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Sexual Health: Understanding Your Options

Taking care of your sexual health ensures that you can stay healthy and safe whilst enjoying sexual pleasure. Although the subject can often be difficult to talk about, by opening up the conversation, we can take control of our fertility, avoid sexually transmitted infections and steer clear of unwanted pregnancy.

Whether you want to know which contraception is best for you, you need emergency contraception or you’re planning a family, our friendly team of pharmacists here at Whitworth can help.


Safe sex

By talking about contraception, you can protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and there are numerous methods of contraception. This means you can find out what is right for you and enjoy a fulfilling sex life.


Your options include:

●     Condoms

●     Combined pill

●     Diaphragm or cap

●     Female condoms

●     Implant

●     Injection

●     IUD (coil)

●     IUS (hormonal coil)

●     Natural family planning

●     Patch

●     Progestogen-only pill

●     Vaginal ring

●     Female sterilisation

●     Vasectomy (male sterilisation)


Emergency contraception

If you have unprotected sex, forget to take your pill or the condom splits and you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy, you can take the morning-after pill.

There are two types: Levonelle (which must be taken within 72 hours of sex) and ellaOne that must be taken within 120 hours. They work by delaying ovulation. You can also have an emergency IUD inserted to prevent the egg from being fertilised or implanted.


If you need emergency contraception, simply pop into your local Whitworth pharmacy and speak to one of our friendly pharmacists. 

You will be taken to a private consultation room where you can discuss your needs in complete confidentiality. 

The pharmacist will ask you a few questions to assess your medical history and to check that the morning after pill is suitable for you. You may need to provide some personal information such as your name, phone number or address. 

If the pill is suitable for you, you may be entitled to it free of charge (only where there is a commissioned service available), be directed to our WIPS service or pay for it when purchasing over the counter. 

If the pill is not suitable for you, you’ll be provided with additional support and advice. This is likely to include getting in touch with your local family planning clinic or speaking to your GP.


Pregnancy tests

Is your period more than 5 days late? Did you have unprotected sex and are now suffering from light or unusually heavy bleeding, cramping or sore breasts? You could be pregnant so visit your local branch of Whitworth or visit our online store to pick up a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy tests detect levels of the pregnancy hormone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) that is produced after fertilisation and can be taken the week after you have missed your period.  We also offer a confidential pregnancy advisory service if you suspect that you’re pregnant and need expert advice.

We have a range or pregnancy tests available that provide fast and accurate results and some that tell you how many weeks you are.


Get in touch

Whether you have questions about your sexual health, need family planning advice or you’ve had unprotected sex, our friendly team here at Whitworth is here to help. We offer a confidential service to help you take control of your sexual health with confidence.