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Recent questions

How do I contact the GUM clinic? can I email them to book an appointment?

How do I contact the GUM clinic? can I email them to book an appointment?

Thank you for getting in touch. Anyone, of any age who is sexually active or thinking of becoming sexually active is welcome at the clinic. Whether it is for a confidential discussion, to test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or just for advice anyone can make an appointment to come and see the team at the GUM Clinic. You can even bring a friend along for support if it helps.

You are not able to email the clinic for an appointment but you can ring the clinic on 650710. The clinic’s opening times are below. Good luck!

  • Mon 2pm to 5pm
  • Tues 2pm to 5pm and 6pm to 8pm
  • Wed 2pm to 5pm
  • Thurs 9.30am to 12 noon
  • Friday 9.30am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm.
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    I recently got engaged.  But I am struggling to tell my parents

    I recently got engaged.  But I am struggling to tell my parents about it and can’t find the words to tell them either.  My dad hates my partner and so I am afraid to tell them. What should I do?!

    Ohh that sounds like a tricky situation for you.

    Relationships as you grow up and become an adult in your own right can be difficult to navigate. Have you thought about talking with your mum on her own first, or asking another family member (for example a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent etc) or a friend who your parents get along with to be with you when you tell them? It will help to plan or practice what you’re actually going to say; again you can do this in front of a friend too. Have you thought about when might be the best time to tell them, I’d suggest a time when they’re not too stressed and busy and so more likely to listen to you.

    Finally you are your own person and in control of your life, we all do things that parents don’t always like or approve of, but in my experience parents do only want what’s best for their children.

    Good luck!

    When is the best time to get tested? 1 week after sex? Or more?

    It’s not clear from your question whether you want to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) or pregnancy.

    For pregnancy you can do a pregnancy test from the first day of a missed period. If you do a test before this time, the level of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), may be too low to show up on the test and you may get a negative result even though you are pregnant. If you don’t know when your next period is due, the earliest time to do a test is three weeks (21 days) after unprotected sex.

    You can buy a pregnancy test from a pharmacy to do yourself, or you can ask for a test to be done at your general practice or a contraception clinic

    For STI testing not everyone who has a sexually transmitted infection has signs and/or symptoms. Sometimes these don’t appear for weeks or months and sometimes they go away, but you can still have the infection and pass it on to someone else. The best thing to do is call the GUM clinic for personal advice and they will talk with you and make you an appointment at the right time for you. Tests can include urine, swab or maybe even a blood test, but it depends on your situation. The clinic is free and confidential, so they won’t tell anyone else (without telling you).

    My partner has been taking heroin and is currently going through a rattle I’m worried about him

    My partner has been taking heroin and is currently going through a rattle I’m worried about him….what can I do he has shut me out and is very angry….He won’t let anyone help him

    I am sorry to hear that your partner is feeling so unwell. I am not sure why he is refusing to seek help from anyone but it could be he is embarrassed about his problem or scared that he may get into trouble. He may also be afraid that family, friends and other people will find out what he is doing. Please be assured that your partners own doctor (GP) has a strict code of confidence and will not tell anyone about your his issues unless they have your partners permission. This code of confidentiality also applies to other services such as the Drug and Alcohol Team and Motiv8. If you are having issues dealing with your partners drug use and don’t know how to support him then you can make an appointment in your own right to speak with someone at Motiv8.

    As your partner is rattling (withdrawing) from heroin, I would really advise him to go in the first instance to his GP to discuss getting medication to help his withdrawal symptoms. Hopefully, when the rattle was over, then your partner might consider seeking specialist help from the Drug and Alcohol Team to discuss his addiction and how to overcome it.

    If he is still determined that he does not wish to speak to anyone, then I can offer the following advice:

    Opiate withdrawal occurs in two phases.

    The first phase includes a number of symptoms, such as: muscle aches, restlessness, anxiety, tearing eyes, runny nose, excessive sweating, sleeplessness and excessive yawning.

    The second phase is marked by: Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils and rapid heartbeat.

    These initial phases can be followed by long-term withdrawal symptoms. Long-term symptoms are often less physical in nature and may involve emotional or behavioural issues.

    When you’re dependent on opiates, your body is used to having them in your system. Your body might also build up a tolerance to many of the drug’s side effects, like dryness and constipation. Stopping taking opiates may cause a strong reaction.

    If your partner tries to go through withdrawal on their own, they’ll need to be prepared. They should try to slowly taper off opiates before they go off completely. This might limit the intensity of the withdrawal. However, given the compulsive nature of addiction, most people find self-regulated tapering to be impossible, often leading to a full relapse into addiction.

    Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhoea is common and could lead to serious health complications. Many people end up in the hospital with dehydration when they’re going through withdrawal. Drinking plenty of hydrating fluids during withdrawal is very important.

    Your partner should consider asking a pharmacist about medications for diarrhoea and nausea (feeling like they will vomit) and if they are suffering from aches and pains try paracetamol or ibuprofen.

    Withdrawal symptoms can last for days to weeks. If they have a couple weeks’ worth of medications, they can avoid the need to go out for more. But be careful not to use these medications in amounts greater than the recommended dose. If the regular dose isn??t helping, make sure to discuss the issue with a doctor.

    People who have gone through withdrawal recommend trying to stay as comfortable as possible. They suggest keeping the mind occupied with films, books, or other distractions. Make sure they have soft blankets, a fan, and extra sheets. They may need to change your bedding due to excessive sweating.

    They also suggest making sure a friend or family member knows that you plan on attempting the withdrawal process. Beyond support, people need someone to check on them. Be cautious of ‘recipes’ and stories about ‘magic cures’ described in online forums. None of them have gone through rigorous testing for safety or efficacy.

    It’s important to keep the mind occupied and engaged. Your partner should try to do things they enjoy to increase their body’s endorphins. These are the chemicals in the body that make people feel good. This can improve their chances for long-term success.

    Treats help too, so some chocolate for example (good for endorphins). Getting outdoors and exercising, even if it’s just a walk around the block can also help. Whether in a treatment program or battling withdrawal on individually, people need to be positive and believe that they can overcome the dependence on opiates.

    I hope this helps

    My best friend of many years has become grumpy with me

    My best friend of many years has become grumpy with me. This may seem like a stupid post but honestly i don’t know what to do. she’s had a few suicidal problems and she used to cut, when i was talking to her over skype she started playing music when i said “i have a headache can you possibly turn it off maybe?” which then she replied with “I had a razor before close to cutting i feel really suicidal and you like ‘sarah’ more than you like me go away and go talk to sarah, you like her way more than me!” (sarah isn’t her real name i just wanted to keep it as confidential to my life as possible) what do i do?

    There seem to be two issues here you’re worried about why your friend is self-harming. There are loads of websites and telephone lines she can tap into that address these issues and get support. Secondly you are not responsible for her behaviour and choices what you do or don’t do doesn’t make her, self-harm, it’s much more complex than that. Maybe once you’ve pointed her in the direction of help, parent, carer, youth worker, health carer, website etc, you can back off for a bit.

    Friendships are difficult, we fall in and out of friendships and we grow in and out of them as we meet different life stages. Don’t take on something you can’t cope with, acknowledge her distress but don’t take it on as your own if you are unable to help. When people feel this low they sometimes go round in circles and you can find yourself being dragged in and it doesn’t help either of you.

    You may not be able to change the situation but you can change how you react. Reacting in a different way may make you and your friend feel uncomfortable at first but may move things in a different direction towards a more positive outcome.

    Offer support as a friend, but back off when you’re out of your depth or when you are being pulled in too far, to give yourself space to think about what’s really going on here. The phone number for the Isle of Man Samaritans is 663399, they also have a website. This would be a good place for your friend to turn to for support where there is someone to talk to 24hours a day.

    These things have a way of working out given time and the right support.

    My boyfriend wants to snog but i’m scared i might do it wrong

    I know kissing isn’t a big deal to some but it is to me. My boyfriend wants to snog or ‘pull’ in his words meaning he wants to french kiss, i would love to but i’m scared i might do it wrong or that i’m not ready at all i already agreed to it though. what can i do to stop all these fears?

    Kissing is a big deal, some people find it more intimate than sex!  Firstly you should never agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s your body and you can share it as you wish.  You also have the right to change your mind or stop at any time this is about consent. Your mouth and lips are very sensitive areas (just ask any dentist) and there’s a really fine line between what feels good and what doesn’t, also because it’s really important part of breathing and if this is compromised you can feel very anxious.

    There’s no right way, start with what you feel comfortable with and what makes you feel safe and special. Trust is a really big thing here and this is what your boyfriend needs to understand, sounds like you need to teach him a thing or two about respect sharing and your rights to make choices about your own body. So first things first use your mouth for talking about how you feel and if he’s worth it he’ll understand.

