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What Are the Different Types of Sexual Health Services?

Sexual health clinics and other medical facilities offer several different types of sexual health services to help patients with family planning and pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, and medical issues related to the reproductive systems. Some facilities specialize in a certain type of treatment, while others offer a range of services. Sexual health services provided by clinics and organizations may be specifically for women, only for men, or they may serve both sexes. These clinics often provide testing and diagnostic procedures, treatment, and counseling for sexual and reproductive issues.

Many clinics that offer sexual health services focus on testing, treatment, and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases, including herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV, and others. These facilities usually offer testing for sexually-transmitted diseases and infections, which may include urine samples, blood tests, or physical examinations. If a patient tests positive for a disease or infection, the facility may offer treatment or refer the patient to another facility. Sexual health clinics often provide counseling for patients with sexually-transmitted diseases, particularly HIV. They also provide resources for patients regarding safe sexual practices to help them avoid spreading a sexually-transmitted disease or prevent them from contracting one.

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Other facilities provide testing and care for pregnant women as well as family planning options. These types of sexual health services often focus solely on women, though some clinics welcome men to be a part of the family-planning process as well. Clinics may offer free or low-cost pregnancy testing and prenatal care. They also often provide birth control options for women who want to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.

Reproductive health is important for both women and men. Regular check-ups can help identify potential problems and allow patients to seek treatment quickly for medical problems that affect the genitals or reproductive organs. These types of sexual health services aimed at women usually include gynecologists, who perform diagnostic procedures and tests, such as Pap smears and physical examinations, to make sure their patients' reproductive systems are healthy. The tests help identify potential problems, including cervical cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, menstrual problems, and other related conditions. Sexual health services for men typically include prostate and testicular examinations and screening for infertility and other problems, such as erectile dysfunction.

Some sexual health services facilities specialize in helping victims of sexual crimes and abuse. These treatment centers often focus on providing psychological and emotional help for people who have undergone some type of sexually-related violence, but they may also provide physical treatment. All hospitals and emergency rooms provide quick care and treatment for emergency sexual health services, including treatments and evaluations after a rape or other sexual crime and emergency symptoms related to a sexually-transmitted disease.

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