Do You Have A Sexual Health Problem And Need Help?

There are all kinds of things that can go wrong with sexual health on a daily basis, and many of them have simple solutions. The problem is, seeking help can often be challenging because there is often a lot of embarrassment associated with this area of wellbeing. Fortunately, this article can help answer some of the most commonly asked questions and hopefully help restore your peace of mind and wellness in no time.

The most common sexual health worry is that you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). This is possible if you have had unprotected sex (i.e. sex without a condom). In this case, the only way forward is to get tested, whether you have symptoms or not. Some serious STIs can be symptom-free. While waiting for your tests (and at all times unless you know that you and your partner are healthy) you should use protection. Speaking to your GP is often a good first step, or you can attend a specialist genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, which will test people of all ages for STIs and give treatment.

Pregnancy scares are also common in the case of unprotected sex. Fortunately, a simple, at-home test can diagnose pregnancy from as early as the day of your missed period. These tests can be obtained from some chemists and supermarkets or from a GUM clinic or GP.

If you have had unprotected sex at any time in your cycle you may be pregnant, and the withdrawal method is not always effective. In the case of an unexpected pregnancy, there are family planning services that your doctor can refer you to, to receive the appropriate counselling to help you cope with this news.

The morning-after pill is also available for those who have had unprotected sex in the last 72 hours (although it is more effective the sooner it is used). This form of emergency contraceptive can help prevent a pregnancy, or alternatively a coil (IUD) can be fitted as a form of emergency contraception.

Another form of contraception is the contraceptive pill. This normally needs to be taken at the same time every day. If you miss a pill, contact your GP and use extra contraception (such as a condom) until you are back on track with your oral contraceptive. The pill may also not work if you have vomiting or diarrhea and extra contraception should be put in place.

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