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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk

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Sex and sexual health services

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Contraception

Did you know that there are actually 15 methods of contraception available on the NHS?

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you choose to be sexually active only condoms can protect against STIs and pregnancy.

Use a condom - If you're thinking about having sex always use a condom to ensure you and your partner are protected from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or getting pregnant. Unfortunately cases of Syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease) are on the rise, so it's really important to take care of your health and use a condom. Find out more on how to protect yourself from STIs.

Watch the video above titled 'Contraception. Worth talking about'.

Condoms are available free to young people between the ages of 13 to 24 through the c-card scheme. Find out more about the c-card scheme.

You may think you know everything about sex and what risks there are. Keep yourself and your partner safe by reading together 15 things you should know about sex.

You may have heard about the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccination)? This is offered to girls aged 12- 13 to protect against cervical cancer. There are some indicators that HPV in the throat (from oral sex) in young men is on the increase. You can protect yourself by using condoms. Read more about HPV on The Mix website.

Unprotected sex

If your condom splits or you have had unprotected sex, you may want to think about emergency contraception to stop you or your partner getting pregnant.

Don't delay - you usually need to act within 3 days (72 hours) of having unprotected sex  for this to work effectively. 

Find out more about emergency contraception.

Free Chlamydia tests

In 2014, more than 200,000 people tested positive for Chlamydia in England, the majority of those were under 25 years old.

As it often has no symptoms, it is simple to catch. It is also simple to test – you can take a free and confidential chlamydia test where you get the results of your test sent to you by text on your mobile.

If you've been unlucky it is simple to treat too, usually just 1 dose of antibiotics.

Young people aged 16 to 24 can get a free home Chlamydia test kit by texting TSUF to 88020, or go online at www.youngandfree.org.uk.

If you have Chlamydia symptoms that you are concerned about or you're worried you may be at risk you can access sexual health services for testing and treatment.

Terrance Higgins Trust also supplies free tests to those most at risk of HIV. You can read about their service on the Terrance Higgins Trust website and read about HIV and sexual health

Periods

There is a scheme across Suffolk libraries and some other organisations supplying free sanitary protection no questions asked to help end period poverty for women in Suffolk. You can find out more about the scheme on the Suffolk Libraries website.

You can read about periods on The Mix Website.

Sexual Health Services in Suffolk

GP Practices - Many GPs provide contraceptive services including long acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as the coil or implants and emergency hormone contraception (EHC) if you've had unprotected sexual activity. GPs also screen for chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease for those aged under 25.

Pharmacies - Most pharmacies provide free emergency hormone contraception (EHC) and also screen for chlamydia for those aged under 25.

Specialist Sexual Health Services - Specialist sexual health services offer a free, confidential service providing contraception, sexual health advice, testing and treatment. All treatment is free of charge.

iCaSH Suffolk - Is the new name for contraception and sexual health services which operate a number of different clinics across Suffolk - this includes the Orwell Clinic in Ipswich. There are walk-in sessions and appointment options available. You can either call the local rate phone number to book appointments to access iCaSH services in Suffolk on 0300 123 3650 Or for more information on sexual health services visit the iCaSHwebsite.

Anyone can access specialist sexual health services anywhere in the country. For further Information read the following information:

NHS Choices Sexually Transmitted Infections STIs 

NHS Livewell Sexually Transmitted Infections STIs FAQs 

NHS Choices Contraception Guide 

NHS Choices What is Contraception? 

My Contraception Tool - choosing the right contraception for you

Rise Above - a website for young people on the things that matter.

I think I might be pregnant! - The first thing you can do is buy pregnancy tests from supermarkets or the chemist or see your doctor or school nurse for a free pregnancy test. For more advice read am I pregnant?.

If you find out you are pregnant there’s lots of advice available and people to help you decide what you want to do. Have a look at the list above for some of the services available near you.

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