Sexual Health Service

Northamptonshire Integrated Sexual Health Service (NISH) offers the following services: - testing for sexually transmitted infections - outpatient care for blood-borne virus infection including HIV(Summers Unit) - all methods of contraception with ongoing management of complex contraceptive needs - treatment for genital skin/pain conditions - outreach services.

  • What is contraception?

Our services

Our services

We are a friendly, welcoming and non-judgemental service.

We have a highly trained and skilled staff mix of consultants, doctors, nurses, health care support workers, psychologists, pharmacists, dieticians and administrative staff. In addition we have an Outreach team who provide outreach testing services, education and training.

We provide a confidential service and take our responsibility to keep you safe very seriously. We also appreciate that it can be very difficult to make the first steps to get in touch, and aim to make your experience with us as straightforward and simple as possible. We look forward to supporting you.

We also appreciate your constructive feedback - you may leave online feedback about our services on the i Want Great Care Website.

We are able to offer you

  • STI – self testing by postal kit (click here to find out if you are eligible)
  • Appointments (accessed after telephone triage where appropriate)
  • Condoms from various pharmacies and other sites for under 25s
  • Complex contraception
  • HIV testing via home testing kits if you are at risk 
  • Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Pregnancy testing, advice and onward referral
  • Sexual assault
  • Services for under 19s 
  • Sexually transmitted infection services.

We also take part in national and local research studies which you may be eligible to participate in.  Current trials open to recruitment now or in the near future are:

EAGLE-1 – a new treatment trial for gonorrhoea

NEFERTITTI – a new treatment trial for bacterial vaginosis

Find the right location for the service you need

We are not able to offer you

For the following conditions / request please see your GP.

NISHH does not offer these services:

  • simple contraception (repeat hormonal contraception such as pills, patches and rings)
  • routine cervical screening (smear tests)
  • male and female sterilization
  • management of erectile difficulties
  • psychosexual medicine
  • genital skin problem management (dermatology)

What is sexual health?

What is sexual health?

There are many different sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some do not cause any symptoms.

To keep healthy it’s important to find out if you have an infection and which one it is so that it can be treated.

It is also important that you understand how to stop being infected again. (reinfection). We need your help to prevent infections being passed to other people.   

Some infections are not transmitted by having sex, but they can still cause you discomfort or symptoms. We can tell you more about these. 

I’m worried about an STI

If you have nothing wrong with you and are under 25, you can access a free home testing kit which you can order online.

If you have physical problems relating to your sexual health or you are over 25 years old, contact us and go through our telephone triage assessment with a member of our team. 

Concerns about an erection

If you experiencing difficulties with getting or maintaining an erection you should see your GP in the first instance.Please contact your local Gp to discuss this with them.

Get a home testing kit

Get a home testing kit

If you have symptoms, need to speak to a medical professional or are over 24 years old please use our contact us details to find your nearest clinic to access help and a postal testing kit if this is assessed as appropriate.

We are currently able to offer the following online STI testing options:

If you are under 25 years of age:

Get a free chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing kit  

 

We also offer postal kits to under 25s through “Free Test Me” so please only request one test kit and wait for your results. If you have recently had treatment for Chlamydia, you must not test again until 6 weeks after completion of that treatment. 

If you want an HIV test, you will need to check your eligibility on the FreeTest website.

 

Sexual assault

Sexual assault

Our team provides medical assessment and STI testing following a sexual assault. We work closely with Serenity - The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). 

If you have been sexually assaulted please contact Serenity Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) directly or you can phone us for further advice. You may wish to report the assault to the police and they will also work closely to support you.

If you are unsure what to do next please phone us.

C-Card services, free condoms and home testing for under 25s

C-Card services, free condoms and home testing for under 25s

C-Card services and free condoms

The C-Card service offers free condoms, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea testing, as well as pregnancy tests, if you are under 25.

