Lancashire residents of all ages are being reminded to stay sexually safe this Christmas to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or unintended pregnancy.
Lancashire Care Foundation Trust"s Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) service is advising people to practice safe sex during the festive season and can provide advice if things go wrong or people need support. There is usually a party or two during this time of year with lots of us socialising with friends and family. When alcohol is flowing inhibitions can be lowered which is why it"s so important to be prepared for unplanned sex which could result in an STI or unwanted pregnancy.
To be prepared during the festive season, follow the team"s top tips!
- Stock up on contraception to prevent from running out when the clinics are closed
- Always have one or two condoms with you, so you"re prepared for unplanned sex
- Know where to get emergency contraception
- Know how to find a clinic in your local area
- Don"t panic if you have a mishap. Simply call the team on 01772 401140 for help and advice or check the website www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk
Sue Capstick, Clinical Business Manager for Sexual Health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
"When we go to parties or for a night out, having sex isn"t the first thing on our minds, so it can be hard to remember to use contraception and protect ourselves, especially in the heat of the moment. If you"re planning on having a few drinks, remember to think ahead and prepare yourself as we all know alcohol often causes us to do things we wouldn"t usually do.
"By carrying condoms or being aware of what to do if you haven"t used a condom, people can protect themselves from a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy. If you use a daily method of contraception such as the pill, remember to make sure you have enough for over the Christmas period."
The team at the Trust aim to identify and provide the best method of contraception that"s right for you. To contact the team call 01772 401140 for an appointment, help or advice. The team"s contraception clinics are open to anyone; of any age irrespective of sexual orientation and they also provide advice and counselling as well as contraception.
To find out what services are available in your local area please also visit www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk. Public Health England has also launched a free home HIV sampling kit, so that people can take a simple finger-prick test in the privacy of their own home. Visit www.freetesting.hiv
Contraceptive and GUM (Preston) clinics are closed Christmas Day and New Years Day.
On Christmas and New Year"s Eve, clinics will close mid-afternoon. Some clinics have amended appointment times or no walk in service during the holiday period.
If you require emergency contraception, please dial 111 to ask where you can attend over the bank holidays.