NEW Young Persons Advice Guide

If you've got questions about sex and sexual health, then our brand new young persons advice guide is for you. 

Click on each section to expand for information.

Our Promise

All of our services are free, confidential and non-judgemental. We promise to treat everyone with kindness and respect. Your health, wellbeing and safety is our priority. We are here to help you.

  • You can attend our clinics with any gender expression or identity which best describes you
  • You can register and be addressed by any name
  • You can be addressed by the pronouns that fit best for you

We want to ensure that you are happy and comfortable at all times when accessing our services. Looking after your sexual health is an important part of your wellbeing, and we want to reassure you that our services will be able to support you.

We have clinics and services throughout Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.

All of our services are free and confidential. You can access sexual health services in a number of ways:

Find my nearest young person’s walk-in clinic here (no appointment needed)

Book an appointment here

Drop into a confidential Video Clinic here

Order an online STI test here

You can also call us on 0300 300 2016 for an appointment.

 

What's it like to attend Sexual Health Services?

We have teamed up with local charity Enable Ability to develop videos and virtual tours to help people with learning disabilities to access Sexual Health Services. 

Videos are available below and via the What's it like? App (click here for more information) which uses immersive technology to help people who live with anxiety to access places and services, offering virtual tours and video walk throughs. 

Each video provides information about sexual health clinics in Portsmouth, Southampton, Basingstoke and Isle of Wight and provide information about what to expect when you attend an appointment for contraception or sexually transmitted infections advice and support.

Click on each button to access each video. These will open in a new window.

 

Portsmouth Clinic, St Marys Hospital

Contraception Advice

Sexually Transmitted Infections Testing and Treatment

 

Southampton Clinic, Royal South Hants Hospital

Contraception Advice

Sexually Transmitted Infections Testing and Treatment

 

Basingstoke Clinic, Crown Heights

Contraception Advice

Sexually Transmitted Infections Testing and Treatment

 

Isle of Wight Clinic, Newport

Contraception Advice

Sexually Transmitted Infections Testing and Treatment

 

Condoms can help make sex more fun as well as staying safe
Condoms help to stop Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV and unplanned pregnancy when you are not ready to have a baby.

When used properly condoms are extremely effective. If you intend to have sex, use a condom from the start as pre-cum (fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation, often to help lubricate the penis) can contain sperm and STIs. Condoms act as a barrier method and any pre-cum and sperm is captured inside the condom.

To help protect you and your partner, use a condom every time you have sex, including vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Some people say "condoms spoil sex for me" as an excuse not to use condoms, but did you know that there many different types of condoms you can try which can make having safer sex fun and enjoyable: 

  • Flavoured:
    • Chocolate? Strawberry? Cola? Blueberry? A taste sensation!
  • Textured:
    • Ribbed? Dotted? Warming? Cooling? Increase the pleasure for you and your partner!
  • Longer lasting:
    • Something to help you go for longer and delay ejaculation? There’s a condom for that too!
  • Sizes:
    • Small to Large and everything in between – find the one that fits and feels comfortable!
  • Thickness:
    • If you like a thinner condom for that closer feel, it’s just as safe as a thicker condom!
  • Allergy friendly:
    • Use a latex free condom (not made from latex) and join in on the fun!
  • Internal Condom (often called a Female Condom):
    • Internal condoms are worn inside the vagina (front hole) to prevent semen getting to the womb.

Talking to your partner about using condoms
It’s everyone’s responsibility to talk about using condoms. It can feel a bit embarrassing to talk to your partner but it’s important so that you can look after yours and your partners sexual health.

If you need help with talking about condoms click here

Check it… then wrap it

Condoms are much more likely to split if they are out of date or in damaged packaging and may not be effective in preventing STIs or pregnancy, so use our check list before buying and using a condom.

☐ Is it in date?
☐ Does it have the BSI kitemark or CE mark? (this means it has passed certain tests and is of good quality)  
☐ Does it have any holes or punctures?
☐ Is it a new (unopened) condom?

Condom Info Page

Visit our Condom Information page and scroll down to watch our 'How To Put A Condom On' video! 

 

Where to get free condoms

 

Condoms are available for free from Sexual Health Clinics and many GPs, Pharmacies and young people’s services with a ‘Get it On Condom Card’.

All types of condoms are available to buy from a shop or (online from known providers such as Pasante, Durex or Mates).  

Get Condoms with the GIO C-Card Scheme here

Get Condoms by post here

If you’re under 16 and would like to talk to us confidentially about condoms but can’t get to a C-card site due to site closures during COVID19, why not drop into our Video Clinic online. 

