Your sexual health toolkit
It’s the month of love and whether you’re in a long-term relationship, have a brand new love interest or are just dipping your toe into dating, it’s likely you are or soon will be sexually active. Sexual health is important for everyone, and we want to ensure you have everything you need to feel healthy and confident when it comes to sex.
When it comes to sex, contraception is something that should be thought about by both parties. It’s vital for the prevention of both pregnancy and STIs. When it comes to pregnancy there are lots of options available for women:
- IUD – an IUD or “the coil” is inserted into your uterus by a nurse or doctor. It prevents someone from getting pregnant by releasing copper and can last for 5-10 years depending on the type you get.
- Contraceptive implant – This is a small plastic rod that is injected into someone’s arm and prevents pregnancy by releasing progesterone into the bloodstream. They can last for up to 3 years.
- Contraceptive pill - There are 2 types of "the pill". The combined pill prevents you from getting pregnant by stopping the release of an egg. The progestogen-only pill prevents you from getting pregnant by thickening the mucus in your cervix to stop sperm from reaching an egg.
- Contraceptive patch - This is a small sticky patch that releases hormones into your body to prevent you from getting pregnant by stopping the release of an egg.
It can be difficult to navigate which form of contraception is right for you, but speaking to a GP about the options available to you will help you make an informed decision.
When it comes to preventing STIs, condoms and female condoms are the only form of contraception that prevent both pregnancy and the transmission of STIs.
Sexually transmitted infections are nothing to be embarrassed about, let’s clear that up immediately. Accidents happen and sometimes you slip up, so don’t beat yourself up. However, if you have had unprotected sex you should visit a clinic to have a screening. A lot of STI’s can be treated or managed when caught early and by getting tested you can get the treatment you need before anything progresses. Some of the most common STI’s include:
Getting tested couldn’t be easier. We have at-home and in-clinic tests available to give you the peace of mind you need. Our doctors have seen EVERYTHING so there’s no need to be embarrassed.
We’ve talked about preventing pregnancy but what about when you’re trying to get pregnant? The majority of couples will fall pregnant after a year of having regular unprotected sex. However for some couples it can be quite challenging and this could be for any number of reasons. Things that can affect your fertility include:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Environmental factors
If you and your partner have had difficulties conceiving then you may benefit from speaking to a doctor to rule out anything medical that may be affecting either of you.
Talking openly about sexual health is nothing to be embarrassed about and our doctors are understanding about any problem or worry you may be experiencing. If you’re not sure what type of support you need or which tests would be best for you then we are here to provide you with trusted advice. You can book at any of our clinics to speak to a GP or we also have an online doctor available via video.