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Sexual health information and care

Last updated: 4/9/2024, 3:45 PM

If you are looking for care and information about sexuality, e.g. about safe sex, an unwanted pregnancy or about STIs. Read here about care and information around sexuality in the Netherlands.

Sexual health is about your body and your feelings

Sexual health is every person having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences and feeling good about it. Sexual health has to do with your body and your emotions when it comes to sexuality. It deals with a lot of topics. For example, about:

  • Safe sex.

  • Getting pregnant and being pregnant in a way that is comfortable for you.

  • Feeling emotionally well in a relationship.

  • Understanding how sex works and consenting to sex.

  • Sexual care and information for transgender people.

In this article, we address the topics that have the most questions around sexuality. Safe sex, STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Here is what you can do to have safe sex

If you want to avoid getting STIs, getting someone pregnant or getting pregnant yourself, you should always have safe sex. Safe sex is sex that makes you feel good and prevents you from getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant when this is not wanted. It also helps prevent you getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs are infections that you can give to someone else if you have unsafe sex.

You can do the following to feel safe during sex:

  • Do not do things you do not want to do and do things you do want.

  • Ask your partner if they want to have sex.

  • Discuss with your partner what you will do together to prevent pregnancy and/or STIs. 

  • If you feel uncomfortable during sex, tell your partner and stop. 

Find out what else you need to know in the following situations:

Preventing pregnancy
Preventing STIs
Options after unprotected sex
Options after an unpleasant sexual experience
Sexual health information for LGBTQIA+ individuals

Here is what you can do if you have an unwanted pregnancy

An unwanted pregnancy is a pregnancy you do not want. You can have several reasons for not wanting to be pregnant. For example, because as a woman you are made pregnant by someone you do not want to be pregnant by, because the pregnancy is not planned or because you do not have the capacity to raise a child. 

In case of an unwanted pregnancy, you can see your GP. The GP can inform you about choices such as pregnancy preservation, adoption and abortion. And refer you to the care you need, such as a gynaecologist, adoption agency or pregnancy clinic. The GP cannot force you into a decision and is there to help you and provide information.

Abortion is legal in the Netherlands and safe. After an abortion you can still get pregnant again and the chance of problems after treatment is very low. By law, you may terminate your pregnancy up to 24 weeks, that is, until the foetus could survive outside your body. In practice, doctors will help you until up to 22 weeks. Free emotional support is also available if you decide to terminate the pregnancy. There are people who can help you emotionally process the abortion.

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