Sexual health is about looking after yourself and others. This means enjoying the sexual activity you want, safely, without causing you or anyone else any suffering, either physical or mental. It is not just about using contraception or avoiding infections.


We won’t tell anyone what you tell us (unless you ask us to). We don’t tell parents (even if you are under 16), or your GP.

Your right to receive confidential advice

You have the same legal right to confidentiality as adults have.This means your GP/sexual health staff/school nurse will keep your information confidential and cannot pass on information about you without your consent.

There is an important exception to this which is that if someone believes you to be at risk of serious harm they have a duty to make sure you are protected and safe. So in these circumstances a health worker may decide they need to pass on information about you to someone else. Confidentiality can only be broken in extreme circumstances and we always try to tell people that we are going to do it.

What happens at young peoples clinics?

When you come in you speak to the receptionist. He/she asks your name and sets up electronic notes ( The notes are in a system only used by the sexual health department. No-one else has access to them.) The nurse or doctor will call you for a chat. They’ll ask why you came, try to sort any problems, and answer any questions.

  • You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to
  • You don’t need an examination to get contraception or a STI test
  • You can ask about anything, even if it seems stupid
  • You don’t need an appointment to be seen

Young peoples sexual health clinics are for people under 18. These clinics provide contraception (all methods), emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, pre-pregnancy advice, termination of pregnancy counselling, cervical smears, advice about sexual matters ,testing and treatment of STI’s.

Condoms can protect you against sexually transmitted infections ( including HIV ) and pregnancy. Condoms are FREE at all our clinics and available through the C card scheme

For appointments, advice and information, the department can be contacted 9am-5pm Monday to Friday by ringing 01294 323228/6. Clinics can be contacted directly during the time they are running.

Young People’s Information on Sexual Health leaflet – Download PDF.


If you have had sex without using contraception or if the condom came off or split , you can reduce the chance of getting pregnant by taking emergency contraception.

There are 2 types of emergency contraception

  • Emergency Pill- this needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex and the sooner its taken the more effective it is. In some cases it can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
  • IUCD’s (Coils) can also be used for emergency contraception. They can be used up to five days after unprotected sex (and sometimes even longer). Contact a sexual health clinic (01294 323226) or your GP for advice.

Women can get emergency contraception pills free from:

  • your GP
  • any family planning clinic
  • any young person’s clinic
  • most sexual health clinics
  •  Hospital accident and emergency departments
  • most pharmacies- if you are over 13yrs
  • out of hours the emergency doctor service (ADOC) phone first by dialling NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24.

All the advice and treatment you receive is confidential – wherever you receive it


Are you a teenager and think you might be pregnant? Or has it recently been confirmed that you are pregnant? If you have had sex and missed a period it is important that you find out whether or not you are pregnant as soon as possible.

Although you might find it hard to face, the sooner that you clarify the situation, the more choices will be available to you.

It is important that you share your problems with someone else, perhaps a close friend or relative. It may be, at first, that you feel you can’t talk to your parents about it. If so, there are a number of people who can help and advise you. You may wish to discuss things with the Young People’s Sexual Health Clinic, with your GP or with a counsellor.


You may feel confused, upset, shocked or dismayed. However you may feel you will need to consider the options open to you. How much time you have depends on how far on in the pregnancy you are already.

These are your options:

1. continue with the pregnancy and keep the baby
2. continue with the pregnancy and have the baby adopted or temporarily fostered
3. having the pregnancy terminated (have an abortion)

There are a number of people who can help and advise you. You may wish to discuss things with the clinic nurse or doctor, with your GP or with a counsellor, the staff at the Day Ward at Ayrshire Maternity Unit, Crosshouse or the dedicated counselling service at Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine.
It may also be helpful to discuss the options with your partner, a friend or your family before making your decision.

In the end only you can decide what is the best thing for you to do.

Many people have faced the same choice and most feel they made the right decision in difficult circumstances.

The nurses and doctors at your GP practice or sexual health clinic can talk over the options with you, at the time the test is done and at a later appointment. If you decide to continue your pregnancy, you can be referred to the antenatal clinic. There are ‘pro-life’ charities that can offer emotional and practical support to women who request it.


Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a viral infection that can be sexually transmitted and may cause warts to develop. There are 100 different viral strains of HPV and 80 of these are thought to affect the genital area. There are two specific HPV strains that are most commonly associated with the development of cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb) which kills about one thousand  women in the UK every year. Other HPV strains may also prompt the development of cervical cancer. HPV has also been linked to other cancers such as cancer of the vulva, anus and vagina.

Who should be vaccinated?
The HPV vaccine is recommended for 12-13 year-old girls, and can be given to girls as young as 9. The vaccine is also recommended girls/women up to the age of 18 who have not yet received or completed the vaccine series.

Why is the HPV Vaccine recommended for young girls?
This is because the vaccine is most effective in girls/women who have not yet acquired any of the HPV viral strains covered by the vaccine. So ideally, females should get the vaccine before they are sexually active. Girls/women who have not been infected with any of those HPV viral strains will get the full benefits of the vaccine.

Will sexually active females benefit from the vaccine?
Females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine, but they may get less benefit from the vaccine since they may have already acquired one or more HPV type(s) covered by the vaccine. Few young women are infected with all of these HPV types. So they would still get protection from those types they have not acquired. Currently, there is no test available to tell if a girl/woman has had any of the HPV types.

HPV vaccination provides the best protection against HPV infection that is available for people who have not already been infected with HPV.

Will girls/women who have been vaccinated still need cervical cancer screening (smear tests)?
Yes. There are three reasons why women will still need regular cervical cancer screening. First, the vaccine will NOT protect against all types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, so vaccinated women will still be at risk for some cancers. Second, some women may not get all required doses of the vaccine (or they may not get them at the right times), so they may not get the vaccine’s full benefits. Third, women may not get the full benefit of the vaccine if they receive it after they’ve already acquired one of the HPV types.

What about vaccinating boys/men?

The HPV vaccine is now available to be given to gay men between the ages of 16-45yrs. Find out more at-