Both women and men need to take control of their sexual health if they want to safeguard their fertility and long-term health. There's more information than ever before out there, and people are increasingly aware of sexual health issues such as the importance of condoms as protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But, if there's one message that's important to take on board, it's that problems don't always happen to other people. They can happen to you! I'd urge readers to take advantage of the services out there to help them. So are you confident you are doing all you can to protect your sexual health.
Understand the importance of condoms
Condoms are the best protection against STIs. We're facing an epidemic of STIs at the moment. "Old" STIs such as gonorrhoea and syphilis are on the rise again, as is chlamydia. Chlamydia infection is particularly insidious because, in 70 to 80 per cent of cases, there are no symptoms.
If you're concerned that you might have been exposed to chlamydia, Boots offers a Chlamydia Test Kit for £25 that allows you to take the test in the privacy of your own home. Boots also offers a free chlamydia testing service for 16 to 24 year olds in its London pharmacies. Your GP or local FPA clinic can also help.
Everyone who is sexually active, no matter what their age, should be using condoms unless they're absolutely sure that they and their partners are free from infection.