Christmas sexual health advice from Your Sexual Health
Your Sexual Health’s Dr Rashid Bani was featured in The Metro last week talking about how to deal with catching an STI at a work Christmas Party. The festive season is a time of year that often see’s people let their hair down and celebrate with friends and colleagues. And all to often where drinking to excess is involved, sex is never too far around the corner. Here’s some advice to ensure that your one night stand doesn’t spoil your Christmas.
If you’re having sex with anyone for the first time it’s always wise to use a condom. At Christmas you never know what “one drink” could lead to so make sure you take a condom on your night out or at least pick one up before you go home. Condoms reduce the risk of contracting STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea by as much as 98%, so you might want to think twice before having a one night stand without one. If you don’t use protection you’re a risk of catching any sexually transmitted infection – all of which have the ability to ruin Christmas.
Look out for the symptoms
If you’ve had sex on the Christmas Party and you didn’t wear a condom, you’re at risk. Symptoms may be the first sign of infection, but of course, the symptoms of STIs vary and every person is different. In fact, many STIs often show no symptoms at all. Some general signs that you should get tested include: –
- Discharge from the penis, vagina or anus
- Sores, blisters or warts on or around the genitals
- Painful urination and problems when going for a wee
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Women may often experience bleeding between periods
It should be noted that if you are already symptomatic, then you can tested and be confident that the results will be accurate.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, get tested
So you’ve had a festive one night stand, but you’ve not experienced any symptoms yet. An STI test should still be at the top of your Christmas list, but not until the window period for testing has passed. It can be in our nature to worry, especially over the festive period, and want to get tested straight away. Unfortunately that’s not always possible. Every test has an accuracy date ranging anywhere from 10 to 45 days following exposure and if you get tested before that period has passed then your test won’t be accurate.
Testing is still necessary though if you’ve had unprotected sex. Many sexually transmitted infections don’t show any symptoms, but you can still transmit them to future sexual partners. In addition, the longer that you leave an STI untreated, it is more likely to cause long term lasting damage to your body. So get tested!
If you catch an STI tell your acquaintance
If you’ve had a Christmas one night stand that you’ve lived to regret you’re not alone, throw an STD into the mix and things get even more complicated. Unfortunately, the responsible thing to do if you discover you’ve caught an STI is to let your previous sexual partners know so that they can get tested. This can be especially difficult if you’ve slept with a colleague at work, but it’s often best to tell them first before they find out for themselves.
STI Testing from Your Sexual Health
If you’ve had a one night stand this festive period you’ll want to get tested. Your Sexual Health offer a wide range of private STI tests, offering maximum convenience. You can choose from our nationwide clinics and book a discreet appointment to deposit your sample. We even offer a range of instant tests which will offer accurate results in under 30 minutes, meaning you can get the answers you need without it spoiling your Christmas.