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Sexual health

It’s important for us all to look after our sexual health, as it can dramatically affect our physical and mental health, as well as our emotional and social wellbeing.

The best way to ensure good sexual health is to always practise safe sex by using a condom for vaginal, anal and oral sex.  The use of a condom can reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If you’re sexually active and have ever had unprotected sex or think you may be at risk of an STI, you should get tested straight away to ensure you’re STI free.  It’s important to remember that many people with sexually transmitted infections do not display any symptoms, so you can’t tell by just looking at someone.

Local support

Community pharmacies can sometimes provide sexual health services, such as emergency contraception.  They often have longer opening hours than GP practices and you don’t always need an appointment.  The NHS can help you find your nearest community pharmacy.

GP practices can provide a range of sexual health services, including contraception and emergency contraception, STI testing and smear tests.  The NHS can help you find your nearest GP practice.

Sexual Health Services 4 Herefordshire provide free and confidential sexual health services within the county. They offer contraception and emergency contraception, STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, smear tests, Hepatitis B vaccinations and counselling and advice.

Take a look at the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) sexual health leaflet...


National support

British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) provide advice and support on contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, miscarriage, STIs and male sterilisation.

Brook offer free and confidential sexual health and wellbeing advice for under 25s.

Mencap provide information and advice around sexuality, relationships and sex for people with learning disabilities.

The NHS has some useful advice and support on safer sex, STI symptoms and testing and genital health.  You can also find sexual health services, contraception advice and answers to common sexual health questions.

Sexwise offer free advice on contraception, STIs, pregnancy and sexual wellbeing.

Switchboard provide a listening service for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) via phone, e-mail and instant messaging.

Terrence Higgins Trust offer support, advice and information on HIV and sexual health.