People are being reminded to stay sexually safe this Christmas to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or getting unintentionally pregnant.
Lancashire Care Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) under 25s service is advising people to practice safe sex during the festive season and can provide advice if things go wrong or people need support.
With lots of people socialising and attending parties at this time of the year, it is important to be prepared just in case unplanned sex resulting in an STI or unwanted pregnancy occurs. This is all the more important when alcohol is flowing and inhibitions are lowered.
To be prepared during the festive season, follow CaSH’s top tips:
· Don’t drink too much, stay in control. Look out for yourself and your friends
· Stock up on contraception to prevent 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
Tania Cockroft from the Contraception and Sexual Health Service (CaSH) at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:
‘‘When you’re at a party or out at night, sex may not be the first thing that comes to mind! It can, therefore, 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 clinics, run by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health (CaSH) service in partnership with Brook, the young people’s charity, are open to people aged up to 25. Health experts are at hand to provide comprehensive contraceptive services and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV in a single appointment.
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.