This article was published by the Great British Mag content team on 2 November 2021.
Are you in need emergency contraception? Do you think you may have a Sexually Transmitted Infection and your GP is not being helpful? Fear not, you can still access help. Here’s a full breakdown on sexual health clinics in the UK and how they work.
What is a sexual health clinic?
Sexual health clinics are specialised clinics in the UK where you can go for any sexual health-related issues. These are separate from your GP, they are free of charge and you can call them up on short notice to be seen.
They will be able to help you with a whole range of issues such as:
- Contraception (which in the UK is free for international students)
- Sexual concerns
- Sexual assault
If you are unsure on whether they can help with your particular issue, the best thing you can do is contact your sexual health clinic and ask them.
How do sexual health clinics work?
If you have never been to a sexual health clinic before, the first thing you will have to do is register. This will involve filling in some paperwork with your name, address, GP, phone number and email. As part of your initial consultation you may also have to give them some information about your general sexual health, contraception, sexuality and number of partners.
Going to a sexual health clinic may make you feel anxious and ashamed. Rest assured that the attitude towards sex in the UK is quite casual. You will not be judged or shamed for what you do, be that having sex outside of marriage, wanting an abortion, having multiple partners or being part of the LGBTQ+ group. Remember that sexual health clinics are designed to help you.
Sexual health clinics also keep all your information 100% confidential. Some clinics even have ways for you to tell them what is wrong without having to speak up in the reception. For example, a numbered list of conditions in which you will just have to tell them the corresponding number.
The confidentiality also means that nothing will be shared with anyone else without your permission including your GP, family members and partner(s). So if you have done something you are not proud of, do not worry—no one else will know.
How can I find a sexual health clinic?
Finding your local sexual health clinic is very easy. You can call your GP and ask them about it. You can use Google Maps or you can search the sexual health clinic finder service for England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Photographer Credit: Ani Kolleshi
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