Good sexual health enables healthy relationships, planned pregnancies and prevention of disease.
In Suffolk there is range of services available to support your sexual health needs. There are dedicated services for sexual health but help and support can also be accessed through traditional health service routes:
Most GPs provide contraceptive services including the Contraceptive Pill, Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) such as the coil or implants. GPs can also provide Emergency Hormone Contraception (EHC) for episodes of unprotected sexual activity. GPs also screen for chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, for those aged under 25.
Most pharmacies provide free Emergency Hormone Contraception (EHC) and also screen for chlamydia for those aged under 25.
Specialist Sexual Health Services offer a free, confidential service providing contraception, sexual health advice, testing and treatment and HIV care and treatment. All treatment is free of charge.
iCaSH Suffolk is the name for contraception and sexual health services which operate several clinics across the county.
There is a single local rate phone number to call and book appointments to access iCaSH services in Suffolk: 0300 300 3030
iCaSH also now offer an online 'Express Test' which is a new and easy way to test for sexually transmitted infections without going into clinic. This can be accessed by visiting https://expresstest.icash.nhs.uk - and is smart phone friendly.
If you are between 16 and 24 and sexually active, you need to test regularly for chlamydia to stay free from infection. It's easily treatable and you can test yourself for free at home. Order a testing kit online or text 'TSUF' to 88020.
HIV Home Testing
People at higher-risk of HIV can now order a HIV home-sampling test kit online. The test is free and involves taking a simple finger prick blood sample. Improved treatment for HIV means those diagnosed early can have a life expectancy almost matching that of people who are HIV free. For further details, to check your eligibility and to request a home-sampling test kit, visit the Test.HIV website.
ChatHealth Confidential Text Service
With more and more children and young people using mobile devices as part of their daily lives, Suffolk County Council has introduced a virtual school nurse text service. ChatHealth is an easy way for young people aged 11-19 to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment to visit a school nurse. They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support and sexual health services.
Messages sent to the dedicated number are delivered to a secure website and responded to by the Suffolk School Nursing Team.
Confidentially text a School Nurse on 07507 333 356.
The service is available Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm excluding bank holidays.
Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a ‘bounce-back’ message that explains where to get help, and when they can expect a response. Texts are replied to within one working day.
The Ferns Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
The Ferns is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) which provides a one-stop location, offering medical care and emotional support to any victim of sexual assault. You will not be pressured into contacting the police if you do not wish, The Ferns is there to provide the support you need and respect your wishes.
Phone: 0300 123 5058
- Sexwise provides honest advice around contraception, pregnancy, STIs and pleasure
- NHS Choices Sexually Transmitted Infections
- NHS Livewell Sexually Transmitted Infections
- NHS Choices Contraception Guide
- NHS Choices What is Contraception?
- My Contraception Tool
- Terrence Higgins Trust
- Rise Above
- HIV Home Testing
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Online Hub
- Suffolk Sexual Health Network
Suffolk Sexual Health Network
The Suffolk Sexual Health Network was established to enable commissioners, practitioners and service providers to come together to share good practice and learn more about sexual health in Suffolk.