Living in Finland


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Sexual health

If you want information or help in matters relating to sexual health, contact your local health centre (terveysasema). You can ask a nurse (terveydenhoitaja) for advice or make an appointment with a doctor (lääkäri). For contraceptive pills, for example, you need a prescription that only a doctor can give you. You are entitled to health centre services if you have a municipality of residence in Finland.

Young people's sexualityFinnish | English

Adults' sexualityFinnish | Swedish | English

Women’s sexual health

It may be necessary for you to have a gynaecological examination, and some doctors in public health care make them. You can request to see a female doctor if you wish. You are entitled to use public health services if you have a municipality of residence in Finland. Ask for more information at your health centre. You can also make an appointment with a private gynaecologist. However, the services of private doctors are considerably more expensive for customers.

In Finland, screenings (seulontatutkimus) are arranged for women with the aim of discovering breast cancer and cervical cancer at an early stage. Breast cancer screenings are performed on 50-69 year-old women approximately every two years, and cervical cancer screenings on 30-60 year-old women every five years. If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you are entitled to these screenings.

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

If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can make an appointment for a urological examination at your health centre, and you can request to see a male doctor if you prefer this. You can also make an appointment with a private urologist but note that the services of private doctors are considerably more expensive for customers. When necessary, a health centre doctor will give you a referral to a specialist at a urology clinic.


Contraceptives are sold at pharmacies. Condoms are also sold, for example, in grocery stores. For hormonal contraceptives you will need a prescription from a doctor, for example, at a health centre, or from a private gynaecologist. You can also make an appointment at a family planning clinic (ehkäisyneuvonta).

For more information, go to InfoFinland web page Contraception.

The website of the Family Federation of Finland offers information about different kinds of contraceptives.

For information on abortions, go to the InfoFinland web page Abortion.


Help with having a baby

If you wish to have a child, and you and your partner have not conceived a child within a year after the use of contraceptives has been stopped, the matter can be looked into. The problem can often be solved. You can make an appointment for examinations at a health centre (terveysasema), with a gynaecologist, or at a private fertility clinic (lapsettomuusklinikka). It is a good idea for the couple to go to the clinic together. The examinations are aimed at finding the reason for infertility.

Sexually transmitted diseases

If you suspect that you have a sexually transmitted disease, you can make a doctor’s appointment either at a health centre or private clinic. In larger cities, such diseases can be treated at a sexually transmitted disease clinic (sukupuolitautien poliklinikka). Ask for more information at your health centre.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are treated with antibiotics. Viral diseases, such as herpes and condyloma, cannot be cured with medication, but the symptoms can be alleviated.

The progression of HIV infection can be slowed down with medication. Medication should be started as early as possible.

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

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

Information on HIVFinnish | English | Russian

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

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

Circumcising boys

A circumcision (ympärileikkaus) is always an irrevocable operation. If it is performed for a non-medical reason, a boy’s bodily integrity is violated. A circumcision may only be performed by a qualified doctor. A written consent from the boy’s guardians is required for the circumcision. If the child has two guardians, both of them must consent to the operation, or otherwise, it must not be performed. The boy has the right to refuse the operation. A circumcision must not be performed without pain relief provided by a doctor, and it must be performed under sterile conditions. A non-medical circumcision is not covered by publicly funded health care, so it cannot be performed at a public health centre, and it must be paid by the party who is having it performed.

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.

Circumcising girls

A circumcision (ympärileikkaus) of a girl is a crime in Finland and can lead to several years’ imprisonment. It is also a crime to take a girl to another country to have a circumcision performed on her.

If you were circumcised before you came to Finland and you are planning a pregnancy, an opening operation (avausleikkaus) can be performed to facilitate pregnancy and childbirth. The operation is easiest to do before pregnancy, but it can also be performed during mid-pregnancy. The operation will ease childbirth and examinations during pregnancy. The operation is performed in hospital, and recovery usually takes 1-2 days.

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