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If sex is on the cards thisValentine’s Day, make it safe

Posted on the 8th February 2017

Lancashire residents are being reminded of the importance of practicing safe sex to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What some consider being the most romantic day of the year is almost here and it can be a time when people celebrate their relationship. However, if you are in a relationship or happy single, it can also mean a rise in unplanned and unprotected sex if you’re not careful.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) Service is encouraging people to be prepared and get in touch for friendly and confidential advice on contraception or for information about STIs.

The team hold daytime and evening clinics for people of all ages, as well as services tailored specifically towards young people under 25.

Anji Stokes from the CaSH service at Lancashire Care said: “There are lots of ways to show your partner that you love them, like giving each other a cuddle, holding hands, watching a movie together, being supportive and appreciating them for who they are. However, if sex is on the cards for you this Valentine’s Day, make sure the only thing you are sharing with your partner are romantic moments not an STI or unplanned pregnancy. If you are sexually active or thinking about having sex, our friendly team can provide contraception, testing and treatment for STIs and advice and information to help people stay sexually healthy. Condoms can be picked up for free from all of our clinics and also via the ‘Wrapped’ condom scheme.”

CaSH provides an all age sexual health service in Blackburn with Darwen and a under 25s’ service in the areas covered by Lancashire County Council in conjunction with Brook, the young people's sexual health and wellbeing charity. The service is also supported by a Community Education (CeSH) Team which provides sexual health promotion services in schools, colleges and universities and communities. The service, which began operating under a new specification, only last April, was rated ‘Good’ following a full CQC inspection in September 2016.

Last year, the Trust’s CaSH service was awarded the Lancashire LGBT Quality Mark, a quality assurance programme for service providers that assists in measuring how well the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender service users, volunteers and staff are met.

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.