Sexual health

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Information and support

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Protection

Protection against STIs

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Contraception

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Having good sexual health includes feeling comfortable with your sexuality, the kinds of sex you are having and who you are having sex with.

It is important to be aware of some risks associated with being sexually active, and how to prevent those risks. This can be an unplanned pregnancy or catching a sexually transmitted infection known as an STI.

How can I prevent becoming pregnant?

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. There are many methods to choose from and it is important to find the one that best suits you. Barrier methods such as condoms are a form of contraception that help protect against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Information about the different types of contraception can be found on the NHS Choices website .

Abortion advice and support is provided by your GP who will be able to advice about the options that you have and the available services.


Where can I get contraception?

Contraception is free from the NHS in the UK, you can find out where you can get contraception and emergency contraception in the information section below.

Emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed – for example, a condom has split or you've missed a pill. There are two types the emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning after pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil). Both types of emergency contraception are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.

All pharmacies provide the emergency contraceptive pill, some pharmacies provide it free of charge.  The pharmacies on the following list have provided it for free, however, please call to check as the pharmacies offering the free service can change.  Please also check with your local pharmacy that the appropriate dispensing pharmacist is available at the time of your visit.  

Kays Chemist

Kays Chemist, 39 Wulfstan Court, Wulfstan Way, Cambridge

CB1 8RE

Tesco, Yarrow Rd, Fulbourn

Tesco Pharmacy, Yarrow Road, Fulbourn, Cambs

CB1 9BF

Papworth Pharmacy

Papworth Pharmacy, Papworth Surgery, Chequers Lane, Papworth Everard, Cambs

CB23 3QQ

Kumar Chemists

Kumar Chemists, 15 Rectory Terrace, High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambs

CB1 9HU

Boots, Cherry Hinton Rd, Cambridge

Boots, 237 Cherry Hinton Rd, Cambridge

CB1 7DA

Boots, Chesterton Rd, Cambridge

Boots, 68 Chesterton Rd, Cambridge

CB4 1EP

Boots, Grafton Centre, Cambridge

Boots, 5-6 Grafton Centre, Cambridge

CB1 1PS

Boots, High St, Cherry Hinton

Boots, 13a High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambs

CB1 9HX

Boots, Newmarket Rd, Cambridge

Boots, Unit 3 Cambridge Retail Park, Newmarket Road, Cambridge

CB5 8WR

Boots, Petty Cury, Cambridge

Boots, 28 Petty Cury & 65-67 Sidney Street, Cambridge

CB2 3ND

Boots, Market St, Ely

Boots, 6-8 Market Street, Ely, Cambs

CB7 4PB

Boots, Broad St, March

Boots, 17-19 Broad Street, March, Cambs

PE15 8TP

Boots, De Havilland Rd, Wisbech

Boots, 8 De Havilland Road, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 3AN

Boots, High Causeway, Whittlesey

Boots, 8-10 High Causeway, Whittlesey, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

PE7 1AE

Boots, Horsefair, Wisbech

Boots, Unit 15 The Horsefair, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 1AR

Boots, Marylebone Rd, March

Boots, Riverside, 23 Marylebone Road, March, Cambs

PE15 8BG

Boots, New Queen St Surgery, Whittlesey

Boots, New Queen Street, Syers Lane, Whittlesey, Cambs

PE7 1AT

Boots, Norfolk St, Wisbech

Boots, 98 Norfolk Street, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 2LD

Boots, Old Market, Wisbech

Boots, 17 Old Market, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 1NB

Boots, Walsoken

Boots, 6 Kirkgate St, Walsoken, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 3QR

Boots, High St, Huntingdon

Boots, 42 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs

PE29 3AQ

Boots, High St, St Neots

Boots, 33 High Street, St Neots, Huntingdon

PE19 1BW

Boots, High Street, Sawtry

Boots, 12 High Street, Sawtry, Cambs

PE28 5SU

Boots, Sheep Market, St Ives

Boots, 5-6 Sheep Market, St Ives, Huntingdon

PE27 5AH

Boots, Great Shelford, Cambridge

Boots, 37 Woollards Ln, Great Shelford, Cambridge

CB22 5LZ

Boots, High St, Sawston

Boots, 25 High Street, Sawston, Cambs

CB22 3BG

JT Gregory Pharmacy

JT Gregory Pharmacy, 54 High Street, Trumpington, Cambridge

CB2 9LS

Whittlesey Pharmacy

Whittlesey Pharmacy, 4 Market St, Whittlesey, Peterborough

PE7 1BD

J W Anderson Chemist

J W Anderson Chemist, Galen House, 83 High Street, Somersham, Huntingdon

PE28 3JB

John G Clifford (Chemist)

John G Clifford, 2 & 2A The Causeway, Godmanchester, Huntingdon

PE29 2HB

Wards of Warboys

Wards Chemist, 1 Ramsey Road, Warboys.

PE28 2RW

GFT Davies and Co.

