If you are looking for more than just a kiss underneath the mistletoe this festive season, you should make sure that you are safe. After all, STI diagnoses in the UK are on the rise, so it is important to ensure that you are protected.
Here are a few tips to help you stay sexually safe this Christmas.
Stay drink safe
For many people alcohol is a big part of the holiday season – but if you plan on drinking, it is important to make sure you stay drink safe. This is because a few drinks can lower your inhibitions, so you are more likely to make risky decisions. For instance, lots of people are less likely to use a condom when they are drunk… so if you do decide to drink, try to make sure that you know your limits!
Know how to get tested
During the holiday period some clinics are open for shorter hours, but it is still possible to make an appointment at a GUM clinic or with your doctor. It is also possible to order at-home testing kits for delivery to your house so you can test yourself. And it is very important to make sure that you get tested if you have unprotected sex, as some STIs don’t have symptoms – so you could have the STI for months without realising – https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/how-soon-do-sti-symptoms-appear/.
If you want to order chlamydia testing kits Bexley and other areas offer delivery to your door, simply visit bexleysexualhealth.org/home_sti_kits to order a kit.
Carry condoms with you
You should also carry condoms with you if you know that there is a chance you will have sex when you are out and about. After all, condoms are the only form of protection that protects you from both STIs and pregnancy, and they are cheap and widely available. You can buy condoms from most supermarkets and petrol stations, and it is also possible to pick them up for free from GUM clinics and your doctor’s surgery. So make sure you have enough contraceptives for the Christmas period.
If you are also using another form of contraception you should make sure that you have enough for the holiday period. This is because some clinics are closed over Christmas, so if you run out you may struggle to pick up more until January.