Living in Finland

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Seksuaaliterveys ja ehkäisy
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Sexual health and contraception

In Finland, both public and private health care provide services connected to contraception, gynaecology, early detection of cancer, male sexual health, infertility and sexually transmitted diseases.

Do you have a right to public health services? Read more on the page Health services in Finland.

linkkiVäestöliitto:
Young people's sexualityFinnish | English

linkkiVäestöliitto:
Adults' sexualityFinnish | Swedish | English

Contraception

You can buy condoms in shops, petrol stations, kiosks and pharmacies. A prescription is not needed.

For hormonal contraceptives, you need a prescription from a doctor. Such contraceptives include, for example, the pill and the minipill. They are sold at pharmacies. You can make an appointment at a health centre or a private clinic.

Underage persons can also make a doctor’s appointment and get a prescription for contraceptives. You do not need parental permission for a prescription. In some municipalities, contraceptives are free for young people. You can ask your health centre or school nurse about it.

If your contraception fails or you forgot to use it, you can buy an emergency contraception pill from a pharmacy without a prescription. Take it as soon as possible after intercourse, at the latest after 72 hours. Some products can be taken within 120 hours of the intercourse.

linkkiFinnish Student Health Service:
ContraceptionFinnish | Swedish | English

Women’s sexual health

All doctors at health centres can perform gynaecological examinations. Ask for more information at your health centre. If you want to see a female doctor, mention it when booking your appointment. When necessary, the health centre doctor will give you a referral to a specialist at a gynaecology clinic.

You can also make an appointment with a private gynaecologist. In that case, you can choose your doctor yourself. However, the services of private doctors are much more expensive for customers.

In Finland, regular screenings are organised for women of a certain age. The purpose is to find breast cancer and cervical cancer in the early stages. Women aged 50 to 69 years undergo breast cancer screenings about once every two years. Women aged 30 to 60 years undergo breast cancer screenings about once every five years.

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
ScreeningsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

linkkiNational Institute for Health and Welfare:
Information on breast cancer screeningFinnish | Swedish

linkkiTunne rintasi:
Instruction for detecting breast cancer(pdf, 440kt)Finnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Spanish | Chinese | Thai | Romanian | Sami

linkkiCancer organisations:
Information about cancer screeningsFinnish | Swedish | English

Men’s sexual health

You can make a doctor’s appointment at your own health centre. You can request to see a male doctor if you wish. When necessary, the health centre doctor will give you a referral to a specialist at a urology clinic.

You can also make an appointment at a private clinic. However, the services of private doctors are much more expensive for customers.

Infertility

Infertility is often treatable. Infertility can be due to the man or the woman. Sometimes, a medical reason cannot be found for it.

If you stopped using contraception but pregnancy has not started after one year, make an appointment at a health centre or a private gynaecologist. It is a good idea for the couple to go to the clinic together. The doctor writes a referral for examinations at an infertility clinic. The examinations determine why pregnancy has not started.

Infertility treatments are offered both by public and private clinics. The right to infertility treatments in public health services depends on, for example, the woman’s age.

Sexually transmitted diseases

If you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted disease, you can make a doctor’s appointment at a health centre or private clinic. Some cities have an STD clinic where sexually transmitted diseases are treated. Ask for more information at your health centre.

Using a condom and dental dam will protect you from most sexually transmitted diseases.

Undocumented persons and asylum seeker also have the right to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. However, if you are in Finland without a residence permit, you may have to pay for treatment.

linkkiHivpoint:
Brochure 'Information on sexually transmitted diseases'(pdf, 1500kt)Finnish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai

linkkiHivpoint:
Information on HIVFinnish | English | Russian

linkkiHivpoint:
Brochure 'Good life with HIV'Finnish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic | Thai

linkkiHivpoint:
Brochure 'HIV in the family'(pdf, 881 kb)Finnish | English | Russian

Circumcising boys

Consider carefully whether circumcision is necessary. If the boy is old enough to express his opinion, he must be asked whether he consents to the operation. The circumcision must not be done if he opposes it. If the boy has two guardians, both must give written consent for the circumcision.

If there is no medical reason for the circumcision, it cannot be done in public health services. In that case, you must pay for the operation yourself.

Only doctors can carry out circumcision. It must be done in sterile conditions. The doctor must provide pain relief.

You can ask for more information on circumcision from a maternity clinic, a doctor at a health centre, a school nurse or a school doctor.

Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation is a crime in Finland. It can be punished with many years in prison. It is also a crime to make a girl undergo genital mutilation abroad.

If you have been through female genital mutilation, a surgical opening operation can be done for you. Corrective surgery is also possible. Ask for more information at your health centre.

linkkiAfrican Care:
Circumcision of girls and womenFinnish | English | Somali | Arabic