Alert

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak Cumbria Sexual Health is now running a limited service.

We currently have a central phone line for the whole county, if you wish to speak to someone please call 01228 608989 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Please do not attend the clinic without speaking to someone over the phone first.

  • sexual problems e.g. pain during sex, genital health
  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs) e.g. chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea

We can also help with:

  • advice about abortion
  • advice about sexual health
  • advice for people who have been sexually assaulted
  • cervical smear testing
  • contraception, including emergency contraception
  • free condoms
  • hepatitis A, B and HPV vaccinations for men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) a medication that can help prevent you from developing HIV if you've been exposed to it
  • PrEP a medication to help prevent HIV before you’ve been exposed to it
  • STI and HIV tests

 

Link to information on accessing sexual health clinics during Covid-19

 

All of our clinics offer both walk-in appointments and normal appointments. Call your nearest clinic to check when these are. You can find contact details at the bottom of this page.

If you're 15 or under and need to visit one of our clinics, you can come at any time, even without an appointment. It’s best to call us first but if you can not call, just walk in during opening hours.

Our clinics are open to everyone, regardless of gender or age. You do not need to have any STI symptoms to come to see us.

If you’re under 16, the service is still confidential, unless we’re worried about your safety or the safety of someone else. Your GP will not be told about your visit unless you give us permission.

When you come for your appointment, you’ll see one of our specialist nurses or doctors. During the appointment we’ll discuss what brought you to the clinic and your medical and sexual history. We’ll answer any questions you might have, give you advice, signpost you to other useful organisations and, if appropriate, refer you to other services. 

Depending on the reason for your appointment, we may also do a physical examination and some tests. If you’re not sure about anything, ask the nurse or doctor to explain. Tests might involve:

  • a urine (pee) sample
  • a blood sample
  • swabs from the urethra (the tube the urine comes out of)
  • an examination of your genitals
  • if you’re female, swabs from the vagina, which you can usually do yourself

If you do not have any signs or symptoms of an STI you will not need to have an examination. You will be able to do your own swab or urine sample.

If you have tests and the results aren’t available during your visit, we’ll ask you how you want to receive them. They can be given to you by:

  • text
  • phone
  • unmarked letter

Using contraception is the best way to reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are currently 15 methods of contraception available on the NHS. We offer advice and free contraception at all our clinics, including free condoms.

NHS guide to contraception

Sexual health charity Brook has developed an interactive tool to help you choose the best contraception method for you.

Try the contraception tool

You can get free emergency contraception from any of our sexual health clinics. Call your nearest clinic to arrange an emergency appointment.

You can also get it from:

  • your own GP
  • GP sexual health services
  • your local pharmacy
  • CHoC or A&E (as a last resort)

There are 2 types of emergency contraception:

  1. emergency contraceptive pill (Levonelle or ellaOne)
  2. intrauterine device (IUD)

Levonelle is a pill that has to be taken within 72 hours (3 days) of having sex.  

ellaOne is a pill that has to be taken within 120 hours (5 days) of having sex.

An IUD is a device that can be inserted into your uterus up to 5 days after sex, or up to 5 days after the earliest time you could have ovulated.

NHS guide to emergency contraception

Rapid HIV testing is now available in some pharmacies in Cumbria. You must be 18 or over to access this service. The test is free, simple and confidential. You’ll receive your result in around 15 minutes. The service is available from all of the pharmacies listed below.

If you’re aged 15 to 24, you can pick up a free chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing kit from any GP surgery and some local pharmacies.

You can do most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.

If you have a regular monthly menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Sometimes pregnant women may have a very light period, losing only a little blood. Other signs include:

  • feeling sick
  • feeling tired
  • sore breasts
  • peeing more often
  • strange tastes, smells and cravings

Read more about pregnancy Read about problems with getting pregnant

If you’re pregnant and not sure you want to continue with the pregnancy, we can give you advice about the options that are available.

If you decide that you do not want continue with the pregnancy, we can refer you for a termination (abortion). Your GP can also refer you.

Read more about abortion

There are at least 25 different STIs. What they all have in common is that they can be passed on through sexual contact, including vaginal, oral and anal sex. If you have an STI, it's important to find out so that you can get it treated as soon as possible, and so that you don't pass it on to someone else.

It’s common to have an STI and not have any signs or symptoms. We always recommend you have an STI test if you’ve had sex with someone new or you haven’t used a condom.

If left untreated, some STIs can cause serious and permanent damage. In some cases it can damage your fertility, meaning that it can be harder for you to get pregnant in the future, or make you unable to have children at all. If you’re pregnant, some STIs can be passed to your unborn baby.

Having sex should be fun and enjoyable, but having unprotected sex may increase your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection or becoming pregnant. Using condoms during sex will help you feel more confident and relaxed about sex, as condoms protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections.

Read the ‘How this service works’ section to find out more about how we can help you with STI advice, information and testing.

Read more about STIs

If you’re not able to come to one of our sexual health clinics, you may be able to use one of the GP sexual health services below. Here you can get contraceptive advice and be tested for STIs.

Bridgegate Medical Centre
Winchester Street
Barrow
LA13 9SH

01229 822205

Fusehill Medical Practice
Fusehill Street
Carlisle
CA1 2HE

01228 527559

St Paul's Medical Centre (own patients only)
St Paul's Square
Carlisle
CA1 1DG

01228 524354

Spencer Street Surgery (own patients only)
10 Spencer Street
Carlisle
CA1 1BP

01228 529171

Derwent House Surgery
Isel Road
Cockermouth
CA13 9HT

01900 705750

Captain French Lane Surgery
Captain French Lane
Kendal
LA9 4JE

01539 720241

James Cochrane Practice
Helme Chase Surgery
Burton Road
Kendal
LA9 4QE

01539 718080

Sedbergh Health Centre
Station Road
Sedbergh
LA10 5DL

01539 718191

Castlehead Medical Centre
Ambleside Road
Keswick
CA12 4DB

01768 772025

Maryport Health Services
Alenburgh House
Ewanrigg Road
Maryport
CA15 8EL

01900 815544

Lakes Medical Pratice (own patients and Tuesday only)
Penrith Health Centre
Bridge Lane
Penrith
CA11 8HW

01768 214345

Glenridding Health Centre
Greenside Road
Glenridding
Penrith
CA11 0PD

01768 482297

Pharmacies can give you advice and guidance on contraception. They can also provide you with emergency contraception. Please note that some pharmacies will charge you for emergency contraception while others will provide it for free so make sure you ask them about this.

Birchwood Clinic
Furness General Hospital
Barrow-in-Furness
LA14 4LF

01229 404464

Clinic opening hours

Derwent Clinic
Park Lane
Workington
CA14 2RW

01900 705050

Clinic opening hours

Flatt Walks Health Centre
3 Castle Meadows
Whitehaven
CA28 7QE

01900 705050

Clinic opening hours

Kentwood Clinic
Gillinggate Centre
Kendal
LA9 4JE

01539 716706

Clinic opening hours

Solway Clinic
Hilltop Heights
London Road
Carlisle
CA1 2NS

01228 608989

Clinic opening hours