When do you need to consider taking help from a healthcare professional regarding your sexual health problems? There are several times, such help becomes essential – when you are starting a sexual relationship, when you want to have a baby, when you suspect a sexually transmitted infection and at many others.
If your general practitioner refers you to a Gum Clinic (genito-urinary medicine clinic), there is no reason to worry. It may be just to have a regular check up. In most cases, a physician recommends such a check up if there is suspicion of a sexual or urinary problem. You may also go for a test on your own at this clinic.
There is no necessity to get a prior appointment for a check up. However, if you have special needs, like if you need wheelchair access or you do not speak English, arrangements for it may take some time. If it is not possible for you to visit a clinic, check whether a healthcare professional from the clinic would be able to visit you at home.
Here is a quick look at some of the services available.
Ø Sexually transmitted infection testing (gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia)
Ø HIV Testing for those who have identified early HIV symptoms
Ø Genitals or bladder infection testing
Ø Providing treatments for these infections
Ø Providing contraception advice
Apart from these services, these clinics also offer advice and counselling for people who test positive for HIV. This is necessary to protect others, especially the sexual partners and any unborn babies (if the patient is a woman), from getting the infection and prevent spread of the problem.
How do you find such a clinic? These are usually located along with a hospital or a healthcare centre. You may also find one that is a separate entity. The most convenient way to find a clinic near your home/office is to search online. Some websites even offer you the option of locating all such centres if you submit the code.
All consultations, tests, diagnoses, and treatments are completely confidential. Therefore, there is no reason to worry in this regard. Even when your physician refers you to the clinic, he/she does not know whether you did go for a check up that is unless you tell him/her about it.
Whether your doctor recommends it or you suspect something wrong, you can go for a check up on your own to ensure an early diagnoses and if necessary, the proper treatments.