Important steps to take if you’ve had unprotected sex over the festive period

With Christmas now over, most of us will turn our attention (and drinking) to the other part of the festive season, New Year’s Eve.

It’s a time to celebrate with friends and family which means there’s a lot of alcohol and fun in the equation.

But the festive atmosphere and free-flowing drinks could lead to a lot of unprotected sex which experts warned could see the world heading for an STI epidemic.

Now NHS professionals are urging people to stay sexually safe this season and want Brits to know how to practice safe sex.

Professor Matt Phillips, Sexual Health, Clinical Director at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said sexual health might be put to the back of our minds around this time of the year.

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He said: "There’s usually a lot of socialising and a party or two this time of year which is why we want to remind people to be sexually safe and prepared.

“It’s important that if you use a daily contraceptive to make sure you have enough to last you during the Christmas period and always be prepared for unplanned sex.

“If your contraception fails, or if you have unprotected sex over Christmas make sure that you know where to get help.

“Timing is essential as well, for example, emergency contraception and treatment for you if you think you have been exposed to HIV both need to be taken within 72 hours, so don’t put off getting help.

“Also remember you can get condoms for free at any of our clinics – just walk in and make sure you are stocked up.”

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Matt also said if you need any support when clinics are closed, it’s best to go to your nearest pharmacy or call NHS 111.

Opening times for sexual clinics during the Christmas period can also differ, so you should check online before heading out.

According to Dr Clair Grainger, at UK based online doctor Zava UK, there was a massive rise in treatments to cure a nasty infection down there.

She previously told Daily Star Online: “In fact, last year orders for STI treatments peaked on 3rd January. If you’ve had unprotected sex and think you may have caught something it’s important to get tested as soon as possible.”

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