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Recent questions

In cases of sex without consent, will all details still be private?

In cases of sex without consent, will all details still be private?

The GUM has a strict confidentiality policy and generally all information given is not shared with any other departments.

Sometimes the terms consent and underage gets mixed up by people. Just to be clear consent means that a person didn’t give their permission or agree to have sex at that time, underage means that a person is having sex under the legal age of 16 years old. In both cases the care and advice that the person receives will be private and will only consider what’s best for you.

In cases of sex without consent the clinic will be guided by what the person chooses to do and who to inform. Sometimes people choose not to inform the Police or take any further action and the clinic respects this. This would be discussed fully when the person attends and all options explained. The clinic would support whichever choice was made. This can be a really difficult time for the person involved and the staff in the clinic would be fully supportive as they are aware that the person may be feeling upset and traumatised.

Sometimes initially after an incident like this all the person wants to do is forget that it happened and get on with their lives. This is understandable and it is very common to feel like this. It would be advisable in order to protect their health to get checked out for any STIs just in case. The GUM clinic can be contacted on 650710. Ask to speak to one of nurses who will advise regarding booking an appointment.

Please try not to put off getting help. Once a problem is shared and the right help and support is given it is surprising how much better people can feel in even in this situation.


Can tests be done to see if you have infections such as thrush etc?

Can tests be done to see if you have infections such as thrush etc?

If you suspect you have an infection and you have symptoms then the tests that will be done at the clinic can include a test for ‘thrush’. Any infections identified are treated in the clinic so you would not have to attend a pharmacy or pay for the treatment.

Can someone come into the GUM clinic with me?

Can someone come into the clinic with you?

You can always bring someone to clinic with you for support. Sometimes people bring more than one, it’s a personal choice and if it helps you attend and feel more comfortable then that’s fine. It happens regularly in the clinic so it’s not unusual.

Can herpes symptoms show up in 18 hours?

I was kissed a girl who I had just met and did not know last night. The next evening, I started to feel a small sore in the inside corner of my mouth. It’s not particularly big and I’ve probably gotten stuff like this before, but the fact I have this so soon after kissing a girl who I no nothings about has me worried. My research was telling me herpes take at least 2 days to show symptoms, and this is what I am hoping. Is it still possible, or hopefully could it be something less serious?

You are obviously very worried about your symptoms and without a professional opinion it is difficult to know what the cause is. Many conditions cause sores around the mouth, not just herpes virus.  Cold sores (herpes virus) are very common and statistically by the age 15 around 25% of UK population, by age 30 around 50% have the virus. The rates are much higher in other countries.

The nature of herpes virus infection is that it can recur from time to time. You say you have had these symptoms before so it may be possible you already had the virus?  It is not a serious condition and while it can be uncomfortable for a few days, the symptoms would go away without any treatment. Symptoms (if you are going to get any) usually develop after 4-5 days but can develop 2 days or even many months/years later so it can be really difficult to pinpoint exactly when a person became infected.

You can always go along or ring the local GUM clinic (650710) for further advice or information. The website is a useful website which gives information and support to people who have worries about herpes virus.

Please consider having a check-up if you are worried. The professional, friendly staff will be able to give you all the information, support and the tests if required.

Kids at school are taking incense, what is it?

Incense is a synthetic cannabinoid, in effect a designer drug that mimics the effects of cannabis. It is used in a similar way to real cannabis, smoked in a spliff or a bong. This is often referred to as Spice but it does get sold under different names like K2 or Incense and comes in various strengths, some of these can be very strong with unknown effects.

It shouldn’t be confused with Cannabis – it is quite different and is unpredictable. As with many drugs and legal highs in particular, you can’t be 100% certain what you are getting.

For more information on legal highs visit

Could I get kicked out of sixth form for being pregnant

Being pregnant whilst at school can be a strange time. By and large a person wouldn’t be ‘kicked out’ for being pregnant though the school and mum-to-be might want to talk about whether she wants to continue having education in school or maybe continuing studies at home. This is mainly down to practicalities, especially when the pregnancy becomes more advanced and more obvious.

As the pregnancy advances some mums-to-be can get more tired and emotional health can be unpredictable, for example the mum-to-be may feel more tearful at times and doesn’t want people looking at them. On the other hand, some mums-to-be might prefer the support of their friends and continue at school later into the pregnancy than others.

There are differences in how schools approach pregnancy. Some schools may consider that a mum-to-be in school might disrupt the other students where another school may use it as a way of supporting the pregnant student and using at as a learning time for their peer group.

If there’s a teacher you feel more comfortable talking to perhaps you and your mum or dad or someone you trust could go to school and talk to them if you are in this situation. Think about what you want to do too, your education is important for your future and that of your baby.

My short term memory is horrific, could this be from cannabis and other recreational drug use?

My short term memory is absolutely horrific. I used to be quite a heavy recreational cannabis and other recreational drug user (pills, cocaine etc) but haven’t smoked for 15 years or touched anything else for easily 10 years.. I’m really, really worried about my short term and mid term memory.

