Morning After Pill/Emergency Contraception
If you have had unprotected sex or your normal contraception has failed, you may be at risk of an unwanted pregnancy. You can get the morning after pill, also known as Emergency Hormonal Contraception, from a pharmacy. This treatment is only effective if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex – the earlier the better.
Most pharmacies in Dudley offer this medication FREE OF CHARGE to women 13 years and over; to find out which pharmacy offers this service click here.
Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV
Although numbers of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) have remained fairly stable over recent years, the highest rates continue to be seen in 16 – 24 year olds. There is also a higher rate in people aged 45 plus who are starting a new relationship. But remember, you are at risk of a STI every time you have unprotected sex (sex without a condom).
This is the most common STI, with almost 400 cases diagnosed every single day. The infection is passed on via sexual contact. It can also be passed from mum to baby during a vaginal birth. Most people have no noticeable symptoms so you may have the infection without knowing you have it. It is best to get tested to find out. Screening is available to all 15 – 24 year olds in Dudley. The test includes completing a urine sample or vaginal swab (at home) and then posted via a normal post box to a local lab. Results are sent to you in whichever form you prefer (most people ask for a text message). If your results is positive, treatment will be provided to you without the need to visit your doctor. To find out which pharmacy you can get a chlamydia screening kit from click here
HIV is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system. It is passed on through bodily fluids including semen, vaginal and anal fluid, blood and breast milk. You cannot catch HIV from kissing or from toilet seats or sharing towels. There may be flu like symptoms a few weeks after contracting the virus but often you will experience no symptoms during the early stages of the virus. It is important to catch the virus early to prevent long term complications. Treatment is effective; people on treatment will live a near normal lifespan and will not pass HIV on to others. The test includes a simple finger prick test and results are provided within a couple of minutes. To find out which pharmacy you can get a test from click here
All sexual health services in a pharmacy are completely confidential. We won’t even pass information to your GP. And we certainly won’t tell your mum! Tests are FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who lives or works in Dudley or has a Dudley GP.
Some pharmacies are now starting to offer a condom scheme, were you can access FREE condoms for up to 12 months. If you are aged between 13 and 25 you can access this service by simply walking in to the pharmacy and registering your details. To find out which pharmacy you can get free condoms from click here
To find out about all sexual health services across Dudley click here www.deardudley.co.uk