Talking about our health can sometimes be difficult. It can be embarrassing to talk about things that we consider to be private to us. Sexual health is often one of these “difficult to talk about” subjects.
Some people confide in their partner, close friend, or a member of their family. Not everyone feels comfortable being open about their concerns when it’s connected to sex or their private parts. It is also a subject that is surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Stories that have little or no real fact in them only confuse the subject and cause unnecessary worry for people who are looking for answers to their questions.
There should not be any stigma around sexual health – it is just another part of our general well-being. However, recognizing that people may need some extra reassurance and be confident of getting accurate information in a confidential and welcoming setting, sexual health services (also called Integrated Sexual Health clinics) are staffed by experts who are used to helping people with their sexual health. You can take along your partner, friend or family member if you like. The health advisors can provide information and advice on a wide range of sexual health concerns, arrange a full sexual health check, and provide treatments if necessary.
If an infection is found, it may also be necessary for any partners to be treated. The staff at the sexual health service can also give advice on how to go about informing partners. Also see the answer to the question here “How do I talk to my partner?” Sexual health services are listed in the directory of services.