Find out about Video Clinics here

If you have had sex without a condom, or you are worried that your contraception has failed, you can get free emergency contraception, which will help to prevent pregnancy. 

It’s really easy to get emergency contraception if you need it, or you are worried and want to talk to someone. It’s all confidential and health professionals will not judge you.

You should access emergency contraception as soon as possible following sex.

Emergency contraception should not be used as a regular method of contraception. More information on the contraceptive choices available to you is listed below.

Where can I get emergency contraception?
  • Free from many Pharmacies (pop in or you can contact the Pharmacy first if you'd prefer to check that a Pharmacist is available)

Hampshire Pharmacies - click here

Portsmouth City - click here

Southampton City - click here 

Isle of Wight - click here 

How soon after sex can I take emergency contraception?

It is really important that you get emergency contraception as soon as possible following unprotected sex, i.e. without any contraception - as it works best to stop pregnancy the sooner it is taken. There are three types of emergency contraception:

  • The emergency contraceptive pill (Levonelle [levonorgestrel]). You can get this up to 3 days (72 hours) after having unprotected sex. It is available from most pharmacies, your GP and in sexual health clinics. Please ring the pharmacy before going as sometimes trained pharmacists may not be available.
  • EllaOne, a newer emergency contraceptive pill can be taken 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. You can get this from our sexual health clinics or your GP. This may also be available free at your local pharmacy in Hampshire (excluding Southampton), Portsmouth & Isle of Wight if a trained pharmacist is available. Alternatively could be available to purchase it over the counter.
  • The copper IUD (coil) is a small, flexible contraceptive device that is shaped like the letter T and is inserted into the womb. It can be inserted up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex but may also be used beyond that timescale in certain circumstances. This is available from our sexual health clinics. This is the most effective type of emergency contraception and is effective in over 99% of women. The copper coil can be left in place as a long term form of contraception.

 

What if it has been over 120 hours?

If it has been more than 120 hours since you had unprotected sex, you should contact us on 0300 300 2016 and arrange a call to discuss your options.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about Emergency Contraception, why not drop into our online Video Clinic for a confidential chat.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

Consent in sex is very important. It means that everyone involved in the sexual activity wants to be involved.

Consent means that you have given permission, and that someone has given you permission to engage in any sexual activity. Any sexual contact without consent is illegal regardless of the age, gender and sexuality of the people involved. In the UK, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16.

  • Even if someone hasn’t said no, that doesn’t mean you should assume that they want to have sex.
  • If someone has been drinking alcohol, or taking drugs, they may not be able to consent to sex.
  • If someone is asleep or unconscious, they cannot give consent.

It’s always best to ask! 

It’s ok to change your mind

  • If someone had given consent, but during sexual activity has changed their mind, it’s not okay to continue.
  • Even if someone hasn’t said no, that doesn’t mean you should assume that they want to have sex. You need to have and give enthusiastic consent.
  • Consent is an essential part of healthy and safe relationships and it’s really important to know what it is and the many ways to spot it. This also means talking to your partner if you are not yet ready for sex.

For more information and support on consent click here 

The Disrespect Nobody website provides advice, support and more information about consent, rape, abuse and the law.

Disrespect Nobody website - click here 

Any Questions?

If you are worried about anything and would like to talk to us, you can drop into our online Video Clinic.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

Contraception helps to stop unplanned pregnancy when you are not ready to have a baby.

There are many different types of contraception available to suit your needs including short and long term options (long term options are often known as LARC methods - long acting reversible contraception, but we like to call it “fit and forget”)

Some people worry that there will be some side effects to the body or changes to periods when starting new contraception. We will talk your options through with you so that you can choose what is best for you. We can also discuss how we can help to control periods if this is something that is worrying you.

Remember that everyone is different. One person’s experience will be different from another person.

To get your head around different types of contraception options - click here

Where can I get free contraception?

Contraception is free from sexual health clinics and GP surgeries.

Remember:

  • Only condoms will help stop Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) so you should use both contraception and a condom to stop STIs and unplanned pregnancy.
  • If you have had sex without a condom, or you are worried that your contraception has failed, you can get emergency contraception, which will help to prevent pregnancy.
Any Questions?

If you have a question about contraception, why not drop into our confidential online Video Clinics and speak to a member of our team.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections passed from one person to another person through any sexual contact.

