Sexual health is just as important as other aspects of our health. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Clinicians are so used to consulting and treating sexual health concerns, that I can assure you there will be no judgement. In 2022 alone, there were over 4.3 million consultations regarding sexual health in the UK (Gov.UK). There are many options available to you with regard to finding sexual health support, including your GP, pharmacies, sexual health clinics, the young person’s sexual health service helpline etc.
There is a GP practice on campus accessible to students (https://ulhsonline.co.uk). They now offer e-consultations, where you can simply send in a message detailing your concern and you will be consulted online. Depending on your query, you may need to come in or will be directed to a more appropriate service. If you perhaps feel embarrassed this may be an easy way to seek help.
Pharmacies can offer some sexual health support although this is more limited than other services. Anything they cannot treat then and there they will be able to direct you to the most appropriate service for you.
Sexual Health Clinics
Another option is to visit a sexual health clinic, you do not need a GP referral to do this. Simply make an appointment online (https://lincolnshiresexualhealth.nhs.uk). In Lincolnshire, there are currently 7 NHS run sexual health clinics which provide a range of services, including:
- Diagnosis and treatment of STIs.
- HIV counselling.
- Testing and treatment and advice on sexual health concerns – including psycho-sexual counselling.
Appointments are free, non-judgemental, confidential, and accessible to everyone. These clinics are purpose-built to deal with sexual health issues, so are likely to be the most appropriate option regarding sexual health concerns. Their website offers clear and concise information regarding different types of contraception, STIs, fertility awareness etc. They also offer free at-home STI kits.
There is a helpline called the National Sexual Health Helpline (0300 123 7123) which is a free helpline available Monday to Friday 9am-8pm. They can offer advice and ensure you are treated sensitively and with confidentiality.
Student Wellbeing Centre
Moreover, if you are concerned about anything relating to sexual misconduct, the University of Lincoln Student Wellbeing Centre will be able to help and support you (https://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/health-and-wellbeing/health-advice/sexual-health/ https://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/sexual-misconduct-support/). A problem shared is a problem halved, you are never alone.
Sexual health should not be a taboo subject, if you are concerned about anything, do not hesitate to seek help, there is no such things as a silly question and there is no need to suffer in silence. There is a huge range of services at your fingertips ready to help you.
To recap here are some links to sexual health support available to you in Lincoln:
- University of Lincoln Health Services: https://ulhsonline.co.uk/
- Lincolnshire Sexual Health Clinics: https://lincolnshiresexualhealth.nhs.uk/
- National Sexual Health Helpline: 0300 123 7123
- Student Wellbeing Centre – Sexual Health: https://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/health-and-wellbeing/health-advice/sexual-health/
- Student Wellbeing Centre – Sexual Misconduct: https://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/sexual-misconduct-support/