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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still not able to find the answer to a question you have please contact us using the details provided.

When are the clinics open and where can I find one?

This information can be found in the 'Clinics' section of the website.

Will you tell my doctor, parents etc?

You can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of our staff will stay confidential, even if you are under 16, except if you or anyone else is coming to any harm.

Do I have to pay?

No, all our services are completely free for UK residents. However, not everyone is eligible for free Erectile Dysfunction treatment. Some clients will need to pay prescription charges.

Will I have to wait long?

Please be aware although we will try to see you as soon as possible, you may have to wait to be seen. You may want to think about your car parking, bus times etc.

Can I bring my child with me?

Yes, children are welcome, but must not be left unsupervised.

Do I need an appointment?

Some services such as GUM and family planning are walk-in services. However, for services such as erectile dysfunction, community gynaecology and menopause, you will need to ask your GP to refer you into the service; you can also self-refer using the form on the service page. 

Can I pick up treatment for my partner?

No, they will have to attend themselves.

Is the pill the same as the 'abortion' pill?

No, it is contraception, which means that it prevents pregnancy but if you are already pregnant it won't cause you to abort your baby.

How often can a woman have emergency contraception?

As often as she needs it, but frequent use means she should be seeking advice to be prescribed effective, regular contraception. Emergency contraception is NOT as effective as regular contraception.

How effective is it?

It depends where the woman is in her cycle and the time interval between unprotected sex and taking the emergency pill. The pill provider will work this out for you. You may be offered an emergency coil, which is also very effective.

Can I get emergency pills to keep at home, just in case?

Not from pharmacists but you may be able to from your Family Planning Clinic or GP.

What do I do if I want to comment on the services?

You can go to the Patient Opinion websites to leave a comment about the service: Patient Opinion. Youcan also give your feedback through the Friends and Family Test; to do this, click here.

If you want to make a complaint or comment about the service, you can talk to our Customer Care team on 01482 347627 or email chcp.customercare@nhs.net.

MYTH: Having sex before the age of 16 is not a crime.

The age of consent - meaning the age at which people in the UK can legally consent to sex - is 16. This means that you and your partner need to be 16 or older to legally consent to sex.

A boy who has sex with a girl under 16 (or 17 in Northern Ireland) is breaking the law, even if the girl agrees to have sex.

If the girl is aged between 13 and 15, the boy could go to prison for up to two years. If she is under 13, the boy could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The law considers anyone under 13 to be unable to understand the consequences of having sex, so sex with someone aged 12 or under is illegal whether they have consented to it or not.

Our age of consent laws are there to prevent people from being pushed into something they don't understand or aren't ready for.

Many young people think that if they feel ready to have sex and they use protection, it is nothing to do with anyone else. But every teenager needs to know the laws and what they mean.

Although many young people are mature enough to know how to deal with it if someone tries to get them to have sex, not all teenagers are grown up enough to know what to do.

At any age, it is illegal to have sex unless both people agree to it (give their consent).

MYTH: You can't get pregnant during unprotected sex if the man pulls out before he ejaculates.

Even if your boyfriend doesn't ejaculate, sperm can still be present in his pre-ejaculatory fluid (the clear, sticky drops that are released when he's aroused). It only takes one sperm to get you pregnant, and the fluid can also contain sexually transmitted infections. Some men aren't aware that they are ejaculating until it's too late, and it's easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment.

The only way to be sure of avoiding both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is to use safe, reliable contraception and to make sure you use it properly BEFORE you have sex.

MYTH: It's safe to have sex as soon as you're on the pill.

Different types of contraceptive pill take different times to kick in. This can range from 0-14 days. Always follow the instructions prescribed with your type of pill, and use an additional form of contraception such as condoms during the time it takes for your choice of pill to become effective.

MYTH: Missing one pill doesn't matter.

The contraceptive pill should be taken at the same time each day, but is regarded as 'missed' if it is taken more than 12 hours late (three hours late for the mini-pill, although with the mini-pill Cerazette you have a 12 hour window).

If you are late in taking your contraceptive, take a pill as soon as you can, then another at the usual time (even if this means taking more than one pill in one day).

If more than one pill is missed, the last missed pill should be taken and the rest of the packet taken at the normal time. However, alternative contraception (such as condoms) should also be used for seven days afterwards, just to be on the safe side.

If you miss a pill and there are less than seven pills left in the pack, the course should be finished as usual and a new packet started immediately afterwards without a break.

MYTH: If a condom breaks, there's nothing you can do.

If you're female and the condom has split, even if it's before your partner has ejaculated, seek emergency contraception.

MYTH: Peeing after sex washes out sperm and prevents pregnancy.

Urine exits the bladder through the urethra, which lies above the vaginal opening. This means any sperm in the vagina won't even get wet when you wee.

Once it's been released, sperm immediately starts travelling to the fallopian tubes to fertilise any egg that is there, so only emergency contraception will prevent a pregnancy.

MYTH: Condoms are passion-killers and all boys hate them.

The only guys who WON'T use condoms are those with no respect for you. You wouldn't trust your boyfriend to pick your clothes, so don't rely on him to provide condoms. If you're considering sex, then take responsibility for yourself and get clued-up on safe sex and contraception.

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