If you are under 25 you can access free condoms via the c-card scheme in participating locations.

If you are under 25 you can access free condoms

 

These pharmacies are currently offering C-Card Services (For under 25’s).
 All will have different opening times and entry arrangements, so check their website first.
 
Northamptonshire pharmacies participating in C-Card scheme
JB Cawdell Pharmacy High Street, Thrapston NN14 4JH Nene Valley
Moulton Pharmacy High Street, Moulton NN3 7SR Northampton
Odessey Pharmacy 16 Lower Street, Kettering NN16 8DH Kettering
Thursfield & Co Ltd Corby 63 Corporation Street, Corby NN17 1NQ Corby
Far Cotton Pharmacy Delapre Crescent Rd, Far Cotton NN4 8LG Northampton
Finedon Pharmacy 95 Wellingborough Rd, Finedon NN9 5LG Nene Valley
West Chemist 4 Kingsley Park Terrace, Northampton NN2 7HG Northampton
Jhoots Pharmacy Grange Park Wilks Walk, Grange Park NN4 5DW Northampton
Jhoots Pharmacy Northampton 42 Semilong Road, Northampton NN2 6BU Northampton
 

Home Testing

We are currently able to offer the following online STI testing options:

If you are under 25 years of age:

Get a free chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing kit  

 

We also offer postal kits to under 25s through “Free Test Me” so please only request one test kit and wait for your results. If you have recently had treatment for Chlamydia, you must not test again until 6 weeks after completion of that treatment. 

If you want an HIV test, you will need to check your eligibility on the FreeTest website.

 

Sexual health for under 19s

Sexual health for under 19s

If you are under 19 and have a concern or would like to speak to a health advisor or nurse or book appointments please use our online booking service to schedule a face to face or telephone appointment. You can also ring our telephone service on 0300 027 0110 at Northampton or 03000 274100 at Kettering at other times.

You can also text us on 07519 293 410 during office hours 8-5pm Monday-Thursday and 8-4pm Fri if your question is not urgent.

Please do not attend any of our clinical sites until you have been asked to do so after a telephone consultation.

Let’s talk about sex

Sex is a normal and important part of our lives, but it is important to stay safe.

Only have sex with people when you really want to and never feel forced into having any kind of sexual contact.

It’s ok to say no.

If you have sex with lots of different partners, it’s a good idea to have a sexual health check-up regularly as some infections like Chlamydia often don’t have any symptoms.

If you are attending university or college away from your home town please ensure you are registered with a GP local to your place of education.  However, please note that if you are registered with a GP near your place of education you will be taken off your GP list in your home town.  It is important you plan appointments for your on-going basic contraception (pills, patches, rings) and take into account holiday periods, to make sure you don’t run out.

Healthy relationships

All relationships will have their highs and lows but a good relationship will be based on respect for each other and open communication. This is the same whether it is a sexual relationship or with your friends and parents, a relationship should be a positive experience in general, for most of the time, (we all have good and bad days!). A healthy relationship is important for general health and wellbeing. You should enjoy spending time together but also allow each other freedom to see your friends without being made to feel guilty. It’s nice to have common interests in a relationship but if you don’t then your partner shouldn’t stop you doing something you enjoy just because they don’t.

Your partner should respect your privacy and this comes with the trust you build in your relationship.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship can be:

  • Your partner insists on reading your text messages or looking at your social media
  • Your partner stops you seeing your friends or makes you feel guilty if you don’t spend time with them when they want you to.
  • You feel pressure to have sex with a partner even when you do not want to but you don’t feel like you can say no.
  • A partner tells you what to wear.

Finding ‘THE ONE’ can be difficult and you may experience a number of relationships before you find someone you are truly compatible with. Some people are not looking for a relationship and want to concentrate on themselves (exams, friendships, work etc) this is ‘OK’. Making yourself happy first will lead on to healthy relationships in the future if you want one.

