What to Expect

Guide to Sexual Health Services

When you get to a service, you’ll be able to speak to a receptionist, but if you’re not comfortable saying it there and then, you can ask to speak to someone in private.

Staff at these services will be polite and sensitive, and they will never judge you. Remember – it’s their job to be friendly and work in this area, so nothing you ask or tell them will shock them, or make them treat you differently. They’re happy to answer any questions you have, and for them, it’s a really good thing for you to have questions: it shows you’re bothered.

If your expectations aren’t met, or if you don’t get the service you require, you can rate a service on the web app. If you get a doctor or nurse that’s a different gender to you, you can always ask – but it’s important to keep an open mind.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality means that no matter how old you are, services won’t tell any of your personal details, including the reason you’ve visited them, to anyone outside of the clinical world. People won’t gossip in the staffroom, they won’t tell your parents or your family doctor.

This would only change if they thought you, or someone else were in immediate danger of physical harm (e.g. abuse).

Contraception

Going to get contraception from a service is perfectly normal. You should’t be embarrassed to be seen doing this – it’s a healthy, mature thing for anyone, especially a young person to do. If you are concerned, think of reasons you’re there (e.g. You’re doing a mystery shopping exercise.)

Staff at services will be friendly and professional – they definitely won’t judge you, and they see young people getting contraception as a good thing – it means you’re taking care of your health!

Try and be clear about what you want, that way you’ll be able to find out what’s the best option for you.

Emergency Contraception

When you go for emergency contraception, staff will need to ask you a couple of personal questions (name, date of birth) to help you best.

You’ll also be asked other questions when you last had sex, and when your last period was. You should expect to discuss this in private. Staff will be caring and understanding.

There’s a chance you’ll have to wait, or that the right person to serve you isn’t available. Think of a plan beforehand – take a magazine to read while you wait, and call ahead to the service to check the right person’s in before taking the trip.

Emergency contraception is available to you without the consent of your parent or guardian.

Getting an STI Test

You can be confident about what you want to ask for. If you’re not sure about how to describe certain things, try checking the Sextionary before you go, so you know the different words for body parts, symptoms and contraceptions.

The best thing you can do for yourself is be as clear and accurate as possible with the person you chat to at the service. This helps give you the best advice, the best answer to your problem, and the best treatments.

It’s normal to feel nervous, embarrassed or even scared before going to a clinic, but don’t let it stop you from going altogether. It’s so much better to go and know the answers to your questions, rather than not go, and stay nervous, stressed, and without treatment.

Find a Service

Find a Service

Why do I get a boner?

Read more in Your Questions