Sexual health is an important part of everyone’s health, whether or not they are sexually active.
Sexual health includes reproductive health, contraception and protection from STIs (sexually transmitted infections), and is also about the expression of individuals’ sexuality and being able to enjoy healthy, respectful and pleasurable sexual relationships, free from pressure, exploitation, physical, emotional or psychological harm.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines sexual health as:
…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled. (WHO, 2006a)
Help, advice and services
If you are concerned or want to talk about any aspect of your sexual health, you can make an appointment in confidence at your local NHS sexual health service.
Newcastle’s Sexual Health Service provides a wide range of free and confidential support to everyone, whatever their gender identity, sexual orientation, age or ability. You can get advice and treatment including contraception, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and information on abortion services. Staffed by friendly professionals, both booked appointments and walk-in clinics are available.
You can also talk to your GP or nurse, midwife or health visitor, or a pharmacist.
There are lots of services and organisations across Newcastle that can help with issues to do with your sexual health, including relationships, sexual orientation, gender identity and also several useful websites where you can find reliable and accurate information about sexual health.
- Newcastle Sexual Health Services (Newcastle Hospitals Trust website)
- NHS Choices - I need help now
- NHS Choices - Sexual Health pages
- Relationship support in Newcastle