Your Questions Answered
We will answer selected questions as soon as we can. Simply send in your question using the ask a question form and then come back to this page a few days later to see whether your question has been selected. We can't guarantee all questions will be answered, questions will be selected at random. And don't worry, all questions are anonymous and we don't ask for any personal details.
Just one other thing, we can't answer specific personal questions as it's always best to ask these face to face. Take a look at Your Area to find details of your local clinic where you will be able to ask your question.
Click on a question to see our answer...
The diaphragm is not available at Ku19 clinics, but you can get it at Hawks Road Clinic, Mondays and Tuesdays 6.30-8.30.
You will need to be fitted with one the right size, and shown how to use it.
Have a chat with the nurse or doctor at the clinic about other methods, as the diaphragm is not the most reliable method of contraception.
For more detailed information on different methods of contraception and to try out the My Contraceptive Tool please click here to visit the Contraception more information page.
This answer was kindly supplied by staff at KU19 young people's clinics in Kingston.
All forms of contraception including the depo provera injection is available free from GPs, Contraceptive and Sexual Health clinics and other sexual health and contraceptive providers such as Brook Centres (if you are under 25). Not all GPs give out free condoms, but they are available free from Contraceptive and Sexual Health clinics and other local providers. See local service details if you are 19 or under, click here. For details of local sexual health services available to adults in South West London, visit www.swish.nhs.uk
The contraceptive pill and other methods of contraception are free from clinics, doctor practices and young people's clinics. The method is either provided there for free or a prescription is provided for the
chemist who will issue the method for free (without paying a prescription charge).
The contraceptive pill is safe and effective. However it is not suitable for everyone. The doctor or nurse will ask questions and do some simple checks like blood pressure and weight. They can then advise whether the pill is an appropriate choice for that person to use. The pill might not be a good choice for someone who has had some health issues such as a blood clot or some types of migraines. If the pill is not suitable alternatives are discussed and the client can decide on their preferred method.
Whenever the pill or other method is given, the doctor or nurse will provide information and leaflets to explain the method in detail.
Q: I have been on the Microgynon Contraceptive pill for about a year, I started to get bad headaches, so the doctors changed me to the Cilest contraceptive pill, I only stayed on this for half the pack, I stopped taking this because of the side effects I read about. Iím now on my 7 day break. Iím wondering if I can go back onto the Microgynon pill? Or if I have to wait ?
Both Microgynon and Cilest are combined pills. This means they contain two hormones, estrogen and progestogen. Sometimes a combined pill can cause headaches. If this happens, it is important to go back to the clinic where you got your pills and talk to the doctor or nurse. They may advise you to switch to a progestogen only pill or Long Acting method, such as the Implant or Injection as these are less likely to cause headaches. Please go back to your clinic to discuss this with them before you re-start taking any pills, but make sure you use condoms in the meantime.
It is very unlikely you could get pregnant if you have sex when you are on your period, but it's not impossible! For that reason it's best to protect yourself from getting pregnant by using a condom.
Click on the area you live in from the list below to see where you can get Free Condoms.
Find where to get FREE condoms
There are Point Clinics specifically for young people. All you have to do is arrive, you don't need to book an appointment. Click on your nearest Point clinic below. You can find information about visiting a clinic and also watch a video here.
It is possible to have more than one STI at a time- in fact it is quite common. That is why it is so important to go to a GUM or sexual health clinic to be tested if you have had unprotected sex.
Most STIs can be treated and it’s usually best if treatment is started as soon as possible.
STIs can be passed from one person to another after unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex, or intimate contact. Using condoms every time you have sex will offer you good protection against STIs.
To find your nearest clinic where you can be tested and treated for STIs, click your borough from the list below.
Q: What is PID?
PID stands for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. It can be acute (lasting less than 1 month) or chronic (lasting longer than 1 month) and is usually triggered by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
PID only affects women and causes inflammation of the upper genital tract, affecting the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. PID is often without symptoms, however if symptoms are present these may include pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, irregular periods, more painful periods, bleeding in-between periods or after sex and fever.
