Sexual Health Clinics
Sexual health clinics are sometimes known as genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics. They are usually located at your local hospital, or as part of another health centre, in a separate building. You can find your nearest sexual health clinic by visiting the Family Planning Association website or by calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
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 GP might refer you to a sexual health clinic if you have a problem with these parts of your body. You can also make an appointment to see someone at a sexual health clinic without being referred by your GP.
GUM clinics can usually give you tests for sexual and urinary health problems, such as:
At most GUM clinics you can make an appointment for a general check up, which also include tests for a range of STIs. Before starting a new sexual relationship, it's a good idea for you and your partner to be tested for any sexually transmitted infections. You might also want to have a check-up before trying for a baby.
GUM 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 counselling 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 GUM clinic, everything that is discussed is completely confidential. Your GP will not be told about your visit, and you do not have to give your real name if you do not want to.