At 36 is this likely to be after effects of my ‘mis-spent youth’ or should I be concerned and go to a doctor?  I have a total inability to remember simple things like shopping lists, where my keys are, if I’ve turned the cooker off….

You are obviously really concerned so before anything else I would suggest you need to speak to a medical consultant. Whatever the root cause, they can offer confidential and professional advice. They will be able to identify if there is a problem and the actual cause.

There have been some studies done which suggest that previous heavy ecstasy use does lead to memory problems some years down the line and there is research which suggests that previous heavy cannabis use can affect short term memory, also known as working memory.  So basically yes it could be a side effect of your misspent youth.

However, there could be any number of reasons for problems with working memory including side effects of prescribed medication, stress, lack of sleep, poor diet etc.  There are also a number of ways to improve your working memory such as mind games, crosswords etc.

It could be down to any number of things and you really need go to your doctor for a check-up as they will be able to help you put your mind at rest and suggest ways to help you.

In addition, if you would like any more information about drug use and its effects you could try contacting DrugAware at Motiv8 Addiction Services on 627650 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


When I mix my drinks I go on self-destruct mode. Is it normal to feel so destructive through alcohol

When I mix my drinks I go on self-destruct mode. I haven’t hurt myself yet but I worry one day I will so I’m rethinking my drinking habits but is it normal to feel so destructive through just alcohol?

Alcohol affects people in different ways. You might know people who become quite emotional when drunk, or others who just want to fall asleep. It sounds like when you drink too much then alcohol makes you more self-destructive. 

It’s not necessarily about mixing alcoholic drinks, it’s more to do with the amount that you’ve drank. For example, three pints of ordinary lager has the same amount of alcohol as three double measures of spirits, but it is much easier to knock back three doubles than three pints. And, if you’re pouring your own spirits you’re not likely to be sticking to pub measures. This means getting drunk can happen quite quickly leading to the self-destructive behaviour you worry about.

Alcohol is known as a disinhibitor which means you will maybe do things or say things that you wouldn’t normally do due to the fact that it effects your judgement and your ability to decide between right wrong. Longer term heavy drinking can cause changes in mood and brain function also.

For some people, self destructive behaviour leads to the involvement of the police, for others it can be deliberate self-harm. So it sounds like for you it is ‘normal’ to feel self destructive with alcohol, which is why it sounds like a really good idea to try to rethink your drinking habits.

If you would like any help to change your drinking or you are worried about your emotional well-being as you mentioned self-destructing, Motiv8 has free and confidential counsellors that you can talk to. You can email them direct at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 627656. There is also more information on Alcohol on

Recognising that there is a link between alcohol and self-destructive behaviour is a great first step and rethinking your drinking habits is a positive move. Sticking to the unit system is a good way of helping yourself to reduce your drinking and stick to safe measures. 

The safe limits that are suggested is 21 units per week for a male over the age of 18, but no more than 3-4 units daily and 14 units a week for a female over 18 but no more than 2-3 units daily. For under 18’s there is no safe recommended amount.

I had the implant 11 months ago, I still get extremely irregular periods, is this normal?

I had the implant 11 months ago. I was told my period may become irregular for the first 3 months of having it. However I still get extremely irregular periods and i’m often on 3 weeks at a time. Is this normal and is there anything I can do?

You’re quite right, usually the implant will settle down within 3-6 months, some girls then have much lighter bleeding which can be a bit unpredictable and even last longer than usual and some girls have no bleeding at all – which can be great but also can take a bit of getting your head around! The implant will always change a girls bleeding pattern in some way.

I would say that you should go back to the clinic/Dr/nurse who fitted the implant for you to discuss your troublesome symptoms and for assessment of what can be done. For instance, maybe the level of bleeding, though troublesome and not your usual bleeding pattern, is not abnormal for the method you have chosen, or maybe the addition of a pill for a short time will improve things, or maybe there is a need to exclude an infection.

You definitely would be best to talk it through with someone. If you can’t go back to the person who fitted it for you, you can always talk with your GP practice (practice nurse or Dr who specialise in contraception) or the Family Planning Clinic.

Here is a link to the FPA implant page for more information if that helps too:


Is there any way for me to get it checked so that I can find out if my hymen is still intact?

I heard that a women’s hymen can tear without sex (by using tampons). Is there any way for me to get it checked so that I can find out if my hymen is still intact/I’m still a virgin?

It is known that tampons, physical activity and masturbation can break the hymen. But, just because the hymen is broken does not mean that you are not a virgin.

Most hymens have disappeared by the time girls reach puberty even if they have not engaged in the act of full penetrative sex. The hymen can sometimes be detected by examination if there is any of it left.

However, you are obviously worried about something. You can discuss any worries you may have with GUM clinic, your GP or your Practice Nurse. Health professionals are experienced, offer a confidential service and would address any of your specific concerns.

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