4 months ago

Sexual Health: Teens to adults

If you are sexually active or wanting to become sexually active it is important to regularly visit a health worker for sexual health checks and to discuss any sexual health questions you may have.

Sexual health checks include testing for sexually transmissible illnesses (STI’s) and also provide time to discuss contraception options and any sexual health concerns. These checks can be conducted by your GP. Alternatively you may also access sexual health information and advice via the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.

When should you get a sexual health check?

  • you think that you might have an STI, noting many STI’s are symptomless.
  • you have had unsafe sex, including vaginal, oral and/or anal sex
  •  you have had a condom break or fall off during sex
  • your partner has another sexual partner or you have more than one sexual partner
  • you have shared needles for drugs, tattooing or piercing 
  • you are starting a new sexual relationship.

What does a sexual health check involve?

A health worker usually begins by asking questions about your sexual history. The check may not always include an examination, often a urine test is all that is needed.  Testing may include a urine sample, blood test and/or a swab from the throat or rectum. This usually includes testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV and Syphilis (RACGP).

For more information visit Health Direct Sexual Health

Rising Cases of Syphilis on the NSW North Coast

Syphilis remains a significant issue across the NSW North Coast, which is currently experiencing an increase in cases far higher than the five-year average. Since 2020, infectious syphilis cases have increased from 29 cases to 85 cases in 2022. Though syphilis can cause serious health problems, it is easily tested and cured (Northern NSW LHD) 

Can teens see the doctor without an adult?

At around 14 years, young people can consent to simple health care treatments without involving parents or guardians. From 16 years, teens can consent to medical treatment with the same authority as an adult. 

In most situations, doctors and other health professionals can’t tell anybody else about a young person’s (14years +) appointment – including parents – unless your teen says that it’s OK. They also can’t tell parents the results of any tests unless consent is provided. Sometimes health professionals ask patients to sign a consent form before they contact or talk with family or other professionals.

If you are listed on a joint Medicare card, you can use that card when you make an appointment. This appointment may be listed on the Medicare record for that card – which means your parent/guardian(s) may be able to see that you’ve had an appointment. Although the appointment may be visible for the card owner, what you speak about will remain confidential.

From 15 years of age, teens can have their own Medicare card. Having your own card means that you can keep your visits to the doctor confidential. For more information or to apply for your own card see Services Australia

For more information on teen health care visit Raising Children Teens page.

No health questions are off limits

Our GP’s are trained to be able to support you with all aspects of your health. For that reason we believe that no health concern question is off limits. As well as sexual health, there are a range of common medical conditions, young people especially may be cautious to discuss. These include medical concerns such as bad breath, body odour, dandruff, excessive wind, hair loss, itching genitals, incontinence and many more. Know you can talk openly and freely with your GP in a confidential setting. It’s likely anything you are experiencing, others are too and as such our GP’s will have treated many times before. 

Book your sexual health check today
To discuss your health and wellbeing, or book your next sexual health check, call us on (02) 6654 1282 or pop in to the surgery to book your next appointment.