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Sexual Health

Sexual Health: Free advice – ask me today!

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By Dr Helen Webberley MBChB MRCGP MFSRH | GMC no. 3657058

I am a GP and a sexual health and hormone specialist. I can give advice on any medical matter, and I offer safe access to medical advice, prescription medication, blood tests and x-rays, and specialist referrals to your local private hospital as needed.

Sexual Health

According to the World Health Organisation’s definition is

Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality“.

It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does being sexually healthy mean?
In everyday terms, this means being free to experience sexual activity that you and a partner consent to, are comfortable with and that is legally appropriate, while protecting against sexual infection and unintended pregnancy.
How can I be sexually healthy?
Ideally, it is best to know if you and your partner are free from a sexually transmitted infection (STI) before you have sex with that person. This is best done by having regular screening tests.

 

If you do not know yours or a partner’s sexual health status then it is recommended to

  • Use condoms to prevent the transmission of infection during penetrative sex and when engaging in oral sex with a man. Use Dams when engaging in oral sex with a woman
  • Use a method of contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy
What if I am worried I am at risk?
Take a STI test

 

  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea,  takes 10 days from the risk of exposure to the  infection, before giving accurate test results
  • HIV, takes 4 weeks from exposure before accurate test result (if you have concerns it is best to do a test asap and repeat it after 4 weeks)
  • Syphilis, takes up to 12 weeks from exposure before accurate test results (if you have concerns it is best to do a test asap and repeat it after 12 weeks)

If you are really concerned that you are at high risk of getting the HIV infection by-

  • Having unprotected sex with someone who is known to be HIV positive or someone who has a high chance of having HIV
  • having unprotected sex with a drug injecting user
  • having unprotected sex with someone from a country where it is more common, for example- sub Saharan Africa
  • you have been raped by an unknown person
  • you are a health worker and have had a needlestick injury

You may be recommended to take PEP- Post Exposure Prophylaxis within 72 hours of the risk ( this means taking medication immediately after a risk to stop transmission of an infection) – see separate information in this section with regards to this

You can get emergency contraception to prevent a pregnancy, you need to seek emergency contraception within 5 days of the incident.

A pregnancy will become positive 3 weeks after any unprotected sex that results in a pregnancy.

How do I know if I might have a STI?
Some STIs do not have any symptoms, therefore many people may have an infection but not be aware. This can lead to further transmission as well as progression of the infection without treatment.. If in doubt get a test.
What symptoms should I be concerned about?
For Men

  • discharge from the penis or anus, clear or pus stained
  • tingling sensation on passing urine.
  • Any blood in the urine
  • Pain in the testicles
  • Blisters/ulcers on the genitals
  • Painful swollen joints
  • fever, rash and very sore throat /thrush in the mouth in someone who is usually well

For Women

  • an increase in vaginal discharge
  • sore inflamed skin of the genitals and vagina
  • bleeding between periods
  • bleeding after sex
  • deep abdominal pain during penetrative sex
  • blisters/ulcers on the genitals
  • fever, rash and very sore throat /thrush in the mouth in someone who is usually well
What if I’m pregnant and think I may have a STI or I’ve been diagnosed with a STI?
  • Always tell your health professional if you are pregnant and worried about STI risks
  • Blood tests for HIV and Syphilis are offered routinely at 8-12 weeks during antenatal care
  • You can request other STI screening if you think you have taken any risks
  • All STIs are treatable during pregnancy and it is safer to treat the infection than to not be diagnosed or treated
  • Some untreated STIs can lead to transmission of infection to the baby during delivery so delivery options may need to be discussed with your midwife/obstetrician
What screening tests and treatments are available online?
We can offer advice for all STIs and treatment for Chlamydia, Trichomonas, Genital herpes, Mycoplasma Genitalium and Ureaplasma. You may be required to attend a Genito-urinary Medicine(GUM) clinic for treatment for other STIs

Blood Tests

Package 1

Basic Chlamydia/gonorrhoea urine test

Package 2

Test for 7 infections- Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Ureaplasma, Trichomonas vaginalis, Herpes Simplex 1/11 and Gardnerella vaginalis

Package 3

Blood tests- HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C

Contact me now for advice, prescriptions, blood tests and referrals.

Please note that this service does not aim to replace advice given to you by your own doctor, it is meant to supplement your health knowledge and awareness.

It is never to be used in the case of a medical emergency.

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