Choosing your specialty: Community Sexual and Reproductive Health

Community Sexual and Reproductive Health (CSRH) is a specialty concerned with caring for the sexual health needs of men and women, often but not exclusively in community settings.  This includes services such as contraception, sexually transmitted infections, medical gynaecology, menopause, psychosexual medicine, sexual assault and care of women with unplanned pregnancy.

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Whether your post is community or hospital based, your role will be a varied one, as you may be required to liaise with GUM clinics and other combined general clinics offering a full range of expertise in contraceptive and sexually transmitted infections. SRH consultants will typically oversee the work of the community sexual health clinics and their governance. SRH also offers an opportunity to work with a wide variety of male and female patients, often particularly caring for vulnerable groups, for example – young people, sex workers, prisoners, victims of sexual assault.

What your role could include:

Within contraception:

  • fitting and removing intrauterine contraceptives
  • fitting and removing subdermal contraceptive implants

Consultants will be referred complex cases e.g. where IUD fittings have previously failed or where subdermal implants are deep. Many SRH consultants run abortion services and undertake surgical procedures in a theatre or outpatient setting.

Within medical gynaecology:

  • performing outpatient hysteroscopy
  • performing endometrial ablation
  • performing transvaginal ultrasound
  • inserting hormone implants
  • early abortion with local anaesthesia

Given the increasing number of procedures that are becoming ‘office based’ and hence deliverable outside a hospital setting, this range of procedures is expected to increase.

Key skills required:

  • Leadership abilities
  • Ability to work well with other professionals from varied backgrounds
  • Compassion and sensitivity
  • Good communication skills
  • Non-judgemental attitude
  • Highly organised and able to multitask