What are G.U.M. clinics?
Your local G.U.M. clinic ( Genito-Urinary Medicine) is an N.H.S. run clinic for all aspects of sexual health. You can find details of your nearest clinic in the phone book under genito-urinary clinic, sexually transmitted diseases (S.T.D.) or venereal diseases (V.D.). You may also find your nearest clinic by visiting the following websitehttp://www.ruthinking.co.uk/default.aspx. However, we are not liable or in any way responsible for the content or suitability of any external sites that you reach from within this site.
At the clinic you will get free, confidential advice and treatment. You can go to a clinic anywhere in the country, it doesn’t have to be your local one and you don’t have to be referred by your doctor. When phoning up to make an appointment make sure you state if you would prefer to see a male or a female doctor.
Will people know I have been?
The law guarantees your confidentiality. Your G.U.M. clinic records cannot be shown to your doctor or insurance companies. However, if you go to your doctor first and you’re referred in writing to the clinic, the clinic will then send a letter to your doctor to say what treatment you have had. These details will then go on your doctor’s records causing possible future problems, if one day you apply for a mortgage or life insurance. So if you think you may have a S.T.D. it is advisable to go to the clinic first and not to your doctor.
What else can I get from visiting a G.U.M. clinic?
Free at most G.U.M. clinics you should be able to get, information and advice about having a healthy sex life, a full range of tests for S.T.D.’s and the relevant treatment. You can also pick up strong condoms and leaflets for free.
Most of the clinics have health advisers who regularly experience a wide range of problems and can spend more time with you than a doctor. They won’t tell you what to do, but talk you through your choices. You can talk to the health adviser about any aspects of sexual health, such as S.T.D.’s, relationships, how to tell a partner or past partner you have an infection, loss of sex drive or problems with erections. You can talk to an adviser over the phone or by appointment.
When attending a clinic for the first time be sure to leave at least 2 hours. You will visit the doctor for a chat and have a few simple tests, some test results will be available while you are in the clinic. After you have had the tests you will again see the doctor who will discuss any results with you and you may need to arrange a further appointment. Try to avoid urinating for at least 4 hours before your visit, as a urine sample will be taken.
Be warned you will be asked very personal questions for example:
- When did you last have sex?
- Was it a regular or casual partner?
- How many sexual partners have you had?
- Have you always practiced safe sex?
Though these questions may be embarrassing you should always give honest answers, the doctors and advisers are not there to judge you, just to help and advise.
Remember as well, that sexual health problems is what the clinic is there for and they are trained professionals who are used to all kinds of situations.