General Information on going to the clinic – hours of operation, health cards....
What is it like to go to the Sexual Health Centre?
- What is the process to be seen?
- How long will I wait?
- What are the hours of operations for the Sexual Health Centre?
- Where do I find the clinic location?
- How do I get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Check out the “What to expect” section at www.ottawa.ca/en/health_safety/sexual/centre/ for information on the Sexual Health Centre.
We offer confidential services. If you test positive for an STI pursuant to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, you will be contacted by a Public Health Nurse, require treatment (provided for free) and asked to provide information about your sexual partners. This information will be used to contact these partners to ensure that they are adequately tested and treated; your name will not be released to these partners. Confidentiality of information obtained is assured.
STI testing and some STI treatments are free.
The Sexual Health Centre offers affordable contraception as well.
No health card is required unless you are having a PAP test
The Sexual Health Centre is very busy during walk-in clinic times and you may experience some wait time. If you would prefer you may book an appointment at the clinic.
Public health staff cannot share your personal information with anyone unless you give permission. If you have a test that shows you have a reportable infection such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, you will be contacted by a Public Health Nurse, and asked to provide information about your sexual partners. This information will be used to contact these partners to ensure that they are adequately tested and treated; your name will not be released to these partners.
Sexually Transmitted Infections(STIs)
- If you are experiencing any symptoms you should be seen by a health care provider as soon as possible.
- If you have symptoms, you may have an infection which could be an STI. Assessment by a nurse or a doctor and testing for STIs is the best way to find out what is causing the symptoms.
- You should avoid sexual contact if you are experiencing symptoms until you have been diagnosed and treated.
- If you are experiencing a bump or sore in your genital area, you should be seen by a health care provider as soon as possible.
- You should avoid sexual contact until you have been diagnosed and treated.
- Each STI has a different “window period” (the time it takes before the infection can be found by a test). http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexually-transmitted-infections-stistd If you are or have been sexually active, you should be tested regularly whether you have symptoms or not.
Most people infected with STIs do not have symptoms. The symptoms may be: sores, pain, burning when you pee, or discharge. For more information check our website: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexually-transmitted-infections-stistd
- If your symptoms have not improved or have worsened, return to your health care provider as soon as possible.
- Avoid sexual contact until you have been diagnosed and treated.
- Yes, oral sex with any partner put you at risk for STIs.
- Use flavoured condoms or dental dams to have safer oral sex.
- Having unprotected (without a condom or dental dam) vaginal, anal or oral sex or sharing sex toys may put you at risk for STIs. You are also at risk if your condom broke or slipped off. Note: Condoms provide limited protection against Herpes and genital warts.
- For more information check our website: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexually-transmitted-infections-stistd
- You cannot get a STI from a toilet seat.
- The only objects that can spread STIs are shared sex toys
- Most STIs are not spread through kissing.
- Note: You should avoid kissing people with cold sores as this is a type of Herpes infection and the Herpes virus can be spread through kissing someone who is infected.
For more information check our website: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexual-health/genital-warts-and-hpv
- Genital warts are caused by the Human papillomavirus (HPV) and are spread through skin-to-skin contact.
- You should avoid sexual contact with your partner while warts are present.
- You should practise safer sex at all times to reduce your risk of getting the infection. Even with protected sex (using a condom or dental dam) you may still get the infection.
- HPV vaccine is available for women and men. The vaccine provides effective protection against HPV infection after three doses. Talk to your health care provider for more information or consult: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexual-health/human-papillomavirus-hpv-and-hpv-vaccine
- Herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact.
- You should avoid sexual contact with your partner while sores are present.
- You should practice safer sex at all times to reduce your risk of getting the infection. Even with protected sex (using a condom or dental dam) you may still get the infection.
- Herpes is a life-long infection that is treatable with medication but there is no cure for the infection.
- For more information check our website: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/public-health/sexual-health/genital-herpes-hsv
YES. You should always get tested as many STIs do not produce symptoms that people notice and your partner may not have been tested for all infections before.
You should see a health care provider as soon as possible and avoid sexual contact until you have been tested and both you and your partner have been treated. Telling your partner you have an STI isn’t always easy but being honest with a partner and having open communication about sexual health shows your partner that you care about them.
Testing - the what and where
Contraception / pregnancy
- A Pap test is a simple test done during a female’s pelvic exam by a health care provider that is used to detect abnormal cells of the cervix. If abnormal cells are found they can be treated before they become cervical cancer.
- You should have a Pap test within the first 3 years of becoming sexually active and then once a year unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.
- If you have missed 1 pill you should take it as soon as you remember and take the next one at the regular time (this may mean that you are taking 2 pills in one day). You should continue using condoms for the rest of your cycle.
- If you have had any unprotected sex (without a condom or the condom broke or slipped off) in the past 5 days after missing a pill you should consider taking emergency contraception (Plan B).
- For more information Call the Aids & Sexual Health Infoline at: 1-800-668-2437
- A missed period is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Sometimes taking a pregnancy test too early will result in a negative test even though you are actually pregnant. Repeat the pregnancy test in two weeks. If your period has still not come contact your health care provider for more advice.
- Your period may be late for several other reasons. Some females have irregular cycles and do not have a period at the same time each month. Changes in diet, stress levels or lifestyle may also affect your period.
- The Sexual Health Centre offers affordable emergency contraception (ECP).
- ECP is also available without a prescription at any pharmacy in Ontario or Québec.
- ECP is available by prescription from your health care provider.
- It is important to take ECP as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It is not effective if it has been more than 5 days since the unprotected sexual contact happened.
- For more information Call the Aids &Sexual Health Infoline at: 1-800-668-2437
Call the Aids &Sexual Health Infoline at: 1-800-668-2437 and talk to a nurse about options and resources in your community.
How do I put on a condom properly?
Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender, Bi-spirited and queer
Absolutely, you might be confused at first and that is normal. If you have concerns and /or would like to talk about these feelings contact
Contact the Youth Services Bureau to talk to someone 613-562-3004
Contact the Youth Services Bureau to talk to someone 613-562-3004
I was forced to have sex without my consent. Where can I get help?
Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Program
The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus
1053 Carling Ave
24 hours a day 7 days a week.