21st July 2016 | Author:

Sexual Health

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Music, candles, flowers, chocolates and a few glasses of wine are all the classic signs of the start of a new relationship. Although in real life these props are not always in the scene, especially when you’re on holiday and your mind is already  thinking about having sex with the person sitting next to you. Before long you’ll be caught up in the moment, a moment that hopefully, involves a condom.

But what if passion and the heat of the moment got the better of you and a condom didn’t even enter into the equation?

Well, unless you’re in a monogamous relationship and you’ve both been tested for sexually transmitted infections STI’s, you could have been exposed to an STI and so need to get yourself tested.

Getting an STI while you’re on holiday is definitely not the best way to enjoy your trip. There are a number of ways you can prevent yourself from getting an STI, the most obvious one being: Don’t have sex. But of course, that isn’t really feasable. Limit your alcohol intake and don’t use rectrational drugs, people always take more risks when they have been drinking or using drugs. You want to be as safe as possible, so use a condom.

The Health Protection Agency reports that the amount of STI’s diagnosed in 2011 has increased, whereas in previous years there had been a gradual decline in infections. Despite what the media might lead us to believe it’s not just young people who are at risk of STI’s. There’s a mistaken belief amongst middle age and older people that they’re immune to STIs, they’re not. In fact, with the availability of erectile dysfunction treatments, and new relationships being formed by widowers and divorcees, sex is very much part of life at all ages, as is the risk of infections such as Chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

One of the challenges is that some STI’s, for example, Chlamydia, don’t always cause symptoms. So unless someone is tested, and treated if needed, they could be putting their partner or partners at risk. This is why it’s so important to get tested if you may have been put at risk of an STI. Nowadays, testing is simple and often just involves a urine test or a self-swab, and sometimes a blood test. For the majority of STI’s treatment is straightforward with a course of medication, for example treating Chlamydia can often mean just taking a single dose of antibiotics.

There’s really no need to feel embarrassed. Whether you may have been put at risk of an STI, or you just want to get checked because you’re planning a new relationship, getting tested is simple. Moreover, it can help avoid physical, emotional, and relationship problems down the line.

So, when thinking about sex, think also about condoms and about getting tested for STI’s.