Men and Sexual Health – Visiting the Local GUM Clinic

Sexual health is just as important as any other type of health care so if you suspect something may be wrong then do visit your GP or local clinic.

Gum Clinic Visit

GUM clinics (genitourinary medicine) previously called STD or STI clinics are usually located at general hospitals. Some have appointments and others have drop in clinics so you can just turn up. Most offer both services depending on the day of the week you go.

When you go to a sexual health clinic, you’ll be asked for your name and contact details. You don’t have to give your real name if you don’t want to. Your GP won’t be told of your visit without your permission and all information is confidential.

If you have tests and the results aren’t available during your visit, the clinic will need to contact you later, so give them the correct contact details. They will ask you how you wish to receive your results: usually over the phone, in a text or in an unmarked letter. They may also ask if it is OK to leave an answer phone message or not.

Answering some questions

A big concern for many people is the issue of confidentiality.GUM Clinics are critically aware of this, and take every step to protect your privacy. All material relating to your visit is totally confidential and will never be made available to anybody who shouldn’t see it. If you’d prefer, you don’t even have to give your name.

You will see a doctor or a nurse, and they’ll ask you about your medical and sexual history. Be prepared to answer questions about your sex life, including:

when you last had sex

whether you have had unprotected sex

whether you have any symptoms

why you think you might have an infection

The staff have seen it all and heard it all before, so be honest! Being honest is the best way they can help you. The doctors and nurses are not judgmental in any way so give it to them straight and they always treat you with respect.

Clinic Visit and Tests:

The doctor or nurse will tell you which tests they think you need. They should explain to you what is going on and why they are suggesting these tests. If you’re not sure about anything, ask them to explain.

The tests might involve:

a urine sample

a blood sample

swabs from an infected area

an examination of your genitals

Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea usually requires only a urine sample. Testing for HIV and syphilis needs a blood sample.

Treatment is usually creams and tablets which is provided by a prescription that can be filled at the hospital dispensary and there is no charge for this.