- Sexual health clinic
Sexual health clinics specialize in the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
Sexual health clinics differ from reproductive health and family planning clinics. Sexual health clinics offer only some reproductive health services. Reproductive health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, offer most of the services of sexual health clinics.
Sexual health clinics provide some or all of the following:
- Information about safer sex, birth control, reproductive health and general sex education
- Sexual health examinations
- Tests to detect some sexually transmitted infections
- Antibiotics to cure chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
- Medications and other treatments
- Counseling and education
- Emergency contraception
- Referrals for additional information or services
Many clinics provide vaccinations to prevent infections from the hepatitis A and B viruses. Young women may receive vaccinations to prevent infection from some strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Many clinics provide interpreting for the hearing impaired or speakers of other languages.
Many clinics will help patients tell their sexual contacts if they have a sexually transmitted infection, anonymously if needed.
Public governmental and non-profit clinics often provide services for free or adjust the fee based on a patient's ability to pay.
Sexual health clinics often offer services without appointments. Some clinics open evenings or weekends.
In a private room or space, the patient will partially undress.
The clinician may inspect the patient's:
- Throat and lymph nodes of the neck for inflammation
- Pubic hair for lice
- Lymph nodes of the groin for swelling
- Genitals, anus, and surrounding areas for sores and warts
The clinician may swab the patient's:
- Throat to test for gonorrhea and possibly chlamydia
- Cheek, inside, to test for HIV
- Sores of the genitals, anus, and surrounding areas to test for herpes
- Urethra to test for gonorrhea and possibly chlamydia
- Vagina to test for chlamydia and possibly gonorrhea
- Cervix to test for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (a Pap test)
- Rectum to test for gonorrhea and possibly chlamydia
The inspections and taking samples don't hurt, but swabbing the urethra and cervix, and a finger prick blood sample feel uncomfortable.
Women will often receive a pelvic exam, both external and internal, but usually less thorough than a reproductive health exam.
A patient can choose a female or male clinician if available. A patient can have a chaperone. Some clinics have separate hours or facilities for men and women.
Sexual health clinics follow local standards of medical confidentiality to protect the privacy of patients. Some clinics provide anonymous services or protect confidentially by having a patient use a code name, a number, or a false name.
Additional privacy protections sometimes apply to matters of sexuality and reproduction, since these areas are sensitive in many cultures.
In the United States, clinics receiving federal funding from Medicaid or Title X of the Public Health Service Act must treat all patients confidentially. Thus minors can receive services without parental notification or consent.
Medical standards of informed consent apply to sexual health clinics. A patient needs information about the purposes and consequences of examinations, tests, treatments, and other procedures. A patient may then choose whether to consent to these procedures.
A minor may consent to receive some or all of the procedures at many sexual health clinics.
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- ^ "What Happens When You Visit Our STD Clinic?". Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. http://www.cuphd.org/stdclinic2.html. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "Show Your ID"
- ^ "Forced Parental Involvement Defeats the Goals of the Title X Program". The Center for Reproductive Rights. January 2004. http://www.reproductiverights.org/pub_fac_titlex.html. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
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- ^ "History of Title X". National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. http://www.nfprha.org/main/about_us.cfm?Category=Title_X. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- "inSPOT". Internet Sexuality Information Services. http://www.inspot.org/. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "Find local testing resources"
- "National HIV and STD Testing Resources". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.hivtest.org/. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "Find a Testing Site Near You"
- "Health Center Search Results". Planned Parenthood Federation of America. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/findCenter.asp. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "Find a Health Center"
- "Health Center Directory". National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association. http://www.nfprha.org/main/about_us.cfm?Category=Member_Clinic_Directory. Retrieved 2008-08-31. "Search for a health center near you"
- "BASHH Clinics". British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. http://www.bashh.org/clinics. Retrieved 2008-09-28. "Find your nearest clinic"
- "Find a clinic". Family Planning Association. http://www.fpa.org.uk/Findaclinic. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
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Family planning and reproductive health Rights Education Planning Health Pregnancy Medicine Disorder By country Related navboxes Sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STD/STI) (primarily A50–A64, 090–099) Bacterial Protozoal Parasitic Viral General
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