Sex and disability

If you have a disability, you still have equal rights to a full sexual relationship. And you should have just the same access to sex and relationships education, contraception and sexual health care as any other young person.

But a lack of privacy in your daily life, cultural prejudice, professional and parental attitudes and lack of opportunity can often make accessing sexual health services and having sexual relationships more difficult.

If your family or carers find it difficult to discuss sex with you, you may need to have someone you feel able to talk to about it, or help with starting conversations with your family or carers.

If you have a disability, you still need to understand:

  • How you body works and grows
  • What changes to expect at puberty
  • The name of all the sex organs and how they work
  • Relationships and responsibility
  • How society expects you to act in public
  • Keeping safe
  • How to prevent an unwanted pregnancy
  • How to prevent STIs

And you will need:

  • social life with children or young people of a similar age
  • Friendship
  • Romance
  • To explore sexuality
  • Access to sex education
  • Privacy for private activity
  • Understanding of private and public areas of the body

If you have a Brook Centre near you, you can talk to them and know that we won't tell anyone else. You can also call Ask Brook on 0808 802 1234.

There are also organisations that might have more information, advice, support and networks for you to find out about.

Outsiders is a vibrant social and peer support network of disabled people. They also run a helpline.

In touch is a project run by Leonard Cheshire Disability which aims to improve access to sexual health education and services.

The site has information about sex for young people with disabilities.


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