Anyone can get and pass on STIs, you don’t need to have lots of sexual partners. Some STIs don’t show any symptoms therefore it’s important to get an STI test when you’ve had sex without a condom, a change of partner, or if you’ve been told (or are worried) someone you have had sex with has an STI.

The only way to know if you have an STI is to get a test or seek support from a health care worker.

Did you know:

  • Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI in young people aged 15 to 24. If you have sex without a condom, you are at risk of getting Chlamydia and other STIs, so use a condom every time you have sex.
  • If a test shows that you have an STI, we will support you with getting treatment.
Where can I get an STI test?
  • STI testing is free from sexual health clinics and some GP surgeries.
  • You can order a test online. These tests are free, confidential and are delivered to your address in discreet packaging, so you can’t see what it is.

Click here to order a free online STI test

Click here for information about common STIs

Sex without using a condom is called unprotected sex, which means that you may be at risk from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or unplanned pregnancy.

If in doubt, check it out!

  • If it has been less than 120 hours since unprotected sex, you should access Emergency Contraception if you are not ready to have a baby.
  • You should arrange to get tested for STIs.
  • If you are worried that you might be pregnant, you should get a pregnancy test.
  • If you are worried that you have had unprotected sex with someone who has HIV, contact us on 0300 300 2016 or book an appointment as soon as possible as you may be able to get PEP.

If you have any worries, you can talk to a Pharmacy, GP, Nurse or a Sexual Health clinic. You can also drop into our confidential online Video Clinics for a chat.

Emergency Contraception - click here

Order a free online STI test here

Book an appointment here

Find out more about Video Clinics here

If you are not ready to have a baby, then it’s important to use a condom when you have sex.

Condoms act as a barrier method and pre-cum and sperm is captured inside the condom and will prevent the sperm from entering the vagina. Condoms also help to prevent you or your partner getting an STI.

Want something that works for longer?

If you are looking for contraception that you can 'fit and forget' about, then there are many different types available which are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Our handy guide covers the what, how, benefits and those worries you may have... it might not be what you think so it's worthy of a closer look.

Remember:

  • Contraception helps to stop unplanned pregnancy when you are not ready to have a baby. Only condoms will help stop STIs so you should use both contraception and a condom to stop STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

What are my 'fit & forget' contraception options?

 

Any Questions?

Why not drop into our confidential online Video Clinic for a chat.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

STIs are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital, oral or anal contact. This means you can get an STI even through a blow-job or fingering.

The best way to stop you getting an STI is to use a condom.

When used properly condoms are extremely effective. If you intend to have sex, use a condom from the start as pre-cum (fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation, often to help lubricate the penis) can contain sperm and STIs. Condoms act as a barrier method and any pre-cum and sperm is captured inside the condom.

Condoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including internal and external condoms and latex free if you have a latex allergy. It is recommended that you try a few different condoms by yourself to find the one that best suits you.

There are other things you can do to help prevent an STI:

  • If you are drinking alcohol or taking drugs, you may not remember to use a condom at all or how to use a condom correctly
  • Talk to your partner, if neither of you have ever tested for an STI, you may want to test before having sex
  • If you are having unprotected sex with multiple partners, make sure you get STI tested regularly.

Information about common STIs

Get free condoms

Any Questions?

Why not drop into our confidential online Video Clinic for a chat.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

Think U Know website provides advice and information about staying safe online. They advise the following:

If you’ve met someone online and have started a relationship with them, you’re probably feeling really excited and happy.

Meeting up with someone you’ve met online is always risky. If you do decide to meet them, it is really important to follow these simple safety guidelines:

  • Tell the person that you want to meet in a public place and that you’re bringing an adult with you. If someone’s genuine they won’t have a problem with you wanting to make sure you’re safe.
  • Always meet and stay in a busy public place.
  • Take a trusted, responsible adult with you, not a friend. If the person you’re meeting with isn’t being honest, taking a friend will put you both at risk.
  • Make sure another family member or trusted adult knows who you are meeting, where you are going and when you’ll be back.
  • If your instincts tell you something is wrong, it probably is. If the person you meet doesn’t look like the person you’ve been talking to, leave as soon as possible.
  • Don’t get in a car or vehicle with the person you’re meeting.
  • Stay sober.
  • Take your phone, and keep it switched on.
  • Don’t leave your personal belongings unattended.

If you're worried about your safety or think you're in danger you should call 999.

For more information, support and advice visit the Think U Know website here 

Reporting online sexual abuse

Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online?  You can make a report or speak to an advisor through the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection command) website. 

