We do lots of work around sexual health. We give out free condoms and can signpost you to other contraceptive services, including emergency contraception (you might know it as the morning-after pill). We also do free chlamydia testing and free pregnancy testing. Sometimes talking about sex can be embarrassing (at any age!). Our workers are used to this and will try and make it as comfortable as possible. We have a separate sexual health area, and you can come in with your boyfriend, your girlfriend or your friends. Everything you tell us is confidential and you can access our sexual health service even if you are under 16 – we may need to chat a bit more about making sure you are comfortable and confident in what you are doing. We get asked everything and anything, so feel free to ask away!
Free Condoms: We have lots of different condoms that we can give out for free. We also give out free lubricant if you want some. We are part of the C-card scheme for West Sussex. If this is your first time getting condoms from us, you just have to find one of our workers and ask to have a chat. We will then take you to a quieter room where we keep all our condoms and tests. If your friends or partner wants to come too, that is fine! If used properly, condoms are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). However, simple mistakes in putting them on can dramatically reduce this, and it might mean that the condom will split or come off. We can show you, with our demonstrator, how to put one on properly so that you can prevent the stress and possible consequences of unprotected sex.
Free Chlamydia Testing: Chlamydia is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) that is very common amongst young people. It is so easy to treat – just a course of antibiotics – and the test is simple and straightforward. Results are texted back to you within 3 weeks. Chlamydia often doesn’t give you any symptoms, and if left untreated, it can lead to infertility. We offer free Chlamydia testing and can talk you through all of this if you are worried. There are lots of STI’s out there, so if you have any concerns, then we can signpost you to nearby services that can help. We can even make the appointment for you!
Free Pregnancy Testing: Not knowing if you or your partner may be pregnant can bring on strong emotions. You may feel excited or you may feel scared and worried – or you may feel all three! At The Information Shop, we can do a free pregnancy test around 5 days before a period is due. The results are given immediately. If you are pregnant, we can support you to make the decision that is right for you, whether this be to go ahead with the pregnancy, an abortion or adoption. You are more than welcome to return as many times as you like to get the information and support you need. If you are not pregnant and relieved, we can give you information on how to protect yourself from pregnancy and STI’s in the future. If you are trying for a baby, we can also give you information on ways that may help this happen. In all cases, we are non-judgemental and will support you in making decisions that are right for you.
Relationships: Some people just come in to chat about their relationship(s), and we work with their feelings and what they want. This might be about boosting someone’s self-esteem or helping someone to assert their own needs in a relationship. We work with young people with all different types of sexualities, and always offer a confidential and safe space to talk.