We Need to Talk About Sexual Health For a Moment…

Sexual health isn’t something I talk about often here on Cosmic Kick. The main reason for my silence on the topic is that I’m in a long-term relationship and have been for 8 years. Both Wayne and I are hardcore monogamists (that sounds soo hot!) so we don’t worry about each other cheating and risking STD’s or STI’s.

But oddly enough, sexual health risks don’t always involve sex. Some infections can be picked up by simply sharing clothing, towels or even via skin contact. Other STD’s like Chlamydia can lay dormant in the body for years and even decades before they show any symptoms.

STD’s and STI’s such as Genital Warts have been blamed on everything from women’s liberation to Tinder to God’s wrath. Whatever the reason, STD’s are on the rise in Britain so knowing how to protect yourself is more important than ever.

Last year a report from Public Health England showed that cases of Gonnoreah and Syphilis are increasing at a rapid rate with Syphilis increasing by a shocking 76% between 2012 and 2015 in the UK. What’s even more worrying is that a new super strain of gonorrhea has started popping up. Gonorrhea is normally treated with antibiotics, but antibiotic resistance is also on the rise, it’s possible that this new strain could become untreatable, so prevention is a must!

Gonnoreah and Syphilis are not the only STD’s making a comeback. Scientific America reported that cases of Chlamydia in the US hit an all-time high in 2015, and back here in the UK, HPV is becoming more common in older women.

The best way to avoid picking up sexually transmitted nasties is to stop having sex altogether; but where’s the fun in that? So beyond abstinence, what else can you do to avoid STD’s?

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Getting checked for STD’s and STI’s

A check-up should be your first port of call. There are loads of options for sexual health testing these days. It’s likely that your local health center will offer several services in addition to talking to your own GP.

Not all tests will require a genital examination, but even if yours does, be sure to keep in mind that these guys are looking at willies, butts and vajays all day long. Your’s will be business as usual to them. However, if you really can’t bring yourself to present your bits to a real life human, you’ll be happy to hear there are other options.

In some areas of the UK it’s possible to order a free home STD checking kit. There are several websites that offer this service. Just Google “Free STD kit” to find them.

Many services online offer this same service for a fee. Lloyd’s pharmacy offers a whole range of options from HIV testing to Chlamydia testing and even a GP Photo Service for diagnosing things like Genital Warts and Herpes. Just snap two shots of your junk, upload them and wait for a diagnosis.

 

Ways to prevent STD’s and STI’s

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Sex education 101: If you’re having sex with strangers, you should be using condoms (including using condoms on any shared sex toys). But you’re smart; you know this already. This stands for lesbians and bisexual women too.

This stands for lesbians and bisexual women too. Researching lesbian and bisexual health for this blog post brought to my attention a versatile – and super clinical looking – type of contraception I’d never heard of before: Dental dams. they’re basically a flat sheet of latex that was designed for dental surgery but are also used to place over the vagina during oral sex.  Weird and admittedly not at all sexy, but neither are condoms.

Thankfully, these days many women are inoculated against genital warts as a byproduct of taking the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, which is offered to girls in schools across the UK. Gardasil can be taken at any age though and also protects against 70% of cervical cancers.

 

I hope this post got you thinking a bit about your own sexual health practices. We’re all different and it’s definitely not a case of ‘one size fits all’, but with the amount of options and advice available to us, we all have the chance to protect ourselves from STD’s and STI’s.

Have you ever had a sexual health scare? How did you cope? Please share down below and let’s keep the conversation going 🙂

 

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