Valentine’s Day is round the corner, and love is in the air. With romantic relationships on the minds of many, Warwickshire County Council is urging people to think about their sexual health and relationships.
There are many services available in the county to help people, no matter their age, enjoy safe sex lives, conduct healthy relationships and navigate situations such as understanding consent and getting an STI test.
Sexual Health Warwickshire (https://www.sexualhealthwarwickshire.nhs.uk/) is one such service. Free, confidential and accessible, Sexual Health Warwickshire provides a complete range of contraception and sexual health services including family planning, pregnancy testing and full sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, including for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis.
Sexual Health Warwickshire has three main sites and a number of community based contraception clinics. Appointments can be made online or by telephoning 0300 123 6644 then:
- press 1 for Nuneaton at the George Eliot Hospital
- press 2 for Rugby at the Hospital of St Cross
- press 3 for Stratford-upon-Avon at Stratford Healthcare
- press 4 for contraception appointments at Nuneaton and Bedworth contraception clinics only
- press 5 for the online free-test-me service (online chlamydia screening).
Warwickshire County Council’s www.respectyourself.info is a resource developed with young people from Warwickshire that provides practical information on topics such as contraception, puberty and local sexual health services. It also has a section for parents on talking to children about sex, and a Relationship Health Checker designed to help young people think about their relationships and understand the dynamics.
Based on successful strategies employed in the Netherlands, where the teenage pregnancy rate is the lowest in Europe, Respect Yourself’s ‘sex-positive’ approach acknowledges that young people are naturally curious about sex – something that Warwickshire County Council believe is evident from the website’s popularity.
Councillor Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is very important to look after your sexual health, no matter your age, sexuality or gender. I am proud of the wide range of resources we have in Warwickshire which support people to make informed decisions about their health and relationships, talk to their children about potentially sensitive issues, and access in-person help when they need it. In recent years, following the work we have done through services like Respect Yourself, we have also seen a reduction in teenage conceptions meaning Warwickshire is now below the national average figure.”