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Health and wellbeing

Sexual health

As children get older, the way they express their sexual feelings changes.

These days children are exposed to sexual images at a far younger age, and in more places than ever before, such as music videos, websites and social media. It’s therefore not surprising that sometimes children’s sexual development can seem out of step with their age.

The NSPCC has lots of information about healthy sexual behaviour, including how to keep children safe, warning signs and what to do if you’re worried about sexual abuse. 

Local contraception and sexual health clinics

Devon Sexual Health has lots of useful information and advice about sex, health and relationships, including contraception, sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) and free chlamydia screening.

You can also find out where your nearest sexual health clinic or contraception provider is.

Further services

Young people can also get sexual health information, advice and services from:

  • Pharmacies – many offer free emergency hormonal contraception to young women aged 13-24 and chlamydia screening for young men and women.
  • GP practices – many offer a full range of contraception as well as chlamydia screening for young people. Find your local GP practice.
  • Local minor injury units – some offer emergency contraception, but please telephone first.
  • Further education (FE) colleges – nurses offer confidential sexual health drop-ins and can provide free condoms, pregnancy testing, chlamydia screening and emergency contraception.
  • Schools – many secondary schools offer confidential sexual health drop-ins and nurses can provide free condoms, pregnancy testing, chlamydia screening and emergency contraception.
  • Youth services – staff provide confidential information and advice and many services provide free condoms, pregnancy testing and chlamydia screening. Visit Young Devon for more information.
  • Online – there is a lot of contradictory information on the internet but sites like RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) Hub and BISH provide clear, sensible information for young people and parents.
  • NHS Choices – offers information and advice about sexual health and answers some of the common sexual health questions.
  • Childline – has further information and advice aimed at young people about sex and relationships.

Getting help

Devon Sexual Health

Specialist service offering contraception, sexual health and HIV advice and support across Devon. Delivered by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and funded by Devon County Council and Torbay Council.

devonsexualhealth.nhs.uk/

0300 303 3989

Sexwise

Run by the national sexual health charity FPA, they offer help and advice on a range of sexual health topics including contraception, STIs, unplanned pregnancy and sexual wellbeing. Includes a directory of where to find free contraception or STI testing and treatment clinics.

sexwise.fpa.org.uk

sexwise@fpa.org.uk

National Sexual Health Helpline

Run by Public Health England, the helpline offers free confidential information and advice on all aspects of sexual health. Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.

0300 123 7123

If you are concerned that a child is being abused please call

0345 155 1071

or email mashsecure@devon.gov.uk.

If it’s an emergency call 999


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