International Women’s day, on Saturday 8th March, celebrates the achievements of women, the roles they play in the work place, in society, in politics and so on. It’s not uncommon to hear about the success of women in their careers. However there are many inspiring women, working with organisations like Spectrum, that provide help and assistance, everyday, to support women to make positive choices in their sexual health.
Based at clinics around the Wakefield District, including the Central Clinic at Margaret Street Clinic, Spectrum’s Contraception & Sexual Health (CaSH) team works with women on a range of sexual health issues, some of which can lead to life-changing decisions.
Our nurses, doctors and healthcare workers provide local women with free and confidential advice, as well as screenings for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STIs), contraception, cervical smear testing and pregnancy testing, within a supportive and friendly environment. The value of the CaSH team’s work is significant. An unplanned pregnancy is a scary feeling whether this good or bad news. Testing positive with a STI can cause problems and embarrassment. In all cases our nurses are dedicated in providing patients, some of whom are vulnerable, with the options and assistance they need, especially with any life changing decisions they may be about to make.
Clinical Specialist Nurse within the CaSH service, Jane Burton, explains:
“Our nurses always try to make the patient feel comfortable and relaxed. If they have any particular worries or concerns, we do reassure them and try to take the weight off their shoulders. We will discuss personal choices which suit the individual and, if need be, signpost them to the services that will help them further.
“Depending upon the nature of their visit, these can be emotional times for a woman, and receiving as much help and advice from us as possible is always appreciated.”
Even the idea of talking about sex and sexual health can be seen as a taboo subject.
Jane continues: “These are very personal and private discussions but we put ourselves in their shoes to avoid embarrassment. Sexual health is a normal part of everyone’s life and our nurses treat every patient with respect and care under any circumstance. It is important for women to be able to discuss openly the help or advice they need so the team can support them in making informed decisions. For example, they may want to know which contraception method is right for them? The nurses will explain the effectiveness of the different contraceptive methods available, how the different methods work and the advantages and disadvantages. A woman can then make a decision to whether a particular contraceptive method would best suit her needs and lifestyle.
“Our sexual health nurses within the clinic are filled with determination and passion to helping patients of all genders and ages that walk through our doors.”