If you’re thinking about having sex with a new partner, there is one conversation that you absolutely must have beforehand. Put any idea of embarrassment aside and have the condom chat! It’s essential to your health to avoid unwanted pregnancy and STIs – and it should be important to your partner for the same reasons!
Despite the rising cases of STIs, too many people simply aren’t having this necessary health-guarding conversation and risking chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, herpes and other conditions. How can you approach the situation?
Get stocked up
First, know the facts. Condoms can be expensive, but there are places that you can get free condoms in Greenwich, such as your local family planning centre, GP or sexual health services. Always carry one with you in an accessible place.
Know the risks
Research suggests that only 20 per cent of adults are currently using condoms on a regular basis, and STI cases are on the rise. This isn’t just younger people; there has been a 43 per cent rise in cases of chlamydia and syphilis amongst the over-55 age group.
Have the conversation about using condoms before the heat of the moment! It can be all too difficult to get swept away otherwise, and before you know it, the moment to be safe will have passed. Remember that the contraceptive pill does not protect you against STIs and that having a GUM test afterward is not a sensible means of avoiding STIs, especially those that cannot be easily treated or that may take several months to show up on a test, such as HIV. Find out more at: https://www.pitstopplus.org/.
And if your partner says no…
No matter how much you like your new partner, if he or she will not agree to use a condom, you are putting your health at risk. Why would they not respect you enough to protect you in this way? Put yourself and your own well-being first in this instance. There is every chance that they will change their mind anyway when they see that you are responsible and not prepared to bow to pressure. Remember that not all individuals are well-informed about STIs, so this is your time to take the initiative and avoid becoming an STI statistic.