Click here to visit the CEOP website

Fearless is a site where you can access non-judgemental information and advice about crime and criminality. Fearless provide you with a safe place to give information to us about crime - 100% anonymously.

Click here to visit the Fearless website

Need to talk to someone?

If you are worried and you just need to talk to someone, you can contact Childline. They provide free and confidential support whatever your worry, whenever you need help.

Call 0800 1111

Click here to visit the Childline website 

You may have heard or seen information which is misleading and incorrect and could therefore affect your sexual health and wellbeing. It’s important to know the facts from the myths to help you and your partner stay safe.

If you want to fact check anything, why not drop into our confidential online Video Clinic.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

  • Withdrawal before ejaculation– Pre-cum (fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation, often to help lubricate the penis) can contain sperm, therefore this is not a reliable method if you don’t want to get pregnant. Pre-cum can also contain STIs! Even shallow insertion of the penis into the vagina (sometimes called dipping) carries risks for both partners.
  • You can’t get pregnant first time you have sex- This is not true. You can get pregnant even if it’s your first sexual intercourse.
  • Using cling film- Many people think that wrapping cling film, or other types of plastic barriers (such as crisp packets) around the penis will work the same as using a condom. This is not true.
  • Having sex while on a period - Sperm can remain in the body for five days after sex. Even if you are on your period, your ovulation cycle can still be irregular, which means you could be at increased risk of pregnancy (ovulation is when your body releases egg cells). This is therefore not a reliable method.
  • Using two condoms - Many people think using two is better than one, but not when it comes to condoms. Two condoms will rub against each other and this can weaken or break the condom. This is the same regardless of the type of condom. Use one at a time.

 

 

Confidentiality means we do not share your information without your consent, and we won’t tell anyone else.

Even if you are 13-15 you can attend our clinics alone but you can bring someone to support you while you wait. We do not share your information with anyone else even a parent/guardian/carer or GP.

The only time we would tell anyone else about your visit would be if:

  • You are under 18 and tell us about someone who has abused you sexually, physically or emotionally
  • You are 12 or under and tell us that someone has had sex with you
  • Your life is at serious risk
  • You tell us about someone under 18 who is being abused
  • Another person’s life is at risk

But we would discuss this with you first and give you all the support you need.

 

Any Questions?

Why not drop into our online Video Clinic and chat to a member of the team.

Find out more about Video Clinics here

1. Can I talk to someone online?

You can drop into an online Video Clinic and talk to us confidentially and without judgement. If you have any questions about your sexual health and wellbeing, or you are worried about the sex you are having.

Click here for Video Clinics

2. Where can I get support for my Mental Health?

Hampshire and IoW CYP Crisis Line

This service is a telephone support service for Children and Young People aged 11 – 17 years old in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (excl Portsmouth & Southampton); who are experiencing mental health crisis. 0300 303 1590
Through the crisis line callers will have immediate access to:

  • One to one confidential, emotional support
  • Advice on healthy coping skills and resources
  • Signposting to useful apps and websites

You can also talk to your GP or a trusted adult if you are worried about your mental health

You can also access support from No Limits. No Limits is a charity offering free and confidential information, advice, counselling, advocacy and support to children and young people under the age of 26 in Southampton and Hampshire.

Visit the No Limits website here

3. Where can I get support for pregnancy?

Finding out you're pregnant when you're a teenager can be daunting, especially if the pregnancy wasn't planned, but help and support is available.

Visit Hampshire Get it On Pregnancy Guide here

4. Where can I get support if I am Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning?

There are several local projects that you can get in touch with which are specifically designed for young people who are exploring their sexuality or who identify as LGBT.

Find a project near you here

 Information for our Transgender, non-binary, intersex and gender diverse service users

5. Where are the Young Person Clinics?

We offer walk in wait to be seen clinics for young people aged 19 and under. 

Click each venue below for details of opening times and walk in clinics. 

6. Should I tell someone if I need sexual health support?

This is up to you. Many young people find it helpful to talk to someone they know and trust as they can provide advice and support. This can include your parent/guardian/carer, an older sibling, a nurse, a teacher or any other professional.

Many young people like to bring someone with them when they access sexual health. If you are 13 to 15, you can still make decisions about your own sexual health, as long as you understand the information and advice that has been provided to you. We will support you with your decisions when you access our services.

 

*Source
Tanton CJones KGMacdowall W, et al
Patterns and trends in sources of information about sex among young people in Britain: evidence from three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles