How to avoid STIs this summer
Heading for sun, sand and sea? Going on holiday often means meeting new people and feeling free from social restraints, which can lead to increased sexual activity. So how do you have a fun-filled holiday whilst protecting your sexual health? Be prepared!
To reduce your risk of catching STIs this summer, remember Spectrum’s top-tips:
- Visit a clinic for an STI test before going on holiday
- Pack plenty of condoms! – Be cautious of counterfeit brands abroad
- Carry a condom in your pocket/bag
- ALWAYS use a condom
- Visit a clinic for an STI test when you return
Start at the beginning – don’t take an STI on holiday with you! Before jetting off, visit your local clinic and get tested so if necessary you can be treated for any infections. Please remember it can take up to 14 days to receive your results so plan ahead to reduce the risk. It’s equally important to be tested on return to the UK after any sexual activity.
We encourage holiday goers to take condoms from the UK to avoid the risk of purchasing fake, poor quality and potentially unsafe brands abroad. Packing them in your suitcase is only step one, so don’t leave them there! Be prepared and carry a few condoms at all times to avoid any awkward situations.
Chlamydia is the most common STI amongst both men and women, particularly amongst sexually active teenagers and young adults. Always using a condom is the best way to protect from STIs and if you are worried about unusual symptoms our STI page has information which can help.
Condoms are also used to prevent pregnancy; however some girls choose to use hormonal contraception instead – such as the pill – which requires to be taken daily. Vomiting and diarrhoea can stop this method of contraception from working and so users and their partners must be aware of the risk. Hormonal contraception does not protect against STIs. You can visit our sexual health pages for contraception advice and pregnancy support.
If you are single – and on holiday to mingle – please remember unprotected sexual activity abroad increases your risk of STIs, pregnancy, awkward situations and emotional stresses. If you are in a relationship, be mindful of existing partners back home and the consequences of cheating. We can offer relationship advice to those who need it.
So for a holiday filled with sun, sand and (no) STIs, remember Spectrum’s top-tips and visit our clinic page to find services near you.