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Gender and Identity, Sexual Health and Teenage Pregnancy

Sex, sexual orientation, sexual health, sexual wellbeing, what is it all about?

There are so many stories around sex, it's hard to know what to believe! The below will help give you the low down on sex, sexual health, gender and identity.


 You should never be pressured in to doing something you don't want to. Find out more information on consent in this You Tube video on consent                

Child Sexual Exploitation            

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Should you wish to speak confidentially with your School Nurse you can do so by text or telephone them on 07833437363. This number can also be found in your school planner book, School Nurse posters in school, through your school reception or your year principle/pastoral team. 


There are many different forms of contraception (about 15 types to choose from!), with advantages and drawbacks to each one. You will need to think about how reliable the method is, how easy it is to use, how it will affect your body and if it will protect you from sexually transmitted infections a well. Most forms of contraception need to be prescribed, but are usually free.

Find out more information on what is available and where to get it from on the NHS getting contraception guide.

Emergency contraception

If you need contraception in an emergency - either because you have had unprotected sex or because something went wrong (e.g. you were using a condom which split) you need to act quickly.

There are two types of emergency contraception:

  • the emergency contraceptive pill - Levonelle or ellaOne (the "morning after" pill)
  • the intrauterine device (IUD or coil)

Find out more information on the NHS Emergency contraception guide.

Sex and Sexual Health

An unwanted or unexpected pregnancy is one of the most life altering experiences a person can go through. Whilst it is ultimately the person who is pregnant decision whether they go ahead with a pregnancy or decide to have a termination (abortion), it can have far reaching consequences for the partner too. Abortion can be extremely traumatic for both. If your partner decides to go ahead with the pregnancy then having a child is a major undertaking. If you don't stay together you will still by law have financial responsibility for the child - even if you have no contact with them.

Which ever way you look at it, unless you're both sure that being parents is what you want, the best option is to make sure to avoid pregnancy and this is the responsibility of both partners.

Are you ready for sex?

Most people have sex for the first time when they are 16 years old or older. If you hear someone boasting about having sex, they might be pretending. Remember you should never feel or be pressured to have sex. The NHS are you ready for sex page has more information about sex including sex and the law, contraception, questions to ask yourself, safe sex including safe sex for women who have sex with women and men to have sex with men.

NHS - 15 things young people should know about sex

Sexual Health Services

Find out information on NHS Sexual health facts .

YorSexual Health has clinics across York and North Yorkshire which offer a range of free, friendly and confidential sexual health and contraception services to everyone.

If you require sexual health/contraception care, please call the central booking line on 01904 721111 and press option 1.

Central booking line is open from Monday - Thursday 8:15am-5pm & Friday 8:15am-4pm. Saturday 9am-12pm.

If you are 18 and under or a vulnerable person, you can text 07973 775692 to make an appointment Monday - Thursday 8.15am - 5pm & Friday 8.15am-4pm

You will be assessed by our team and one of our nurses will call you to discuss the best way to get you the care you require.

If you require a STI screen only and you have no symptoms you may prefer to order a testing kit online from the website

Specialist Clinical Outreach Team (SCOT) nurse advisers offer advice, support and help with choices around sexual health or pregnancy. You can call them on  01904 725436.

Your School Nurse will provide confidential advice and support, text or telephone on 07833437363

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually Transmitted Infects (STI) are unfortunately vry common. You can become infected now matter how few or many sexual partners you have. Most STIs are easily treated. If you notice any unusual discharge, sores or itching in your genital area, or a burning sensation when you pee, you may have an infection that needs treating.

Often however, there are no symptoms. If your partner has an infection, don't wait for you to develop symptoms. Get yourself checked out. It makes sense to get checked out regularly and especially if you have a new partner.

The NHS Sexual health page has information about STI symptoms and where you can get tested and NHS Open your eyes to STIs.

Teenage Pregnancy

Finding out that you’re pregnant when you are a teenager can be daunting especially if the pregnancy wasn’t planned, but it is important to know that there is help and support available. Firstly, if you think that you may be pregnant, you need to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible to find out.

Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy tests can be carried out from the first day of your missed period, or if you are unsure when your period would be from 21 days after having unprotected sex. Some sensitive tests can detect pregnancy a little earlier and this will usually be stated on the testing kit. Pregnancy tests can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket and there will be instructions as to how to use it. Pregnancy tests usually require a specimen of urine which can be collected at any time of the day and does not need to be a morning urine sample.

