Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy »

… in your mouth which some describe as metallic

When should I test?

You can carry out a pregnancy test from the first day after a missed period.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a pregnancy hormone called: Hormone Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) in your urine.  You can do a test any time of the day or night. A positive pregnancy test is almost certainly correct but a negative test is less reliable.

Different pregnancy test kits work differently so it is important to follow …

Safer Sex »

… over what some of your options are. If your period is late, probably the first thing to do is a Pregnancy test. You can buy these at chemists but they can be quite expensive. However, you can get them free at a young person’s sexual health clinic, Sexual Health and Reproductive Service clinics, Integrated Sexual Health Clinics (formerly Genito-urinary GUM ) clinics or your GP and get all the support and back up you need whatever the result. Whatever your situation, the sooner you do …

Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive Methods (LARC) »

These methods of contraception should be discussed with all clients wishing to avoid pregnancy. These methods of contraception last from 3-5 years and do not involve swallowing pills etc.

Implanon, the contraceptive implant

Implanon is a little rod, which can be inserted into your arm just under the skin.It is about the size of a match and once inserted you are able to feel it but it is not visible. This little rod produces a low dose of hormone slowly releasing it into …

Menopause »

… response to the end of the menopause can also vary. Some women, freed from the fear of Pregnancy , the tribulations of monthly periods, and perhaps the continuous use of Contraception , feel liberated and may even experience a flush of sensuality and interest in sexual adventure. Others lose any interest in continuing sexual activity, whether the passage through the menopause was difficult or relatively easy. Vaginal dryness accompanying the menopause can be off-putting too, …

C Card Scheme »

… HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and can also help protect against unintended pregnancy.

Here are some frequently asked questions on what the scheme is about and how to use it.

Where do I get my C Card from?

You can pick up a C Card and leaflet from over 100 health centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Look for the sign – Free Condoms, No Fuss Available Here.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a C Card, you can still ask for condoms in any of the C Card …


… a temperature, tummy pain, backache and pain during sex. PID can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancy (where the baby grows inside the fallopian tube). If a baby is born to a mother with chlamydia, the baby may develop eye and lung problems. In men, an untreated infection can spread to the epididymis or testicles, causing pain, swelling and infertility.

How can Chlamydia and NSU be prevented?

The best way to stay free from sexually-transmitted infections is to practise safer sex …

Unplanned Pregnancy »

Pregnant and unsure what to do?

Having an unintended pregnancy can be a frightening time, but there is support available. It is important to ensure you have an accurate pregnancy test- you can get this done through your GP, Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinics (formerly Family Planning Clinics), Integrated Sexual Health Clinics (formerly GUM Clinics) or some chemists.

Your options are:

To continue with the pregnancy and keep your …

Emergency Contraception »

… any contraception or if your condom burst).

Emergency contraception is designed to prevent pregnancy. If you are accessing emergency contraception provided it is less than 72 hours since the unprotected intercourse, you could have a “morning after pill”   (Levonelle 1500).

This delays you releasing an egg and it may help prevent pregnancy. If it is more than 72 hours since the unprotected intercourse, but less than 120 hours, you may be offered a coil (copper IUD). This …

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) »

… an egg from the ovary (where the eggs are stored) to the womb. Or there can be a risk of ectopic pregnancy (fertilised eggs developing in the fallopian tube).

It is important to put this risk into perspective. One episode has a low risk of infertility but the risk increases with each recurrent episode of Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). So, it is important that you and your partner are adequately treated to prevent having more episodes of Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

How do I …

Syphilis »

… mouth.

Syphilis can be passed on from a pregnant mother to her baby at any stage of the pregnancy . If syphilis is found during pregnancy it can be treated to prevent the infection being transmitted to the baby. Pregnant women are routinely offered syphilis testing along with tests for HIV , Hepatitis B and Rubella.

If I test positive for syphilis, does my partner need to be tested?

Yes, if you test positive, it is important that your partner(s) is/are tested too so …

Young Persons Clinics »

… to clinic but all offer:

Information/advice on all sexual health issues

STI screening

Pregnancy testing


Referral to other services (e.g. smoking cessation, mainstream sexual health services)

Free Condoms

Please note, you are advised to attend the Young Person’s Drop In Clinics early as occasionally, due to staff shortages, the clinic numbers need to be capped before the advertised finish time.

What is available at Young Persons Clinics? »

… to clinic but all offer:

Information/advice on all sexual health issues

STI screening

Pregnancy testing


Referral to other services (smoking cessation, mainstream sexual health services)


Who should use contraception? »

Contraception is a word that really means ways of avoiding Pregnancy , but it is also often used when talking about protecting sexual health in general.

There are various methods of contraception and details are given in the contraception section of this website. However, it is only male and female Condoms that can provide protection against sexually-transmitted Infections ( STIs ).

The question of who is responsible for the use of …

Painful Sex »

… to the reproductive system, these can include spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts or ovarian torsion.

