Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. Barrier methods such as condoms are a form of contraception that help protect against both sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you'll be able to find one that suits you best.
2. Emergency Contraception
Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or if your contraceptive method has failed – for example, a condom has split or you've missed a pill. There are two types the emergency contraceptive pill (sometimes called the morning after pill) and the IUD (intrauterine device, or coil). Both types of emergency contraception are effective at preventing pregnancy if they are used soon after unprotected sex.
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It's passed on from one person to another through unprotected sex (sex without a condom) and is particularly common in sexually active teenagers and young adults. Almost 7 in every 10 people diagnosed with the condition were under 25 years old.
Testing for chlamydia is done with a urine test or a swab test. Anyone can get a free and confidential chlamydia test at a sexual health clinic, a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic or a GP surgery. People under 25 years old can also get tested by the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. This is often in places such as pharmacies, contraception clinics or colleges.
Chlamydia can usually be treated easily with antibiotics. You may be given some tablets to take all on one day, or a longer course of capsules to take for a week.
4. Gay Health
If you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual, by being aware of your health risks and having relevant health checks, you can stay healthy and reduce your risk of illness.
Gay men, lesbians and bisexual people have the same health needs as straight people. However, research shows that people with same-sex partners may have a higher risk of contracting certain conditions. Gay men, lesbian women and bisexual people may also be less likely to take advantage of screening and other health checks so health problems are not picked up as early as they could be.
5. HIV and Aids
The number of people with HIV in the UK is rising and according to Public Health England, around a quarter don't know they have the virus. HIV is spread through bodily fluids, such as semen or blood. It's most commonly passed on during unprotected sex, including oral and anal sex.
HIV attacks the immune system, the body's defence against infection and disease. This means someone with HIV has a higher risk of getting a serious infection or disease.
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