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NHS Direct starts health checker

Women who are seeking confidential sexual health advice online can now turn to a health and symptom checker from NHS Direct.

Covering a variety of problems and symptoms such as period pain, sexually transmitted diseases and loss of sex drive, the health and symptom checker is available at

Users answer a number of questions on their concerns and, depending on the information provided, can be offered guidance on self-care to treat themselves at home. The online tool can also suggest women seek advice from another health provider such as a GP, A&E or a sexual health (GUM) clinic.

If further assessment is recommended, an NHS Direct nurse advisor will phone the patient, with the woman having the option of remaining anonymous. About 12,000 calls about sexual health are made to the NHS Direct helpline each month, with three-quarters made by females.

Helen Young, NHS Direct's chief nurse said: "Our health and symptom checkers can provide confidential and evidence-based advice quickly or signpost patients to the most appropriate place to get help."

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NHS Direct female sexual health