Sexual Health

Interview 49 - Sarah

Age at interview: 20

Brief outline: Sarah's uses an oral contraceptive called Cilest and says that it suits her fine. She gets her contraceptive from a walk in Family Planning clinic because it is easier and quicker than having to make a GP appointment. Once she used a pharmacy for family planning and got a very well informed and sensitive service.

Background: Single; full time student at her final year at university. Ethnic background' White British.

Audio & video

Sarah’s uses an oral contraceptive called Cilest and says that it suits her fine. She finds it quicker to get her contraceptives from the local Family Planning Clinic rather than her GP. Getting an appointment with her GP can take weeks whereas the Family Planning clinic is a walk-in-centre and she usually gets seen in a short period of time. Sarah describes the staff at Family Planning as friendly and efficient but feels that she wasn’t given information such as why they offered her Cilest and not another oral contraceptive or its possible side-effects. But Sarah has no concerns about her oral contraceptive mainly because she hasn’t experience any problems with it. On one occasion her GP suggested she change to an implant indicating that it is efficient and safer but Sarah doesn’t like the idea of having something under her skin that she can feel and see besides she doesn’t have problems remembering to take her contraceptive pill.

Sarah’s experience of using pharmacies for family planning or sexual health is limited. She did once when she had to take emergency contraception and thinks that the service was really good and sensitive. She received all the information and advice just like when she got it from her GP. Her main reservation to not use pharmacies has to do with financial considerations (you have to pay for it but from the GP is free) rather than quality of service.

On one occasion when she went to the Family Planning clinic for her contraceptive, they offered a Chlamydia test and she have one done. More recently, she decided to go and get tested for all sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Sarah thinks that there is a lot of information and awareness campaigns about Chlamydia but not nearly enough information about all the others STI’s. She adds that people shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about a positive diagnosis because being infected by a partner is common and not your fault. At the start of their relationship, Sarah and her boyfriend decided to test before stop using condoms. Sarah admits that it was more her idea but her boyfriend accepted.


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