Sexual health is an important part of every individual’s overall health whatever their age.
However some age groups are more at risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or unplanned pregnancy including those under 25. This is often due to a lack of information or experience with respect to sexual activity, getting tested or using contraception – the best way to reduce these risks is to get the right information…
The Internet can be a wonderful place however it can often include information that is untrue, unhelpful (or even scary) when searching for help about sexual health concerns.
Read the information below and then follow the links to some great trusted websites that have a lot (a lot!) of information about maintaining a happy and healthy sex life.
If you are sexually active (having sexual contact of any type with someone else) it is important to get tested for STIs.
Reasons not to avoid a test:
- anyone can have an STI – not all STIs have symptoms and while using condoms (barrier methods) can help protect from STIs they don’t always work
- some STIs can have longer term effects if not treated quickly
- testing is easy (including online) and treatment is usually quick and very effective
It’s sensible to test every time you change sexual partners or regularly if your partner has other partners.
STI testing is very normal and worth talking to your partner about to find out when you both had your last check up.
Don’t wait until you are in a situation where you need contraception (condoms, the pill, the morning after pill etc.) before you think about how to prevent a pregnancy that you or your partner aren’t ready for.
Thinking about contraception before you have sex does not mean you have to have sex but it does mean that if you chose to have sex with a partner you will be ready.
There are loads of different types of contraception – some are more effective than others, some last longer than others, some suit one person but not another person etc. etc. – it’s best to have a read about all the different types and then to speak to a healthcare professional about the couple of options you like the sound of to see which might be the best fit for you – and if you don’t get on with your chosen method (you forget, you don’t like a side effect, you change your mind and want something that lasts longer) then healthcare professionals will always be happy to help you alter your method and make sure this happens without leaving you at the risk of an accidental pregnancy.
Happy and healthy sexual activity can’t happen if one partner is not consenting to the activity – i.e. they aren’t able to freely say yes…
Consent should be given every time sexual activity occurs and should be given throughout the activity. Having sex once doesn’t mean you have to have sex another time, being ok with an activity once doesn’t mean your partner will want to do the same thing next time…
Common reasons that consent isn’t given for sexual activity when it should be:
- one or both partners assume the other is consenting – thinking silence counts as consent
- being embarrassed to check that your partner is consenting – not asking a quick question and getting a positive response
- one or both partners being under the influence of drugs or alcohol – which reduces the ability to consent to sexual activities
So many more topics to explore in relation to being happy and healthy…
The websites below give great information on so many more topics so click through and browse – then if you have ANY questions about anything you have read or are experiencing (however embarrassing you may think it will be to discuss) call your local sexual health service and ask to speak to a healthcare professional who will be happy and willing to answer your questions.
We no longer run a walk-in service however, we still offer same day emergency appointments and appointments in the week including evenings.
Please call the clinic on the call centre number below before attending and we can then ensure to book you into the correct appointment type.