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Sexual health clinics

Health & wellbeing

Sexual health clinics

Health & wellbeing

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How to find your local sexual health clinic

You can find your nearest sexual health clinic on the NHS website.

Booking an interpreter

If you need any support in your appointment, for example, if you need a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or other communication support, you should try to book your appointment in advance if possible and let the clinic or surgery know what you need.

It’s the clinic’s responsibility to make sure deafness doesn’t get in the way of you accessing important sexual health information or services. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you need.

If you go to a walk-in session, rather than booking in advance, they may not have immediate access to communication support. But there are things that can help:

  • Ask your doctor or nurse to face you when they talk.
  • Ask them to speak clearly.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat or simplify things if you miss what they say. 
  • Write things down if you find that helps.

If you have an interpreter with you, don’t be embarrassed to talk in front of them. The interpreter is a professional. They will pass on the information you share, without any judgement. And they definitely won’t tell anyone else.

What to expect at the sexual health clinic

Your experience will be slightly different depending on whether you go to your GP or if you visit a sexual health clinic.
Your GP will already have some information about you. But when you visit a sexual health clinic for the first time, you will usually be asked to fill in a form with your name and contact details, and other information. You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to.

It’s fine to take a friend, partner or family member with you for support if you want to. Then you will have your appointment with a doctor or nurse. You may be asked some personal questions, about your medical and sexual history, or about your contraception methods or your sexual partners. This is completely normal and it’s best to be as open and honest as you can. They are there to help, not to pry or judge. If you need to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), you may need to give a blood or urine sample.

Visit Brook for more information on visiting sexual health clinics.

Will the doctor tell my mum or dad?

All the information from your visit will be treated confidentially. This means that your personal details and any information about tests or treatments will not be shared with anyone outside the sexual health service without your permission. However, if your health worker is worried that you are in danger of being hurt or abused they may want to pass information on to other services to help support you and keep you safe. They should talk to you about this before any information is shared. If you are worried about confidentiality then ask your doctor before you speak to them. Then you will know where you stand.

What about if I’m underage?

If you are under 13 and are asking about sexual health or contraception, health workers will still talk to you in confidence. But they may be worried about you having under-age sex. If they think you’re at risk of harm, they may want to pass information on to other services to help support you and keep you safe. They should talk to you about this before any information is shared.

Frequently asked questions

This really great article is by a sexual health expert who answers your most common questions about visiting a sexual health clinic.

Need some more help?

Would you like more help, or do you want to ask a question? You can email us in confidence at youngmember@ndcs.org.uk.

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