Contraceptive clinics provide a variety of contraceptive methods and advice about family planning options and reproductive health free of charge.
Clinics provide an alternative to GP or hospital-based clinics and are easily accessible and cost effective. Family planning and sexual health services are provided free and most important, in strictest confidence. The service aims to develop in line with the changing needs of public and health and wellbeing. Information on this service is available in a range of languages.
Health care professionals can refer to this service but most people self-refer.
Services include the following:
- Family planning and related sexual health advice and information.
- Contraception – free counselling, assessment and dispensing of the full range of methods.
- Locations will provide more specialist services such as coil and implant insertion.
- Cervical screening/smear test
- Emergency contraception (Morning after pill and coil)
- Pregnancy testing
- Advice on all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, investigations/onward referrals/links to GP, Sexual Health Service (GUM) and secondary care as appropriate
- Health promotion and education
What to expect
When you attend a clinic, the first person you will meet will be the receptionist who will take details such as your name, address and date of birth. You will then be asked to wait in a waiting area.
The next person you meet will be a doctor or a nurse who will ask you about your medical history, your family history and your sexual history. This is necessary to ensure that we can advise you on the methods of contraception available. It also means that if required, we can carry out the right tests to provide you with the right treatment.
Often contraceptive methods are issued at your first visit and any tests required are carried out. Test results are usually returned within two weeks and smear tests four weeks. Any treatments required or further tests needed will be discussed with you in confidence.
Arrangements for follow up and next appointments can be made before you leave the clinic.
Booking an appointment
The service runs 27 clinics a week in nine locations across the Northern Trust area including; Mid Ulster, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Antrim, Ballymena, Glengormley, Whiteabbey, Carrickfergus and Larne. Family planning and sexual health services are provided free and most important, in strictest confidence. The service is busy, we see around 8,500 people each year. We offer family planning advice and provide the full range of contraceptive options. Smear testing and testing for some sexually transmitted diseases is also available. If required, the service can refer patients to the GUM Clinic based at Causeway Hospital.
Clinic times may be subject to change in exceptional circumstances.
The clinics work on an appointment system however if you require emergency contraception you will be seen without an appointment.
In addition to these we also have new Contraception/STI Integrated Clinics. These are new clinics allowing for both access to contraception and STI testing under one appointment. This service also includes coil fitting. Again this is a confidential service and does not use your Health & Care number.
There are many types of contraception available and the type you choose will depend on what suits you best. You will be able to discuss this with a clinician at our clinics and also you can access information through FPA (Family Planning Association).