Many factors can adversely impact on people’s sexual health including poverty, unemployment, poor education, alcohol and substance misuse and social exclusion.
Looking after your Sexual Health is important because it is an issue that can affect your Mental Health, your Physical Well-being, and your relationships with others.
Lasting relationships thrive on good communication. Get talking – let each other know what you want, don’t want and how you feel.
Practicing safer sex will not only help reduce the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI) but will also reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
You can look after your sexual health in a number of ways, eg having the knowledge and confidence to make good choices about if, and when to have sex, and being able to talk about contraception and condoms.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on when you have unprotected sex, or other close sexual contact with another person.
Common STIs include:
- Non Specific Urethritis (NSU)
- Genital warts
- Genital herpes
Other infections that can be triggered by sexual contact include:
- Bacterial vaginosis
There are many methods of contraception to prevent pregnancy. Different methods will suit different people. Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. Condoms are the only method of contraception that help protect against both pregnancy and STIs.
Methods of contraception include:
- contraceptive injections
- intrauterine device (IUD);
- intrauterine system (IUS);
- the contraceptive pill
Today, in contrast to even 15-20 years ago, there is much more Media/Social Media discussion about sexuality which is frank, detailed and explicit. On occasions this can lead to misleading or distorted images of relationships and sexuality.
Useful websites/ information about looking after your Sexual Health:
Sexual Health NI http://www.sexualhealthni.info/
Youth Health Advice Service http://www.setrust.hscni.net/healthyliving/2427.htm
Sexual Health Service http://www.setrust.hscni.net/services/sexualhealth.htm
NHS Choices – Sexual Health http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Sexualhealthtopics/Pages/Sexual-health-hub.aspx
Family Planning Association http://www.fpa.org.uk/