Health professionals from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s sexual health service are calling on people to make sexual health a priority in the New Year.
Looking after your sexual health may be part of your weekly routine or you may be a bit more ad-hoc about it, but what better time to re-commit to looking after your sexual health than the New Year.
Anji Stokes from Lancashire Care’s Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CaSH) said:
“If you’re in a relationship, single and looking for love, or single and not looking for love, sex plays an important part in all of our lives at some stage. But sexual health isn’t just about managing pregnancy and preventing STIs. According to the World Health Organisation, sexual health and well-being encompasses physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. So, if you have made New Year resolutions to improve your health in general remember that good sexual health can help.
“The New Year is a great time to commit to looking after ourselves better and this includes our sexual health. Our specialist service is friendly, non-judgemental and highly professional. We don’t want to see an increase in the prevalence of STIs or unwanted pregnancies, and we encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own sexual health, but we are always here if you need us. All of our services are free and easy to access, you can call us for an appointment or if you are just looking for some advice.”
Lancashire Care’s under 25 sexual health team offers these tips for a sexually healthy New Year:
- If something doesn’t look right down there or it hurts visit a clinic. Don’t feel embarrassed, our concern is your health and wellbeing, not what you’ve done or who you’ve done it with.
- If you don’t want to have a baby just yet, find out about contraception. We can provide advice, information and a full range of contraceptive methods.
- Discuss contraception and sexual history with new partners. It may feel awkward but probably not as awkward as being told you have a new STI.
- Get tested for STIs regularly, even if you have no symptoms. We advise testing before starting a new relationship, for peace of mind or if you think you have put yourself at risk.
- Be happy. Relationships do not have to be sexual and you should never feel pressured to have sex. It’s your body and you decide what and when to do or not to do with it.
- Finally. Condoms are the only form of contraception that can help stop transmission of STIs. If you have just started a new relationship or prefer casual encounters protect yourself and your partner, use condoms.
To contact your local CaSH team, book an appointment or find out about ‘drop-ins,’ call 01772 401140. There are clinics in various locations and different session times across Lancashire. To find out more about services in your area, visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/cash-lancashire.