Sexual health is all about enjoying the sexual activity you want without risking causing yourself or anyone else any suffering or harm.
It is also about using contraception and avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – which are on the rise.
Making positive choices about contraception and sexual health is important, not just for your physical health but also for your general wellbeing.
Sexual Health Services
Our local sexual health services, offer a free, confidential, non-judgemental service available to the people of mid and south Essex, regardless of sex, age, ethnic origin and sexual orientation. The expertise of staff means everyone can expect appropriate, effective advice and care to benefit their sexual health.
Clinics are run by a team of doctors, nurses and support workers and offer the following services:
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s/STD’s)
- Free condom supplies
- Pregnancy tests
- All forms of contraception
- Emergency contraception/morning after pill
- General sex advice, counselling and support
Services can be accessed without a GP referral – all links will take you to an external site.Essex Sexual Health Service Brook Southend Thurrock Sexual Health Service
Residents aged 16+ can now order a FREE postal STI test from SH:24.
A quick, confidential online assessment will recommend the most appropriate kit for you, which can include tests for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis.
Tests arrive the next working day in a plain envelope, sent via first class post. The kits include clear instructions to help you take your own samples at home and a freepost envelope to return your samples. Results will be sent to you within 3 days.
Top tip: waiting two weeks after unprotected sex to take the test will provide a more accurate result. For HIV testing, you need to wait 6 weeks to take a test in order to get the most accurate result.
Free condoms for young people
Residents in Essex and Thurrock
The E-C-Card scheme is a confidential service for young people providing access to FREE condoms from a network of distribution venues across Essex (excluding Southend).
To be eligible for the scheme users must be aged 16 to 24 at the date of registration and a resident in Essex or Thurrock. The App is available for Android and Apple iOS.
Following a simple, secure registration process users view three short videos and must complete a short quiz that tests understanding of the key information covered. Once completed users can search for a convenient distribution venue and collect their supply of free condoms when they visit with a quick scan of a QR Code.
Young people without access to a suitable smartphone or who would prefer to speak to a member of the Essex or Thurrock Sexual Health Service can book an appointment by calling 0300 003 1212.Download the E-C-Card app (Essex and Thurrock residents only)
Residents in Southend
C-Card is free for anyone aged 13+ living in Southend-on-Sea. The C-Card gives you access to free condoms, internal condoms (femidoms) and lube from a number of outlets.Register for your C-Card (Southend residents only)
Sexual health services across Essex, Southend and Thurrock are commissioned by local authority public health and not the Integrated Care Board.