GFT Davies and Co., 50 Hills Road, Cambridge

CB2 1LA

Priory Fields Pharmacy

Priory Fields Pharmacy, Nursery Rd, Huntingdon, Cambs

PE29 3RL

Old Swan Pharmacy

Old Swan Pharmacy, 29 High St, Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

PE28 0HB

Jank NK (Chemist)

Jank NK (Chemist), 32a Eltisley Avenue, Newnham, Cambridge

CB3 9JG

Tesco, Cambridge Rd, Milton

Tesco Pharmacy, Cambridge Road, Milton, Cambs

CB24 6AZ

Milton Road Pharmacy

Milton Road Pharmacy, 123 Milton Road, Cambridge

CB4 1XE

Parson Drove Pharmacy

Parson Drove Pharmacy, 242 Main Road, Parson Drove, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 4LF

Tesco, Sandown Rd, Wisbech

Tesco Pharmacy, Cromwell Road, Wisbech, Cambs

PE14 0RG

Sainsbury's, Lisle Lane, Ely

Sainsbury's Pharmacy, Lisle Lane, Ely, Cambs

CB7 4AS

North Brink Pharmacy

North Brink Pharmacy, 7 North Brink, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 1JU

Well Pharmacy, Barnwell Road

Well Pharmacy, 17 Barnwell Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

CB5 8RG

Well Pharmacy, Unity House

Well Pharmacy, Unity House, 183 Mill Rd, Cambridge

CB1 3AN

Well Pharmacy, York Street

York Street Health Centre, 144 York Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

CB1 2PY

Tesco, Angel Drove, Ely

Tesco Pharmacy, Angel Drove, Ely, Cambs

CB7 4DJ

Well Pharmacy, New Health Centre

Well Pharmacy, 25 Augustines Rd, Wisbech, Cambs

PE13 3AD

Well Pharmacy, Huntingdon Street

Well Pharmacy, 14 Huntingdon Street, St. Neots, Huntingdon

PE19 1BQ

Well Pharmacy, Neighbourhood Centre

Well Pharmacy, Unit 1, Neighbourhood Centre, St Ives, Cambs

PE27 3ER

Well Pharmacy, Cottenham

Well Pharmacy, 222 High Street, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire

CB24 8RZ

Well Pharmacy, Impington

Well Pharmacy, 115 Station Road, Impington, Cambridge

CB24 9NP

Well Pharmacy, Melbourn

Well Pharmacy, 71 High Street, Melbourn, Cambs

 SG8 6DU

Well Pharmacy, Station Rd, Histon

Well Pharmacy, 1 Station Rd, Histon, Cambs

CB24 9LQ

Superdrug, Fitzroy St, Cambridge

Superdrug, 38 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge

CB1 1ER

Superdrug, Sidney St, Cambridge

Superdrug, 59 Sidney Street, Cambridge

CB2 3HX

Village Pharmacy, Fulbourn

Village Pharmacy, 2 High St, Fulbourn, Cambs

CB21 5DH

Petersfield Pharmacy

Petersfield Pharmacy, 56 Mill Road, Cambridge

CB1 2AS

Haddenham Pharmacy

Haddenham Pharmacy, 1 Station Road, Haddenham

CB6 3XD

Loves Farm Pharmacy

Loves Farm Pharmacy, 5 Kester Way, St Neots, Cambs

PE19 6SL

Bassingbourn Pharmacy

Bassingbourn Pharmacy, 24 High Street, Bassingbourn, Royston

SG8 5NE

Waterbeach Pharmacy

Waterbeach Pharmacy, 6 Chapel Street, Waterbeach, Cambs

CB25 9HR

Staploe Pharmacy

Staploe Pharmacy, Brewhouse Lane, Soham, Ely, Cambs

CB7 5JD

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact. There are different types of STIs, many can be easily treated by a course of antibiotics but can cause long-term damage if left untreated. The most common one is chlamydia, but there are others. For information about the different types of STIs go to the NHS Choices website  or the iCaSH - Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health website

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which attacks the immune system, and weakens your ability to fight infections and disease. It's most commonly caught by having sex without a condom. But it can also be passed on by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments to enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when your body can no longer fight life-threatening infections. With early diagnosis and effective treatment, most people with HIV will not go on to develop AIDS.


How can I prevent catching STIs?

When condoms are used correctly during vaginal sex, they help to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  When used correctly during anal and oral sex, they help to protect against STIs. Condoms are the only contraception that protect against pregnancy and STIs. For more information about condoms and reducing the risk of catching a STI when having other types of sex go to the NHS Choices website  or the iCaSH - Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health website


Information and support for sexual health

Forgotten your pill or had unprotected sex? Maybe you're worried about something?  Find out what you need to do and where to go if you need help urgently.

The Family Planning Association has information about contraception

For information about contraception and sexually transmitted infections go to NHS Choices or the Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health website

For information and advice - British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH)      

For information about HIV and other sexual health issues go to DhiverseThe Kite Trust and Terence Higgins Trust.

Contraception and sexual health services

The following all provide information, advice and services for sexual health

  • GPs
  • Contraception clinics (also known as family planning clinics)
  • Integrated Sexual Health Service which provides genitourinary medicine and contraception clinics
  • Pharmacies
  • Sexual assault referral centres
  • Young people's services

 If you are not sure which service is right for you, call NHS 111 who will be able to advise you.

You can be tested for STIs at a sexual health, genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or GP surgery. Contraception may be provided by your GP, family planning clinic or contraception clinic. There are special clinics for young people which may be at the usual clinics but also in schools or other 'young people's' locations.

The NHS Choices website will help you find a convenient clinic for both contraception and STI treatment - search for a clinic near you or use the iCaSH - Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health website

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