Young women

Looking after your sexual health is important, it impacts upon your physical and mental health and on your relationships with other people. It also can affect fertility. Sexual health is much more that just thinking about STIs however this is important also. It is being aware of who you are, your self-esteem, sexuality, healthy relationships, knowing your body, hormones, sexual contact and the interplay between these.

Breast examination
Growing up through adolescence our bodies go through a lot of changes, it is important you get to know your body and what is normal and if you have any concerns that you go to your GP or to the GUM/Sexual Health Clinic for advice and support. The NHS Choices website gives information on how to check your breasts

New relationships
If you are thinking about engaging in a sexual relationship you can get advice, support and access to condoms through The Clinic.  Before engaging in any sexual aspect of a relationship it is important that you understand consent, permission and boundaries and know that each person must consent to the activity and have the right to withdraw consent at any stage. It is therefore important to discuss these things first.

STIs and HIV are on the increase and the only way to protect yourself and reduce your risk of transmission from these is to use condoms properly. The other person should respect the use of condoms otherwise they maybe are not the right person for you. It is important that if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs that you take extra care in making sure the condom is used appropriately.

Using condoms properly will prevent the exchange of any bodily fluids.  This is important as Sexually Transmitted Infections are mainly spread through the exchange of any bodily fluids however some are spread through close skin-to-skin contact.  Always ensure condoms are in date, the packaging is intact and that they are of a recommended standard; they should display the CE mark on the packaging.  Be careful when opening the condom not to damage it and it should then be placed over an erect penis and should roll down easily.  Condoms only roll on one way so if it does not go on easily it probably is on the wrong way.  This means it will need discarded as it will have come into contact with bodily fluids.  Always have spare condoms available.  Ensure following sexual activity that the condom is checked for any leaks or tears and if there is any problem that you and your partner present for STI testing and pregnancy testing if this is a risk.

Page last updated:23 December 2014