Sexual health clinics, or GUM clinics are there sometimes known, are medical facilities that offer advice, contraception and testing in regards to a person’s sexual health. Regardless of sex, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation everyone is entitled to visit the clinic. Some clinics hold sessions for specific groups of people such as young people or LGBT people.
The majority of clinics offer both a walk-in and appointment service. When you visit a clinic all of your information and the services your access are kept confidential. Most general practices and GPs offer a GUM clinic or sexual health services.
Who Offers Sexual Health Services?
There are a number of different medical facilities, charities, people and places that offer sexual health services including:
- Dedicated Sexual Health Clinics
- Contraception Clinics
- Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) Clinics
- Family Planning Facilities
- STI Testing Clinics
- Sexual Assault Referral Centres
Places such as charities or support groups will refer you to your local sexual health service when necessary. If you’re looking for clinic near you then try searching on google sexual health clinic near me and it will bring up a list of clinic that are in your local area.
What Services Do Clinics Offer?
When it comes to clinics regarding sexual health there are a number of different services that most clinics usually offer such as:
- STI testing or STD testing
- Advice and information regarding sexual health
- Different types of contraception including emergency contraception
- Pregnancy testing
- HIV testing
- Advice about abortion
- PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)
- Help and support for people who have been sexually assaulted
How Do Sexual Health Clinics Work?
If you visit a sexual health service or clinic for the first time, you will usually be asked to fill in a form with your name and contact information on (this information is kept confidential so no-one will know about your visit). With the exception of the actual GP, you don’t need to give your real name or tell the staff who your current GP is. No matter what part of the country you’re in, you can always use sexual health services or visit a NHS or private clinic.
During the consultation you will usually be asked personal questions regarding your sexual history such as what contraception you use. You may also be asked about your sexual partners and sexual activity. Depending on the information your give, you might need to provide a urine or blood sample to be tested for a sexually transmitted infection.
All information gathered during your consultation and any test results will be kept confidential. This means that the information won’t be shared with any other person or your GP, without your permission. Even people under the age of 16 are free to visit clinics for sexual health advice, contraception or treatment and information will still be kept fully confidential. However, people under the age of 16 will be encouraged to talk and confide in at least trusted adult in their immediate family or friend circle.
When you visit a clinic you can take a chaperone for support, this can be anyone you want it to be such as friend or family member. This person can be with you during the both the consultation and any examination or testing that you might require.
What Types Of Sexual Health Tests Are Carried Out
- Urine sample
- Blood test
- Swabs from the urethra
- Examination of your genitals
- Self-taken vaginal swab
How Long Do Test Results Take To Come Back?
The amount of time it takes for a sexual health testing to come back depends on what type of test you have carried out and what you’re tested for. Some private clinics are able to fast track results meaning you can have some results same day or within 72 hours. There are certain types of testing that take longer to come back and you might be given preventive medication whilst you wait for your test results.
Other Types Of Sexual Health Services
Contraception and STI Services
Contraception and STI services can be located at clinics for sexual health. There are also a number of other places that contraception can be accessed from including family planning facilities. STI testing can also be done by your local GP.
If you’re thinking about having a baby or are planning a pregnancy, then the best person to speak to is your own GP. Pharmacists might also be able to offer advice on pregnancy.
If you happen to fall pregnant and are unsure about continuing with your pregnancy then you can seek advice from a GP or clinic. However, should you decide you want an abortion then you will need to visit an abortion clinic or be referred to one by your doctor.
Both men and women can suffer from sexual problems. The causes of these problems can be caused by a number of reasons such as underlying health issues and psychological issues. Your GP will help you to find the best way forward through treatment or counselling.
Sexual Assault Services
Sexual assault is a crime no matter who commits it and it can happen to both men and women. There are several people who can help and support you including sexual support centres, your local GP or the police. All information your provide will be kept confidential and place such as support centres and GPs wont report it to the police unless you agree to it.