Sexual Health Clinics
If you’ve got questions about sex or health issue that you don’t want to discuss with your doctor, think about heading to your local Sexual Health Clinic. SHC’s are private, discreet, usually free for under 25 year olds, and best of all – they’ve heard it all before! At these clinics there are no embarrassing questions. Honest.
Before we talk about sex (thank you to Salt N Pepa for the vintage musical intro), let’s define exactly what a Sexual Health Clinic is:
- Sometimes also called a Family Planning Clinic, a Sexual Health Clinics is just like a regular doctor’s clinic, except they only focus on sex-related stuff.
Sexual Health Clinics cover all kinds of sexual health topics like contraception, pregnancy, STDs/STIs treatment, periods, urinary tract infections, abortion, reproductive health, puberty, pap tests – the list goes on. Basically, they’re all over anything to do with sex organs. SHC’s are also the people to see if you have questions around sex + consent, alcohol, drugs, relationships….all the stuff you really want talk about but don’t want to bring up with your usual GP (which is totally understandable).
- Depending on where you go, Sexual Health Clinics or Family Planning Clinics are sometimes free.
Yep. Some SHC or FPC will bulk bill their clients, so if you provide your medicare card or number, you won’t be charged. If you would like a medicare card of your own and you’re over the age of 15, you can apply for one. Read more here.
To make sure you’re across the payment setup for your local clinic, we recommend calling them directly. If you’re under the age of 15, don’t have a medicare card and want to be bulk billed – don’t worry – some clinics will be able to call medicare for you and sort it out at the time of your appointment. Again, make sure you call first to find out what the deal is.
- Sexual Health Clinics are TOTALLY confidential.
Just like a GP, the doctors and nurses at SHC are bound by law to keep the content of your visit completely private. So don’t feel embarrassed about asking a particular question or having a certain procedure done – it’s your right to be informed about your health and feel safe with your doctor. What happens at the clinic stay at the clinic – unless someone’s safety is at risk. Read more about doctor/patient confidentiality here.
- How to find your nearest clinic
Check out this website for a map of clinics around Australia or take a look at Reach Out’s run down of clinics state by state.
Sure, going to a SHC and talking about sexual health stuff seems embarrassing but it’s really worth it. Here’s a few reasons why:Antoine Walter via Flickr Creative Commons
Most reproductive health issues (like STD’s) are preventable.
Knowledge is power, baby! By having regular sexual health check ups, you’ll not only be confident in knowing how to avoid common sexually transmitted infections, you’ll also be able to quickly treat any issues before they become a big deal.
Some clinics give out free barrier contraception.
Yay, condoms! Yay, dams!
And last (but not least) – your sexually and reproductive health is really important.
For some people, sexuality and reproductive health is a huge part of their identity. Everyone deserves to be healthy and happy – and this is just one of the ways you can look after yourself. Self-care is the key to happy days.
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