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8/59, Brisbane Road, Redbank QLD 4301

Sexual Health Checks

At Redbank Medical Centre, we can assist you with sexual health. When you’re sexually active, it’s important to keep an eye on your sexual health. Our GPs are excellent listeners and are extremely understanding of any situation - you can rest assured that there will be no judgement and your confidentiality will be protected.

If you are sexually active, it’s important you visit a doctor regularly to have sexual health checks, even if you feel nervous about it. Remember that you're not alone in feeling this way. At the check-ups, you'll be able to discuss your sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Sexual health checks can involve:

  • tests – e.g. for STIs, pap smears (for women), or sexual dysfunction.

  • discussing contraception – including long term contraception options

  • reproductive issues

  • discussing your rights in sexual relationships. 

Anyone who is sexually active should have sexual health check-ups, but how often and when depends on your lifestyle and sexual activity. A sexual health check is really recommended if the following circumstances apply to you:

  • if you think you might have an STI

  • if you’ve had unsafe sex, including vaginal, oral and anal sex

  • if a condom broke or fell off during sex

  • if you or your partner have more than one sexual partners

  • if you’ve shared injecting equipment

  • if you’re at the start of a new sexual relationship.

Why get a check up?

First up, when you're getting an STI check, your doctor will ask you some questions. If it's your first time at that particular medical clinic, this usually starts off with some general health questions.

After this, your doctor will ask you about your sexual history. Some of these questions can be quite personal, so it's good to know ahead of time what you may be asked. It's important to answer these questions as honestly as possible; if you feel unsure or uncomfortable at any time, mention this to your doctor. 

Keep in mind, your doctor isn't asking these questions to be nosy or to judge you – these questions are part of every STI check. The doctor is working out what your risk is and which tests might be needed for your individual situation.

These questions may include:

Have you had an STI check in the past? When was your last check?
In the past six months, how many people have you had sex with?
Do you have sex with men? Do you have sex with women? Do you have sex with both? Do have sex with transgender people?
Do you have vaginal sex? Do you have oral sex? Do you have anal sex?
Do you use contraception? How often do you use condoms? 
Do you have any symptoms? Many STIs are silent – they don't cause symptoms – but some women can experience painful sex, painful urination, a difference in vaginal discharge, or bleeding.
When was your last period? Was it a normal period?
Have you injected drugs?
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings?

The Process

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections or diseases that are passed on during unprotected sex with an infected partner. This includes vaginal, anal or oral sex. Some STIs can be passed on by just skin-to-skin contact. Some common STIs are listen below.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia (bacterial) affects both men and women, and it's spread by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with a person who has the infection.

Most people who have chlamydia don't notice any symptoms. Research suggests that half of men and 8 in 10 women don't get symptoms at all with a chlamydia infection.

 

Symptoms of chlamydia: 

pain when you urinate

an unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or rectum

bleeding between periods or after sex.

 

Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test for men or a women have a urine test or a swab taken from the cervix or vagina. 

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. If it isn't treated, the infection can sometimes spread to other parts of your body and lead to serious long-term health problems

Watch this video for further information.

Conduct disorder

 

Children with conduct disorder (CD) are often judged as ‘bad kids’ because of their delinquent behaviour and refusal to accept rules. Around 5% of 10 year olds are thought to have CD, with boys outnumbering girls by four to one. Around 1/3 of children with CD also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Some of the typical behaviours of a child with CD may include:

  • Frequent refusal to obey parents

  • Repeated truancy

  • Lack of empathy for others

  • Being aggressive to animals and other people 

  • Keenness to start physical fights

  • Using weapons in physical fights

  • Frequent lying

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Around two to five per cent of children are thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with boys outnumbering girls by three to one. The characteristics of ADHD can include:

  • Inattention – difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completing anything.

  • Impulsivity – talking over the top of others, having a ‘short fuse’, being accident-prone.

  • Overactivity – constant restlessness and fidgeting.

STIs

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They can affect people of all age groups, genders, backgrounds and cultures. The number of people with eating disorders is increasing. We understand more about eating disorders now than ever before. Yet, many people live with these disorders for a long time without a clinical diagnosis or treatment.

The main types of eating disorder include: 

  • anorexia nervosa – characterised by restricted eating, weight loss, and fear of gaining weight

  • bulimia nervosa – periods of binge eating (often in secret), followed by attempts to compensate with excessive exercise, vomiting, or periods of strict dieting. Binge eating is often accompanied by feelings of shame and being 'out of control'

  • binge eating disorder – characterised by recurrent periods of binge eating. Binge eating can include:

    • eating much more than usual

    • eating until uncomfortably full

    • eating large amounts when not feeling hungry. 

Feelings of guilt, disgust and depression can follow binge eating episodes. Binge eating does not involve compensatory behaviours, such as for bulimia nervosa

Eating disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of reactions that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that threatens their life or safety (or others around them). This could be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war-related events or torture, or a natural disaster such as bushfire or flood.

Other life-changing events such as being retrenched, getting divorced, or the death of a family member are very distressing, and may cause mental health problems, but are not considered traumatic events that can cause PTSD.

In the first days and weeks after a traumatic event, people often experience strong feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, or grief. Generally these feelings will resolve on their own, however if the distress continues, it may mean that the person has developed PTSD or another mental health condition.

A person who has experienced a traumatic event should seek professional help if they:

  • don’t feel any better after two weeks

  • feel highly anxious or distressed

  • have reactions to the traumatic event that are interfering with home, work and/or relationships

  • are thinking of harming themselves or someone else.

Post traumatic stress disorder

The law requires that consultations with your doctor or any health professional are confidential, though there are situations where they can be required to report information if they have serious concerns about you or someone else's safety. For example they may need to break confidentiality if someone is at risk of seriously harming themselves or somebody else, or if they suspect a young person is being subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
 
If you are unsure what a doctor will have to report, then you need to ask them what they are required to report and who they will have to report to. If it is worrying you it is a good idea to ask at the beginning of the consultation.
 
When you turn 16 years old you have the same right to confidentiality as an adult. More information on the law and people under 18 is available at Lawstuff.

Confidentiality