Pregnancy tests can be done at home and you can buy them in the supermarket or in the pharmacy.

The following services can also offer free pregnancy tests:

The Healthy Child Service (School Nurses) can also support you to access pregnancy tests and can be contacted on 01904 555475. They also have a text service and can be contacted via text on 07833437363.

A positive result will almost certainly be correct. A negative result may be less reliable and so if you have a negative result and still think that you are pregnant, you should repeat the test a few days later, or speak to your GP.

Finding out you are pregnant

Continuing with the Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and wish to continue with the pregnancy, then you should make an appointment as soon as possible to see your GP or midwife to arrange antenatal care, (this is the care that you receive from a doctor or midwife during your pregnancy). This is very important as it checks on both your health and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy.

Find our more information about the NHS antenatal midwife care.

York's Healthy Child Service pages lets you know what to expect and what support is available to you during pregnancy and beyond..

Unsure about what to do

If you are not sure about whether or not you wish to continue with the pregnancy, then it is important that you take some time to consider your options in order to make sure that you make the decision that is right for you.

Talking to people that you trust and getting information about your options may help you decide. You may wish to speak to your partner, family or friends. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to someone less close to you such as your GP or other healthcare professional.

Your options are: 

  • Continuing with the pregnancy and keeping the baby
  • Having a termination
  • Continuing with the pregnancy and having the baby adopted 

You can also discuss your options with organisations such as: 

Bpas: helpline:0345 730 4030,

Marie Stopes: helpline:0345 300 8090,

If you are under 25, you can also find information about all options including termination from the Brook website at

Being a parent

Every parent struggles sometimes with the demands of raising a child, not just young parents. Having the right support is really important. This may come from family and friends but there are other people who can help. York Family Information Service offers impartial information, advice and guidance to all parents and carers. You can  find out more information about what help and support is available for parents in the families section on this website.


Whether you feel attracted to the same sex, to someone of the same sex, both or don't feel attracted to anyone at all, it is ok. We are all different.

LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning) and others. It can be difficult to find information or someone to talk to about how you feel without worrying that they are going to judge you in some way. You may find the following helpful NHS - am i gay lesbian or bisexual?       

Relationships Yorkshire MESMAC is one of the oldest and largest sexual health organisations in the country. They offer services to various communities across Yorkshire, including men who have sex with men, African,and other BAME people, people misusing drugs, sex workers and LGBTQ+ young people and adults. You can find more information about what local support there is at MESMAC York by visiting their website or Tel: 01904 620400 or email@

The NHS are you ready for sex page has more information about sex including sex and the law, contraception, questions to ask yourself, safe sex including safe sex for women who have sex with women and men to have sex with men

Gender issues

Many thousands of people feel that they have been born in to the wrong body (this is known as gender dysphoria). For example a trans person may feel that their birth gender does not match their identity. A trans person may not identify as a particular gender, but somewhere in between or outside of traditional gender roles.

If you feel unhappy or uncertain about your gender there are services and organisations who you can contact to speak to someone or find out more information.

Mermaids is a national organisation that supports children and teenagers.

You can find other services around LGBTQ+ and Sexuality using our online search facility.

Domestic Violence, Abuse and Rape

Domestic Violence, abuse and rape can affect anyone.

What is domestic violence, abuse and rape?

  • Controlling or threatening behaviour between couples, ex couples, family members or people in a position of trust
  • Physical violence and threats
  • Emotional and sexual abuse
  • Financial control
  • Forced marriage
  • 'Honour based' violence
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Who can help?

If you are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, abuse or rape it can be difficult to seek help and support. Often people feel scared to tell someone, especially if they are fearful of any consequences that might ensue. Sometimes people think they deserve what has or is happening to them.

It is important to remember if you are experiencing violence, abuse or rape you are not to blame.

IDAS- Healthy Relationships has lots of useful information to help you decide whether the relationship you are in is a good, healthy relationship.

If you are in immediate danger call the Police on 999.

Rape and Sexual Assault

If this has happened to you, it is not your fault.

If you are in immediate danger call the Police on 999 and try get to a safe place. If you are not immediate danger you can call the Police on 101 to report a rape or sexual assault.

Search for Services

The service directory has details of organisations that can provide information about sexual health, relationships, contraception, sex and the law, puberty, being a teenage parent, and services for young people. All sexual health services are completely confidential. The services listed will not give information about you to any one else without your permission, unless there is a serious risk to your (or someone else), health.