What services do sexual health clinics (GUM clinics) provide?

Sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics offer a range of services, including:

Search for a sexual health clinic near you and find out what services they offer.

Who can use sexual health clinics?

Anybody can go to a sexual health clinic, no matter what their age. Some clinics hold sessions for specific groups of people, including young people, gay men and lesbians.

Some clinics require you to make an appointment, while others offer "drop-in" sessions, where you can turn up without an appointment.

Appropriate arrangements should be in place so patients with special needs can access sexual health services  for example, providing access to interpreters. There should also be clinic facilities for people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, people who have been sexually assaulted, sex workers and substance misusers.

All services are free and completely confidential, and all tests are optional.

STI testing

Sexual health clinics can offer testing for STIs, such as:

Depending on which STIs you’re tested for, tests may include:

  • an examination of your genitals, anus, mouth and skin
  • giving a urine sample
  • having a blood sample taken
  • a swab from your urethra (the tube through which you pass urine) for both men and women
  • a swap from your throat or rectum
  • for women, a swab from your vagina or cervix (lower part of the womb)
  • an internal examination for women  

Find out more about what to do if you think you have an STI.

Read the answers to more questions about sexual health.

Further information:

 

A responsible romance: getting tested for chlamydia

In this dramatisation, teenage couple Ben and Rosie get tested for sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia.

Media last reviewed: 16/03/2013

Next review due: 16/03/2015

Page last reviewed: 25/05/2013

Next review due: 25/05/2015