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Women’s Health

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Introduction to Woman’s Sexual Health

Sexual health is important for a woman’s well-being, whether you’re trying to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections or you’re worried about fertility or other problems related to woman’s sexual health. This means enjoying the sexual activity you want, safely, without causing you or anyone else any suffering, either physical or mental. If you need information or help there is loads of information on NHS websites.

You can also speak to a helpline or someone at your GP practice.

Menopause

Menopause is the time when a woman stops having periods and her ovaries stop producing eggs and hormone levels change. It usually happens between age 45 and 55, but sometimes menopause can start earlier and it is important that these women are given good support and advice. Menopause may also happen after hysterectomy, especially where the ovaries are removed and after some cancer treatments.

The menopause is a stage which all women will go through at some time. For some women this is a difficult time as they experience a variety of symptoms. There is lots of information available and support to help women through this.  Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can help to reduce symptoms.  Most women are able to use HRT and can contact their GP surgery for advice. There are also other treatments which can help with symptoms.  Ayrshire has a specialist menopause clinic and GPs can refer patients who have other health problems or poorly controlled symptoms.

Menopause – Easy Read | Translations (nhsinform.scot)

Dumfries House offer a holistic free programme for menopause. If you live in Ayrshire this is free and you can self refer. Please click here for further information

For further information leaflets Click here

Finding out your partner has HPV on a cervical screening test can sound worrying. Here are some answers to common questions

Periods

If you have questions about your periods, there are some useful links below.

If you are having problems, help is available. You can speak to your GP or practice nurse. They are quite used to talking about periods and will be happy to try and help you. Common problems are heavy, painful periods; bleeding between periods; bleeding after sex; long gaps between periods and changes in mood about the time of a period. You should see a doctor if you get any of these.

Remember you can get sanitary products for free!

Periods | NHS inform 

Periods and Period Problems | Patient 

Managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) patient information leaflet (rcog.org.uk) 

How to Deal with Your Period | Young Scot 

Myth Buster – Hey Girls 

Who Should Come For Cervical Screening?

Cervical screening (also known as a smear test) is routinely offered to anyone with a cervix in Scotland, between the ages of 25 and 64, every five years.

The cervical screening smear test checks to see that the cells on the skin of the neck of the womb. (the cervix) are developing normally. These changes are so small they can only be seen under a microscope. The test can identify abnormal changes in cells called dyskarosis. These abnormalities are early warning sign, indicating that cancer may develop in years to come. Fortunately, these abnormalities can be treated simply and effectively and stop cancer.

My Body Back West of Scotland Service

This service offers cervical screening (smear tests) for people who have experienced rape or sexual violence and are due or overdue for the screening test.

Click here to view the My Body Back Project.

Trans and non-binary people

Even if you have had a hysterectomy you may still have a cervix and are still eligible for screening. Please speak to your GP if you have any queries.

Are smear tests guaranteed to stop women getting cancer?

Regular smear tests prevent 80 – 90% of the cancers that would occur if they weren’t done.

Speak to your GP if you experience;

  • Unusual discharge
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after the menopause

These are usually caused by something other than cancer but it’s important to have them checked.

Cervical Screening | NHS Reform

Jo’s Trust

What happens when I go to my GP for a smear?

For more information on your smear

Female Sterilisation

What is it?

A permanent method of contraception which stops egg and sperm meeting

How does Female Sterilisation work?

The fallopian tubes are cut, sealed or blocked, which stops sperm and egg meeting.

How effective is Female Sterilisation?

In most cases it is over 99% effective with 1 in 200 failing (this can be at any time, even many years after the operation).

What are the advantages of Female Sterilisation?

It is a permanent method of contraception, it does not interrupt sex, once the operation has worked you don’t have to think about contraception. Periods are unaffected.

What are the disadvantages of Female Sterilisation?

It requires an operation which will need a general anaesthetic. There is a small increased risk of ectopic pregnancy if the operation fails. If you change your mind the NHS will not reverse the operation, not give you fertility treatment. Even if you pay for these privately they may not work.

Does Female Sterilisation protect against infection?

No, condoms are the only form of contraception which give protection against some infections.

How do I get it?

Ask your GP to refer you for a Sterilisation discussion appointment

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is a form of gender based violence. Domestic Abuse is perpetrated by partners or ex-partners and can include physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse. Abuse is characterised by a pattern of coercive control which often escalates in frequency and severity over time. Domestic Abuse can be actual or threatened violence and can begin at any time. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you are not alone.  Support is available. If you are in immediate danger call 999.  If you are unable to talk, press 55 when prompted.

Support services continue to be available:

East Ayrshire Women’s Aid: 01563 536 001

North Ayrshire Women’s Aid: 01294 602 424

South Ayrshire Women’s Aid: 01292 266 482

The Star Centre (Rape Crisis): 01563 544 686

Scotland’s National Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline (24hr):  0808 027 1234

Email: helpline@sdafmh.org.uk

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre: 0808 801 0789

Victim Support Scotland: 0800 160 1985

Moving on Ayrshire

The Willows

East Ayrshire Housing Options:
01563 554 400
Out of hours: 0345 724 0000

South Ayrshire Housing Options
0300 123 0900
Out of hours: 0808 100 3151

North Ayrshire Housing Options:
01294 314 600
Out of Hours:  0800 0196500

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