You should go directly to your local Accident & Emergency department if you have abdominal pain which is:


does not go away within a short time period

is accompained with fever and/or confusion or any other significant changes in your health/behaviour

occurring during pregnancy.

Chronic pain is associated with …

Thrush »

… lives harmlessly in the body, but can multiply to cause an infection. It is more common during pregnancy and in people with diabetes. It is not an STI.

What are the symptoms ?

Thrush might cause itching, soreness and swelling around the vagina, or a thick white discharge. You may also feel discomfort when passing urine or during sex. If a man has sex with a woman with thrush, this may cause some skin irritation on the man’s penis.

Where can I be treated?

If you think …

Prevention »

… have previously been used by someone else can easily lead to infection with hepatitis or HIV.


It is considered low risk for Hepatitis C to pass from an infected woman to her baby during childbirth, an average of a 6% risk that the baby could contract infection during pregnancy delivery.  It is important to remember that it may not be possible to be certain whether your child has the virus until he or she is about one year old.

Safer sex

The risk of contracting …

Prevention »

… to those around you. Some of this section may apply to you. Please use it as a reference.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

In the UK, all pregnant women are tested for hepatitis B and, if they have the virus, their babies are vaccinated soon after birth. This means that it is safe for them to breastfeed their children. However, women with hepatitis B should not donate milk to breast milk banks or breastfeed other people’s children.

Injecting drug use and hepatitis

Even …

Women’s Issues »

… to detect cellular abnormalities in the cervix by regular smear tests.

Taking therapy during pregnancy is quite a complex area. You should seek advice, if you are Pregnant or want to be, on HIV treatment.  HIV treatment during pregnancy has an important role in preventing transmission to the baby. 

Pregnancy and HIV »

… used. 

These would include the mother taking HIV medicines (some but not all are safe in pregnancy ) to reduce her viral load, avoidance of prolonged labour (caesarean section often recommended), no breastfeeding, HIV medication for the baby for 4 – 6 weeks after the birth.

This is quite a complicated area so you should speak to your HIV doctor or nurse if you are considering pregnancy

All pregnant woman in Scotland are now offered an HIV test routinely to reduce …

What is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic? »

… can help you. You may have come for:

Advice and help with preventing, starting or continuing pregnancy

Supplies of contraceptives

Advice on when to have children

Advice on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections

Excuses/Answers for not using Condoms »

… 0300 303 0251 (Line open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. to 4.45 p.m).

It is extremely unlikely that pregnancy will occur after having an IUD fitted. An IUD can be fitted up to 120 hours (5 days) later.

How does emergency contraception work?

Emergency contraception stops an egg being released (ovulation) or they may stop a fertilised egg settling in your womb (implanting). You would be advised not to take alcohol or drugs for 24 hours after taking the emergency pill in case you are sick. …

Condoms! »

… pregnant eg the pill, the jag, the rod (implant).

Most forms of contraception only prevent pregnancy and do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Most forms of contraception have to be used by women rather than men. This doesn’t mean that guys have no responsibility in protecting against pregnancy.

In order to choose a method that suits you whether or not you are in a relationship, come to your local Sexual Health and Reproductive Service or one of the services …

Am I Ready For Sex? »

… your actions and for your feelings. 

Penetrative sex between men and women can result in pregnancy and you should be asking yourself if that is something you want or are ready for. Also, for all people having sex there is a risk of picking up a sexually transmitted infection or even HIV.

There is also an emotional side to having sex, because you don’t just have sex with someone’s body, you also have sex with their minds and this can make you or your partner(s) have very …

Ovarian Cancer »

… increased risk. You should bring such a history to the attention of your doctor.

Given that pregnancy, the use of contraception or the use of hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) seems to provide some level of long term protection against the disease, consideration might be given by your doctor to providing oral contraception or HRT as a preventative measure in such cases.

Where there is felt to be a high risk of developing the condition, consideration might be given to the removal of …

Vaginal / Vulval Cancer »

… also be found in teenage women whose mothers used the drug Diethylstilboestrol ( des ) early in pregnancy to avoid miscarriage (this drug is no longer in use). Symptoms include abnormal bleeding or discharge.

Hearing Impairment »

… advice and counselling on a range of issues including:

General sexual health.

Pregnancy and Contraception.


Sexuality and relationships.

Safer sex for men and women.

It is hoped that the range and availability of resources for deaf people, particularly utilising information technology and the internet, will soon be increased. Also BDA is continuing a campaign to have British Sign Language more widely recognized and incorporated …

Alcohol & Sexual Health »

… safer sex, or just not bother with it. Remember that any unprotected sex can carry a risk of pregnancy and/or infections.

It is a great idea to have condoms with you all the time because this means they are available when you might need them. Try to stay aware of your sexual health even when you’re drunk. You can still do what you like, and keep safe.