Your body

Getting to know your own body is really important at any age. Knowing what is normal for your body is good and will help you notice when something changes or isn’t right for you.

Parents

Many young people are worried about telling their parents they are thinking about becoming sexually active or that they are in a relationship.

When you come to a sexual health clinic you are asked some questions to see if you understand the advice we are giving you. We also ask a few questions about your safety which we ask everyone who is under 18 years old.

If we are happy you understand what we are telling you and we have no concerns for your safety we would not tell anyone about your visit to us. This includes not telling parents/GP/School unless you want us to. We would, however, try and encourage you to have these discussions so that your parents or carers can support you to be able to get contraception or tests for sexually transmitted infections. Your parents will want the best for you and to keep you safe. If you are being sensible and trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy and infection most parents will be pleased you are trying to protect yourself.

Drug and Alcohol

Alcohol is a drug. Like other drugs, it can affect our normal thought processes and we may behave in ways which are not normal for us. We may forget what has happened and may regret what we have done. This can be scary and can mean we end up having sex when we don’t want to.

Some tips for when you are drinking alcohol:

  • Look out for your friends  and ask them to watch out for you
  • Try and avoid too much alcohol e.g. do you need those shots? Try to avoid too much pre-loading
  • Try and plan ahead, if you think you might be having sex that evening, take some condoms with you so you are prepared.

Some people develop problems with drinking alcohol.

Signs that you may have some problems with drinking:

  • Has anyone ever raised a concern about the amount you drink e.g. a parent or friend?
  • Have you or a friend ever had an injury when you were drunk that you cannot remember getting?
  • Are you drinking alone?
  • Drinking more than the nation recommended allowance per week on a regular basis - find about the recommended guidelines
  • Do you need to drink to cope with certain situations

For more information visit:

Consent

Consent in relation to sex is when we agree to have sex with someone and we want to do this.  This video explains it clearly. There should be no confusion.

Keeping Safe

Our ‘gut feelings’ are often a good guide to if something ‘feels right’. , If something doesn’t feel right then it’s more than likely that it isn’t, if you don’t feel safe in a situation then take yourself away from it as soon as possible.

Basic common-sense safety tips can help keep us safe. Things like not walking alone at night or letting people know what time your bus is due to arrive so they know what time to expect you.

There are lots of apps you can get on your phone that help you to keep safe, one such app is Hollie Guard. This is a personal safety app which allows you to tell people where you are and if you don’t arrive at your destination when you thought you would. It also has a built-in safety alarm and deterrent alarm, find out more about the app

Keeping safe applies to watching out for your friends too. If you see something that looks unusual or not right e.g. if your friend starts to behave differently, tell someone (parent, teacher) about it.

 

ChatHealth and sexual health

ChatHealth and sexual health

Are you aged 13- 24 years? Did you know you can speak to a member of the Sexual Health team by text to receive free advice and support?

Using Chat Health, you can text the service on 07312 263114 for a confidential chat about your sexual health.

ChatHealth is a secure NHS text messaging service used by school nurses, health visitors, mental health teams, and sexual health services across the country in NHFT.

The team can help with free testing, advice and contraception, to help you practice safer sex to protect yourself and others.

Further information

Confidentiality - We might inform someone if we were concerned about your safety but we would usually speak to you first. Your messages are stored and can be seen by other healthcare staff on the team who follow the same confidentiality rules.

Response - We aim to reply to you within one working day and you should get an immediate message back to confirm we have received your text. Text will only be seen between 9am and 5pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-2pm Friday (bank holidays are excluded). If you need help before you hear back from us contact your GP, nearest walk in centre or dial 111.

Messaging - Our text number does not receive voice calls or MMS picture messages. We support messaging from UK mobile numbers only (which does not include messages sent from landlines, international mobile numbers and some 'number masking' mobile apps). To prevent the health professional from sending messages to you, text STOP to our number. Messages are charged at your usual rates.