Introduction Since the transfer of commissioning, some local authorities have taken a narrow view of sexual health, defining it as STIs and contraception only, and some have not funded the complex non-STI genital conditions that are a core part of GUM. However patients attend because they have a problem, which may or may not be an STI, that affects their sexual health. We aimed to give a snapshot of a GUM consultant’s clinical caseload.
Methods A record was kept of all GUM patient consultations over a 2 week period.
Results A total of 43 patients were seen. All but one were follow-ups. Nine (21%) were long-term attenders. The rest were referred by other clinic staff 20 (47%), consultants in other specialties 10 (23%) and GPs 4 (9%). The average age was 41 (19–87).
The commonest conditions seen were genital dermatoses (20), chronic/recurrent PID (13), recurrent candida (9; two with resistant species), VIN (6), atrophic vulvo-vaginitis (6), vulvodynia (5), and CPPS (4). STIs included HSV (3), chlamydial PID (3) SARA (1) and conjunctivitis (1), and an MSM with syphilis, rectal gonorrhoea and warts.
Nine patients had more than one genital infection and nine both a genital infection and a genital dermatosis.
Discussion This snapshot demonstrates both the complexity of patients and the holistic care provided by a GUM consultant. While other specialties are able to manage some of the conditions seen in GUM, few would have the expertise to manage patients with co-existing STIs and other genital infections, chronic pain conditions and genital dermatoses.