All Christchurch PHO practices offer sexual health consultations and If you’re under 21 and enrolled with a GP in Canterbury you can get up to six free sexual health related visits each year. If you’re needing assistance outside your normal practice hours, you can visit Riccarton Clinic or Moorhouse Medical which are open 7 days from 8am-8pm.
Sexual Health Services:
- STI checks
- Contraception such as the pill, condoms or Depo Provera
- The Emergency contraceptive pill – commonly called ‘The morning after pill’
- Some practices also offer long-term contraption such as the Jadelle implant or IUD (ask at a practice for more information and cost)
What’s a sexually transmitted infection?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are bacterial or viral infections that are transmitted by sexual contact with another person.
Bacterial infections include chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis these are treated with antibiotics
Viral infections include herpes, genital warts, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS – symptoms can be controlled with antiviral medication, but not cured.
1.Myth: If I catch something then take some medication, there’s no problem, right?
Fact: Not necessarily, some infections can reoccur. And some can cause issues like issues with getting pregnant if you decide you want kids later in life.
2.How can you catch an STI?
Any sexual contact with another person has the potential to pass on STIs. This also includes people who are in same sex relationships. If you’re having any kind of sexual contact with someone it’s always better to be safe.
3.Myth: I couldn’t get an STI because we didn’t have real sex
Fact: Any sexual contact including oral, anal or sharing sex toys has the potential to pass on STIs.
4.When should you get an STI check?
It is a good idea to get tested when you get a new partner, or some people with opt for an annual check-up.People often think they should need to get checked out if they have an issue – but many people have no symptoms at all and be unknowingly spreading infection to others.
Women may also opt to have swabs done when they get a cervical smear done.
5.Myth: You’d always know if you’d caught an STI:
Fact: Some people have symptoms, but others may show no signs at all. The only way to know is to check checked out.
6.What’s involved in an STI check?
It depends on what is being checked for, ask a Doctor or Nurse what tests you might need done. Our staff are all professionals, and used to talking about sexual health. It’s their job to offer you confidential support and advice. If you’re anxious about talking to someone, you can bring a friend or support person into the consultation with you.
6.Myth: Getting tested always means getting personal
Fact: Testing can involve urine samples, blood tests or yourself (or a Dr/nurse) doing swabs. It’s not always as scary as you think!
7.How can you protect yourself against getting an STI?
The best way to ensure you’re protected is using a barrier method such as condoms. You’ve also got to remember that just because you’re protected against pregnancy, doesn’t mean you’re protected against catching an STI.
8.Myth: If I have a Jadelle implant or take the pill I don’t need to worry about condoms.
Fact: Those methods don’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections; if you or your partner haven’t been tested it’s best to use a condom.
If you have questions about sexual health or want to see a nurse or Doctor about a sexua, health issue call or drop into one of our practices.