Looking After Your Sexual Health

We’ve all heard of the rumours and myths that often come with sexual health, and the ‘embarrassing’ questions you just don’t know who to ask… It’s a whole web of confusion for some people. So I’ve done some research and found the answers to some commonly asked questions about sexual health which are definitely worth a read.

Can you catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from a toilet seat?

Sexually transmitted diseases or infections can’t live outside the body for a long period of time—especially not on a cold, hard surface like a toilet seat. Plus, they aren’t present in urine, so the chances of you catching one from whoever used the bathroom before you are slim to none!

Can you tell if someone has an STI?

You might think that it would be obvious if you or a sexual partner has an STI. When we think of STIs many of us think of the obvious symptoms like lumps, bumps, or rashes. But often STIs don’t have any signs or symptoms at all (or they might not appear for weeks or months) so a person with an STI might not know they have one if they haven’t been tested. Even if you don’t think you’ve got and STI it’s always worth getting tested.

Do I need to pay to be tested for STI’s?

No. All tests relating to your sexual health should be free under the NHS.

Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?

You are just as likely to get pregnant the first time you have sex as any other. In fact, some statistics say that 20% of people get pregnant within a month of starting sex.

At what age can I legally have sexual intercourse?

In the UK, the age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women, whether they are heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

What contraception methods can I use?

On the NHS there are over 15 contraception methods you can use, each one different in its own way. The best way to decide which one would suit your needs best would be to contact your local sexual health clinic or GP.

 

If you have a question about your sexual health or need some advice, I would recommend using the following websites:

https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Sexual-health-services/LocationSearch/1847

https://www.fpa.org.uk/

Alternatively, you can contact your GP who’ll be able to advise you, or point you in the right direction. And remember, you’re not the only one, you do not need to be embarrassed to talk about your sexual health – it’s more important to stay safe and healthy.