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What services do sexual health (STD) clinics provide?


Posted by Be Well

What services do sexual health (STD) clinics provide?
 
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Sexual health clinics are sometimes known as STD clinics. They are usually located at your local hospital, or as part of another health center, in a separate building.

Genito-urinary medicine deals with the male and female sexual organs and the urinary system (the system in the body that produces, stores and gets rid of urine). Your doctor might refer you to a STD clinic if you have a problem with these parts of your body. You can also make an appointment to see someone at a STD clinic without being referred by your doctor.

STD clinics can usually give you tests for sexual and urinary health problems, such as:

  • sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, and chlamydia,
  • HIV or AIDs,
  • cystitis ( bladder infection), and
  • other infections of the genitals, such as thrush.

At most STD clinics you can make an appointment for a general check up, which also include tests for a range of STDs. Before starting a new sexual relationship, it's a good idea for you and your partner to be tested for any sexually transmitted diseases. You might also want to have a check-up before trying for a baby.

STD clinics can provide contraceptive advice, including free emergency contraception and condoms. Some clinics may also be able to fit cervical caps or diaphragms (a form of contraception), and provide cervical smear tests (a test to check for any abnormal cells in the neck of the womb). They can also offer advice and counseling on a range of sexual health issues, and provide support if you're having an HIV test, or if you have been diagnosed as HIV positive.

If you visit a STD clinic, everything that is discussed is completely confidential. Your doctor will not be told about your visit, and you do not have to give your real name if you do not want to.

They usually test for STDs with blood, urine, or swabing the infected area. They don't always test for all STDs if there are no symptoms so make sure you ask what they're testing for.
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