‘Think About Sex Day’ on February 14th has been initiated by the Sexual Advice Association with the aim of encouraging everyone to think about physical and psychological issues surrounding sexual activity. One aspect of sexual health that needs careful consideration is the transmission of infection, especially as there are in excess of one million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) acquired throughout the world every day. (Source: World Health Organisation)
Health checks such as blood pressure, weight or cholesterol have become a regular part of the health routine for many, but sexual health testing is often overlooked. It is very important to maintain good sexual health and, as many Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) do not have symptoms, regular testing is the most reliable way to ensure that your sexual health status is good.
‘Think About Sex Day’ is one of a growing number of awareness days that aim to encourage discussion about sexual health and remove some of the embarrassment or stigma that may still exist. Importantly, some sexual infections can spread to other parts of the body, and some can develop serious symptoms, so having a designated day to ‘think about sex’ may be helpful in encouraging regular testing as well as bringing sexual health in line with more general health awareness.
Chlamydia, for example, is a very common STI with 206,774 diagnoses* made in 2014 in England alone. It affects both men and women and, despite having no symptoms in many, 1.6 million diagnoses* were made in 2014. Chlamydia infection can be easily treated and if undetected can lead to infertility in women and reduced fertility in men. It also has additional risks for pregnant women. Syphilis is also steeply rising in the number of diagnoses and the infection may not show symptoms for years, yet complications can be very serious.
Many people choose to have a confidential Better2Know screen as a regular part of their healthcare, just like having any other health check. ‘Think About Sex Day’ aims to raise awareness of the impacts of sexual conditions on men and women; hopefully it will also give more people the confidence to take better care of their sexual health by incorporating sexual health testing into their regular health routine.