Your Sexual Health


  • Sexual health is an important part of your overall health. Having knowledge and skills about your sexual health can help you make informed sexual choices and act responsibly to protect your health and the health of others.1
  • Taking a few precautions can help protect you against contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to your partner(s).
  • While using hormonal contraceptives can help to prevent unintended pregnancy, taking the pill does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections. It is important to use condoms in addition to taking the pill to ensure you protect yourself.2-5  If used correctly, condoms protect against most STIs.1

What are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

  • STIs are infections, caused by specific bacteria and viruses, that are passed on from an infected partner(s) during unprotected sex (including vaginal, anal & oral sex and genital contact with an infected partner).1

Will I Have Symptoms?

  • Most STIs have no obvious symptoms, so you may not be aware that you or your partner(s) are infected. All STIs can be managed with medication, and most can be cured.1

Do I need to get tested?

  • The only way to really know you have an STI is to get tested. 1 If you have a new partner, it is a good idea for both of you to have an STI test before having sex without a condom. You may not have any symptoms, or even know you have an STI.

How do I reduce my risk of contracting an STI?

  • Ensure your partner uses condoms correctly
  • Limit the number of partners you have – the more partners you have, the greater the chance of coming into contact with an infected person
  • Talk to your partners about STIs & practicing safe sex
  • Get regular sexual health check-ups including STI screening, smear tests & being breast aware

References:

  1. https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie/sexual-health/ (last accessed August 2019)
  2. Elvina SPC
  3. Elvinette SPC
  4. Azalia SPC
  5. Ovreena SPC
  6. Violite SPC
  7. National Medicines Information Centre (2012) Update on sexually transmitted infections. VOLUME 18 NUMBER 2
  8. https://www.sexualwellbeing.ie/sexual-health/sexually-transmitted-infections/what-if-i-think-i-have-an-sti-/ (last accessed August 2019)

Information placed on this digital platform is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your healthcare professional. Please consult your doctor or nurse for further information.

IE-OCS-318, Date of preparation: July 2019


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