinic for the first time they’ll ask you to fill out a form with your name and contact details 📝

  • Personal questions: your consultation may include answering questions about your medical and sexual history such as contraceptives and sexual partners 🗣️

  • Confidentiality: if you’re aged 13-16, your information will be treated confidentially however staff may encourage you to speak to a parent, guardian or trusted adult 🫂The only reason staff may have to tell another professional about you is if they are seriously concerned about your safety or welfare, and they should let you know if they need to do this 💕

  • Advice: at appointments, you should be able to get advice on testing, treatment and prevention of STIs and information on different types of contraception 💡

  • Examination/sample: depending on the reason for your visit, you may be asked for a urine sample, blood test or to allow the doctor or nurse to examine you. Don’t worry though, staff are there to help 👩‍⚕️ If you need a more intimate examination, the doctor or nurse will often ask if you wish for there to be a chaperone present

  • Specialist referral: they may refer you to a specialist if your visit requires tests or treatment which is out of the scope of what they can help with 💙

  • You may be asked to return: you may be asked to keep note of your symptoms, emotions or period and return if you notice any significant changes. You can do this on our home page under ‘How are you feeling?’ 📝

luna hopes this helps you out 💛

For more guides like this, download luna

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