Womens Health

Don't Die From Embarrassment

Don't be embarrassed about going to see a doctor if you think you may have an STD. If you have any symptoms or put yourself at risk by having unprotected sex, it is important to have a check up.

If you don't want to go to see your primary care doctor, you can go to a Special Clinic and be seen anonymously. The doctors there are specialists used to dealing with STD's every day, so there is no need to be embarrassed.

How To Find A Clinic

There should be a free and confidential STD clinic near you. You can find the address and phone number of your local clinic in the phone book, under Special Clinic or STD clinic, or on the internet.

If you are a minor you need not worry. You do not need your parents' consent to see a special clinic doctor. All information is kept confidential, and the doctors will not contact your parent or guardian without your permission.

What To Expect.

When you arrive at a clinic, you will be asked to fill in a form with relevant information about yourself and why you have come to the clinic. To preserve anonymity you will be given a number (or in some clinics a name) that you will be called throughout your visit. This number will also be written on the form.

You will be asked to provide detailed accurate information about your medical history. Remember all information is kept confidential and the clinicians needs this information so that they give you the best treatment, advice and, if necessary, counseling.

You will probably be given an intimate examination, and the practitioner will take a variety of samples. Many Special Clinics have on-site testing, so that they can see straight away if you do have an STD. However, some samples may need to be sent away for further testing.

If you do have an STD, treatment will normally start straight away. You may need to go back to the clinic for further results, treatment and follow up.

You will need to notify your sexual partner or partners so that they can also go and get tested and the clinician will advise you how you can best do this

Some cities, e.g. New York, have a partner notification service to help you inform your partner.

Points to Remember

Most STD's are very easily treated at the beginning, but can cause serious problems if left unattended.

If you have an STD you shouldn't have sex again until given the all clear by the doctor.

It's very important to complete the course of medication and to go for any follow up appointments so the doctor can make sure the treatment was effective.

Use condoms with spermicide every time you have sex to cut down your risk.

The best way to avoid getting an STD, apart from abstinence, is to be in a committed long-term mutually monogamous relationship.

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