    I’ve found a series of bumps just around the inside of my vagina

    Just today I’ve found a series of bumps just around the inside of my vagina, in varying sizes. It’s kind of a little itchy but not unbearable. I’m super upset though, how can I get rid of this as soon as possible? :’( I can’t drive so I don’t know how to get to the GUM clinic or how quickly they’re able to see people. please help :(

    Lumps or bumps may be normal, there are lots of lumps in this area that are. They may or may not be linked to your itchiness. One way or another you need some reassurance. A practice nurse or GP could help you to know what is normal for you. If you can see the lumps the embarrassing bodies website has some photos that show you what warts and herpes virus looks like as well as harmless skin tags and all the various normal anatomy that a range of women have.

    GUM is at Nobles there are loads of bus services, the timetable is on the IOM gov website. You may have to wait a little while for an appointment but they could help you out on what’s normal and what needs attention, If you have had unprotected sex you could probably do with some help and advice in general to make sure you’re safe and free from a range of infections.

    Sexual activity with a partner often results in a feeling of discomfort and mild pain

    Sexual activity with a partner, for me, often results in a feeling of discomfort and mild pain. I believe this to be due to the condition referred as ‘frenulum breve’, whereby a short frenulum restricts normal retraction of the foreskin, thus discomfort in exposure of the penile glans during penetrative intercourse. I believe the procedure to provide positive prognosis of my predicament to be a ‘frenuloplasty’, without the requirement of circumcision.


    Would I be able to visit the GUM clinic regarding this matter for further refers to a urology consultant?


    I regularly visit my GP (monthly) in accordance with a medication review, however, this familiarity with my GP has subsequently led to an inability, on my part, to discuss such matters during my consultations, despite my acknowledgement of the nature of clinical practice and the confidentiality it entails.


    Thus, I am asking it would be possible for referral from the GUM Clinic, post-visit, to Urology (if it is outside the remit of the GUM Clinic), for such matters of a consultation regarding going ahead with the aforementioned procedure?

    You do need to be seen by your GP to be referred to a urologist. If you see a GP regularly you may wish to ask to see another one about this problem. The GUM Clinic are unlikely to refer you for this procedure, but it maybe that pain during intercourse is due to other factors such as infection and they could check you out for that. You may have to wait a little bit for an appointment but it is best to ring and get booked in - Their number is 650710 and there is a choice of clinic times. It is likely that you would have quite a wait to see a urologist, but as you are concerned you need to set the ball rolling and get into the system. Hope this helps - Good luck.

    Can a 16 year old get an abortion without parental consent?

    Can a 16 year old get an abortion without parental consent and covered by NHS in the Isle of Man or the UK? If so, how?

    Yes you can in theory get an abortion without parental consent, but as this is a really difficult time for any young person and there is a lot to be considered. The people helping you, counsellors doctors or other health care workers would encourage you to confide in your parents carers or another adult. They will help you decide who the best person would be and how it would help your situation. One of the best websites to work through the issues is Brook they have on line webchats or free consultations over the phone.

    The family planning association also have useful advice on line www.fpa.org.uk

    The local family planning clinic can support you with advice, its free confidential and you don’t always have to make an appointment. Tel 642186

    The laws in the Isle of Man about abortion are different to the rest of the UK, we don’t have abortion pills and you would need to travel elsewhere to have an abortion. You would have to pay for the procedure and travel and may need to stay away overnight, although it could be done in a day. It would cost around 600, if you need to find this sort of money you need help and advice too.

    If you think you may be pregnant it’s important that we find out for definite so we can support you and help you make choices, if you’re not we can help make sure you don’t get in this difficult situation again. Our only aim is to make sure you are safe and well and not at risk of any harm. Take care and good luck!

    There’s a girl I like, she is 13. Is she too young for me?

    There’s a girl I really like, and I think she likes me too. She is 13, I am 15. I have been mocked and told that it’s weird, although there hasn’t been any sexual contact. Is she too young for me, or are people just being unnecessarily mean?

    This is obviously of great concern to you. I am glad you have decided to ask for help regarding your situation.

    There is no reason why you shouldn’t have a non-sexual relationship with this girl.

    In your question you say that you haven’t started a sexual relationship with her. This is a good thing as you need to be aware that the legal age for consent to sex is 16 years old.

    Please be aware that 2 years is quite an age gap, at the moment and you need to be sure she is happy to embark on a non-sexual relationship

    Only you and this girl can decide if this relationship is right for you both.

    It may be a good idea to discuss this situation with an adult you trust or possibly the School Nurse would be able to help support you with the emotional side of your problem

    You could also discuss any concerns you may have with the staff in GUM on 650710.

    More help and advice