Advice and Information
My-Sexual-Health provides a wide range of free and confidential contraception methods, information and advice.
Further information for each method can be found on the Family Planning Association (fpa) website by clicking here.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
My-Sexual-Health provides a range of free and confidential services including free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV.
Please click here to view our patient information sheet on the tests offered within our service.
Further information about the different types of sexually transmitted infections, including symptoms, how they can affect your health, and how they can be treated, can be found on the British Association for Sexual Health & HIV (BASHH) website by clicking here.
HIV is a viral infection that can be transmitted sexually (by having sex without a condom). It can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
When someone is infected with HIV, the virus attaches onto the specific cells in the immune system that help protect us and keep us healthy. It eventually kills off these cells weakening the immune system so that it is unable to fight off infections and other illnesses.
There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life. These treatments are much more effective if the virus is diagnosed and the treatment is started soon after the point of infection. A regular sexual health check-up via My-Sexual-Health can include a blood test for HIV or, alternatively, certain risk groups can access postal HIV testing kits free of charge by visting thewww.freetesting.hiv website.
Further information about HIV can be found on the National AIDS Manual (NAM) website by clicking here
FAQs about STI Testing and Treatment
Our friendly and welcoming staff are here to make your visit to our sexual health clinics as easy as it can be – if it helps here are some frequently asked questions about the service.
- Is the service free?
Yes, and that includes any treatment you may need.
- Do I need to see my GP first?
No, you do not need to be referred to My-Sexual-Health by your GP as you can ‘self-refer’. You do not need a letter from your family doctor to attend one of our clinics you simply phone the clinic and make an appointment.
- What healthcare specialists work there?
As well as doctors and nurses, My-Sexual-Health has specialist Health Advisors who can help you with worries, and give you additional information you may need.
- What sort of problems can our STI screening help with?
You can attend My-Sexual-Health for tests if you think you might have a STI, whether or not you have symptoms (such as a discharge from your penis or vagina). You can also attend our clinics to be tested for HIV or for a routine sexual health check-up.
- How do I make an appointment?
Whether you access the service via the central booking line for one of the My-Sexual-Health sites, or as a 'walk-in' to either the Newark clinic or the central Hub, you will be triaged by one of our reception staff. This means that they will ask you a short list of questions to identify where you might be best seen. Patients who have no symptoms are usually easily allocated a slot at any site, whereas patients with symptoms/needs may need an appointment at a specific site
- Do I need to bring anything with me?
If it is your first visit we will need to register you on our computer system so it would be useful if you know your address and postcode, and the name of your GP practice (we do not routinely contact them).
- What will happen when I arrive for my appointment?
You will be welcomed by one of our receptionists who will take your name and other necessary details, then ask you to take a seat and wait for your name to be called.
- What can I do if the receptionist asks me questions that I find difficult to answer in the waiting room?
If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you can ask the receptionist to find somewhere more private to talk.
- Can I be sure the service is confidential and my information will be kept private?
My-Sexual-Health would like to reassure you that all discussions you have with a member of our team will be treated confidentially.
We do not routinely write to your GP, however it can sometimes be useful to share a summary of your health records with your GP or refer you to a different specialty to ensure you receive the best care; we would not do this without your express permission. You will be asked whether you are happy for us to send correspondence to your home address or your GP and, if you would prefer us not to do this but we need to contact you for any reason, then a doctor or nurse will discuss alternative ways of getting in touch.
In extremely rare situations, My-Sexual-Health may be required to divulge your information to other agencies (eg your GP, social services, etc) should there be serious concerns about your health, safety or welfare, for example:
- if you are under 18 and tell us about someone who has abused you sexually, physically or emotionally,
- if you are 12 or under and tell us that someone has had sex with you,
- if your life is at serious risk,
- if you tell us about someone under 18 who is being abused,
- if another person’s life is at risk.
Whenever possible, we will inform you prior to doing this and give you all the support you need.
- Can I bring friends or family with me?
You can bring anyone you trust to be with you in the reception area and even to accompany you when you are examined by the doctor or nurse. However, if you choose to have another person in the room with you during your examination, we cannot guarantee that they will not share the information they hear with another person.
- Can I have a chaperone?
We are committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where our patients and staff are confident that best practice is being followed. Every patient is entitled to have a trained chaperone present for any examination or procedure. Should a trained chaparone be required, but unavailable, then you may be asked to re-schedule your appointment.
- Can I bring my children with me?
For intimate procedures, such as examinations, it is best not to have children with you as they cannot be left without someone to look after them in the waiting room.
- Will I need to be examined?
You will only need to be examined if you have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection that need to be checked out. If swabs need to be taken (eg to check for an infection), then you may be given the option of taking these yourself.
- What samples will I be asked to give?
This depends on why you are visiting us. If you are attending for a sexual health screen for possible infections (e.g. a chlamydia test) then we may ask for a urine sample, a blood sample and maybe a vaginal, oral and/ or anal swab dependent on the type of sex you have. Only samples you consent to give will be taken.
- Do swabs hurt?
Swabs are taken using a cotton bud and, whilst this might be a bit uncomfortable, they are not usually painful.
- I only want a HIV test; is it possible to only have this done?
You can either attend our service for a limited screen, or certain risk groups can access postal HIV testing kits free of charge by visting the www.freetesting.hiv website.
- When will I get the results?
We have the facility to provide some results straight away and to give the appropriate treatment whilst you are in clinic. This includes tests for thrush, bacterial vaginosis (BV), gonorrhea and trichomonas (TV).
For all other test results, you will be able to access your results on the automated results line at about 7-10 days after your visit. If an infection is diagnosed, you will be asked to return to My-Sexual-Health for treatment to cure or manage the infection depending on the diagnosis. In addition to treating your infection, we can also help you manage the infection by contacting any partners who may have been at risk and ensuring they are offered screening too. This is managed discreetly and confidentially and will only be done with your consent.
- Can I just get condoms?
If you are aged 13-25 years, you can attend either the Newark Clinic or The Hub to register for a C-Card. Once you have a C-Card, you can collect condoms at any site within Nottinghamshire displaying the C-Card logo upon production of your card.
For those over 25 years of age, you will need to register with My-Sexual-Health if you wish to be supplied with condoms.
- Is there an interpreting service?
Telephone interpreters can be arranged as required.
- Is there a hearing loop available?
My-Sexual-Health can arrange for a portable hearing loop to be available for use during your consultation. Please speak to a receptionist to arrange this when you make your appointment.
- What if I just want some advice over the phone?
For sexual health advice or to speak to a Health Advisor, please phone 01623672260 and choose “Option 4” during our clinic opening times. All the opening times are available here.