Lets Talk About Sexual Health
In recent years, sexually transmitted infections have increased in Ireland. Sexual health has been defined as a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It pertains to all those that have been or are currently sexually active. This July at Allcare, we have decided to raise awareness about sexual health issues, in an attempt to get Irish people talking. We wish to inform our patients on sexual health , the risks involved with engaging in unprotected sexual activity, and preventative methods to safeguard your sexual health and treatments.
Why highlight sexual health?
Some might ask, why should sexual health issues be highlighted? In a recent study by HIV Ireland it was found that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were on the rise. Over 13,000 people in Ireland have been recorded as having an STI. Chlamydia, a bacterial infection affecting both men and women, is currently the most common STI seen by the HSE today. Other common STIs include gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. These infections can have damaging effects on an individual if not treated correctly. Having identified an STI, preventative methods should be implemented to help stop the spread.
Another topic relating to sexual health is that of contraception. Contraception is vital for both men and women in Ireland. Contraceptives prevent unplanned pregnancies and inhibit the spread of STIs. Following a consultation with your Allcare Pharmacist or GP you can get a better understanding about the contraceptive that suits you best.
How do I safeguard my sexual health?
1. Prevent: Like most health issues, prevention is always better than treatment and for sexual health issues contraception is key. Sexually active individuals must take precautionary methods to prevent unplanned pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted disease. In order to prevent the vast majority of sexual health issues, we are advised to always think contraception. For more information on preventative methods please visit the thinkcontraception website here.
2. Inform: Informing yourself about sexual health issues is imperative while engaging in sexual activity. There is a wealth of knowledge online that can inform you about the risks involved with unprotected sex, methods of protection, and symptoms of STIs etc. If you need information regarding sexual health do not hesitate to speak with your Allcare Pharmacist or healthcare service provider. Check out the HSE Sexual Health Services website for more information.
3. Discuss & Identify: For the most part a stigma remains around the discussion of sexual health in Ireland. It’s time to destroy this stigma and get the nation talking. Be open, speak with your GP or pharmacist, and ask qiestions of your current and former sexual partners. Discussion can lead to important information that may help prevent, diagnose or treat a sexual health issue. Medical professionals can help you diagnose your sexual health issues quickly in confidence. It is important that sexually active individuals get screened for STIs at least once a year. Having identified the problem at hand, adequate treatment can be provided.
4. Treat: Once diagnosed, your sexual health issues can be treated easily through the help of your pharmacist or GP. Following a consultation with either medical professional, a treatment plan that best suits your personal needs can be developed. The most common treatments for STIs can be readily provided by your pharmacist.
How can your Allcare Pharmacist help with your sexual health issue?
Your Allcare Pharmacist is always on hand to advise you on sexual health related problems. Allcare Pharmacies provide an array of male and female contraceptives that best suit the needs of all patients. We have teamed up with LetsGetChecked to provide our customers with private, non-invasive STI checks that can be carried out at home. LetsGetChecked home test kits are available in selected Allcare Pharmacies. We understand that it may be difficult to schedule an STI test in today’s fast paced work environment, but with LetsGetChecked you can get tested on your own time. To find out more about LetsGetChecked or your sexual health, speak to your local Allcare Pharmacist. Find your local Allcare Pharmacy here.