Risk of PID is higher in those women with untreated Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea. In severe cases untreated PID can cause complications such as infertility or ectopic pregnancy. The advice is similar to that given to reduce the spread of STIs - use a condom and get a regular check ups for STIs at GUM clinics.
Click on your area below to find out where you can be tested and treated for STIs.
STIs are usually passed from one person to another by sexual contact-this can be oral, vaginal or anal sex, or intimate skin to skin contact. Some STIs can also be passed on by sharing needles if someone is taking drugs. You cannot catch a sexually transmitted infection from a toilet seat! Using condoms will greatly protect you from catching STIs. It is important to remember that some people are born with HIV, if their mother has HIV.
Taking the morning after pill is very safe and does you no harm. It doesn't hurt when you take it, but a very small number of girls who take it feel a bit sick afterwards. If you have unprotected sex, you can take the morning after pill up to 72 hours afterwards, but the sooner you take it the better chance it will work. Taking the morning after pill can disrupt your periods and your period could be early or up to a week late.
If you are taking the pill correctly, and don't miss any tablets, you are protected against getting pregnant all the time- even in the 7 day break.
Condoms are the only protection against STIs and are 98% effective. Using them allows you and your partner to relax and enjoy sex whilst keeping yourself safe. No type of contraception is totally 100% safe, as sometimes people don't always use them properly and also accidents can happen. Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted by oral sex and other very close physical body contact as well as full sexual intercourse.
Condoms are only safe if they are used properly. See the How To Use A Condom page for advice and pictures on how to put a condom on and some of the problems to avoid.
That's a tough question and not an easy one to answer! What feels like love to one person can be different for another. It is not based on physical attraction alone (this would be lust) but things like caring, friendship, respect, commitment and trust. You can feel different types of love for different people like your family, friends or your boy/girl friend. In a relationship two people should feel good about themselves and each other. There should be no place for violence, abuse or taking advantage of each other.
Most surveys show that young people want to talk to their parents about sex and relationships. They can be a really great source of information and advice. It is best to pick a time when your parent isn't stressed or busy doing something so you know they will have the time to speak to you. Talking about sex can be embarrassing so if it feels easier you could use things happening on soaps, TV programmes, adverts or magazines to get the conversation started.
The legal age someone can agree or consent to have sex in England is 16. This is the same whether you are gay, straight or bisexual. The laws are there to protect young people from abuse or from having sex before they are ready. The age at which someone feels ready to have sex can differ. Before having sex for the first time think carefully about whether it’s right for you. Lots of people who have sex too young say they regret it later. Even if you are under 16, you can still get free and confidential advice from your GP, local GUM or family planning clinic.
Click on your area from the list below to find out where your nearest services are.
Masturbation is touching your own or someone else's genitals for sexual pleasure. It can be part of foreplay with your partner or a natural and normal way of exploring your own body so you know what's pleasurable for you.
The best place to go to is a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic. Staff are fully trained and friendly and there is no need to feel embarrassed as they are used to dealing with sexual health concerns all day, every day. You can be treated for all STIs and you only need to pee in a pot or give a swab so it's simple and painless.
In South West London there are GUM clinics called 'The Point' which are only for under 18's so you can choose one of these if you would rather only be there with people your own age. All 'The Point' clinics are drop-in so there's no need to make an appointment and you can also get advice, free condoms and pregnancy testing as well if you want. Click on your area below to find where 'The Point' and other GUM clinics in SW London, such as 'Be Wize' in Richmond, are located.
There isn't one way that always works it depends very much on the person you want to ask out, how well you know them and how easily you can approach them. Try finding a shared interest like a film or favourite band you can talk about. Get to know one another and try and get a sense of whether the other person likes you too. It can be scary but if you get a feeling you both feel the same be brave and just ask.
The right time is different for everyone. The most important thing is that you don't feel pressured into having sex. There can be quite a lot of pressure to feel like you should be having a sexual relationship but it can be a bigger step than people think. Click on Are You Ready? for a few questions you can ask yourself which will help you decide whether you are ready. If you have any doubts or think you will have regrets then it may be better to wait. In this section, you will also find a list of ways some young people we talked to suggested you can show someone you love them without having sex.