What is London C-Card?
(If you already know what it is and just want to find your nearest place to get condoms, click here.)
London C-Card is a confidential service providing free condoms alongside sexual health information to young people in Bromley, as part of the Sexual Health Bromley service.
The service is for young people aged 14-24. The C-Card scheme is available in Bromley as well as 23 other London boroughs. This means that once you are registered, you can go to any service in any borough that provides the scheme to get more condoms.
Why would I want to sign up and get a C-Card?
The UK has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and teenage pregnancies in Europe. A condom is the only form of contraception that protects you against both STIs and an unplanned pregnancy. Whoever you choose to have sex with (e.g. male or female); you need to help protect yourself against infections by using condoms.
This is a bit embarrassing…
By joining the London C-Card scheme you can be sure that you are getting help and support from people who are experienced in talking about sex, relationships and condoms – they won’t be embarrassed so you don’t need to be either.
Getting a C-Card
To get a C-Card all you have to do is visit a registration point and have a chat with a member of staff. They will tell you how the C-Card works and if you would like to join they will register you.
What do I need to tell the person I speak to?
Tell the member of staff that you would like to join the London C-Card scheme. They will take some details from you including your name, date of birth, postcode and ethnicity. This information is confidential. It is recorded to make sure that the scheme is available to as many young people as possible regardless of where they live or their ethnicity. We will use the information to tell us where we need new services and to help improve the scheme.
What is involved in registering?
The member of staff will tell you about the different types of condoms that are available with the C-Card. Part of the registration process is to ensure that you know how to use a condom correctly and what to do and where to go if your condom splits or you didn’t use one. They will talk to you about your relationship (if you are in one), sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.
The member of staff will also tell you about other places to get sexual health information and how you can find your local sexual health services. Use this opportunity to ask the C-Card issuer any questions you may have around sex and relationships. Remember it is a confidential service and you will not be judged.
You will then be given your C-Card, some condoms and other useful information if you want it. The C-Card will not have any of your details on it, just a bar code which is used to identify you when you want more condoms (like a library card, but without your name).
What do I do when I need more condoms?
Once you are registered, you can visit your normal venue or go to any distribution point to get more condoms – make sure you take your C-Card with you.
Where are the C-Card registration/distribution points?
Click here to find where all of the London C-Card registration and distribution points are in Bromley and the rest of London, or look on the Sex Worth Talking About site if you are somewhere else in the country.
What do I do if I have lost my C-Card? Do I register again?
If you have lost your C-Card, don’t worry, you don’t need to register again. Just go to one of the registration points and tell them you have lost your card. They will take some details from you so they can find you on the database and issue you with a new card. Store the bar code number in your phone or write it down in case you lose your card again.
What do I do if I've had unprotected sex?
Emergency contraception can help to prevent pregnancy after you’ve had unprotected sex and you can get tests and treatments for infections. The emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the ‘morning-after’ pill) is more effective the sooner it’s taken, especially within the first 24 hours after unprotected sex although it can be effective up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Emergency contraception is free from some pharmacies in Bromley to young people under 25 years old. You will need to phone the pharmacy before you go to make sure the pharmacist who can help is in. Or, you can find a list of pharmacies that provide this service on sexualhealthbromley.co.uk/clinics/find-a-service. You can buy the emergency contraceptive pill from most pharmacies if you’re aged 16 or over, and from some organisations such as bpas or Marie Stopes. The cost varies but it is usually around £26.
Go for a check up. Some people don’t have any symptoms when they have an STI, so it is important you get tested whether you have symptoms or not. Some symptoms people may notice include:
pain when you pee
discharge that isn’t normal for you
To get tested for STIs, go to your nearest sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, you can find your nearest here. If you’re not using a regular method of contraception, find one that suits you (and where to get it) so that you can start using it as soon as possible. Find out more about getting contraception from the sexualhealthbromley.co.uk.