Prioritising Sexual Health: Importance of sexual health and a guide to resources and support in Barking and Dagenham
Sexual health is an essential aspect of overall well-being that often goes overlooked or stigmatised. However, taking care of your sexual health is just as important as looking after your physical and mental health. In Barking and Dagenham, there are numerous resources and support systems available to help you in maintaining a healthy sexual life. This blog promotes the significance of sexual health and aims to provide useful information and support for the local residents.
The Importance of Sexual Health
Sexual health encompasses a broad range of physical, emotional, and social aspects related to one's sexual well-being. Here are some key reasons why it should be a priority in everyone's life:
1. Preventive Care: Regular check-ups and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can help detect and treat them early, preventing long-term health issues.
2. Contraception and Family Planning: Access to effective contraception methods empowers individuals to make informed choices about when and if they want to start a family.
3. Mental and Emotional Well-being: Sexual health isn't just about the physical; it also involves healthy relationships, communication, and consent, contributing to emotional well-being.
4. Reduced Stigma: Promoting open discussions about sexual health reduces stigma and fosters a more inclusive and understanding community.
Resources and Support in Barking and Dagenham
Now that we understand the importance of sexual health, let's explore the available resources and support services in Barking and Dagenham:
1. Sexual Health Clinics [i]:
- Barking Community Hospital is open for all sexual health and contraception services by booked appointments or emergency walk in – please visit here (https://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/sexual-health/) for the criteria of emergency walk in and opening times.
- Queen's Hospital is open for contraception only by booked appointment (Friday only). For more information please click here (https://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/sexual-health/).
2. Barking and Dagenham Sexual Health Website[ii]
- The local council has a dedicated website with comprehensive information on sexual health services, including clinic locations and opening hours.
- You can access more information via here: https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/adult-health-and-social-care/health-and-wellbeing/sexual-health
3. Local Pharmacies[iii]:
- All GP and pharmacist is available to provide you with guidance and assistance regarding sexual health. GPs can give you contraception options, perform chlamydia testing, and provide free condoms. For those aged 25 and above, obtaining a prescription for Emergency Hormonal Contraception EHC (Morning-after pill), can be done through your doctor. Alternatively, you can visit a Sexual Health clinic to obtain it free of charge.
4. Brook Advisory Centre:
- Brook provides sexual health advice, contraception services, and support for young people under 25.
- They also provide guidance on healthy relationships, consent and ge4neral wellbeing.
- Please check here https://www.brook.org.uk/ to access more information and resources.
Sexual health is an important aspect of health and well-being. In Barking and Dagenham, you have access to a wide range of resources and support systems to help you maintain a healthy sexual life. By seeking information and support, you can take control of your sexual well-being and contribute to a more informed and empowered community. Together, we can break the stigma surrounding sexual health and create a healthier, happier future for all.
Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham greatly appreciates your feedback regarding the local health or care services you've utilised. Your input is important to shape these services. You can share your feedback on any sexual health services by reaching out to us at 0800 298 5331, sending an email to email@example.com, or filling out a form on our website.: https://www.healthwatchbarkinganddagenham.co.uk/content/speak-out