January is the time that we think about the New Year and all the new possibilities stretching out in front of us. We look out the stocking filler calendar we got for Christmas and begin to think about how much we should put aside for gym memberships and summer holidays.
We all usually start the year in a responsible mood ready to take control of exercise regimes and savings accounts. We do this because planning ahead makes us feel empowered and in control. It’s exactly the same when it comes to our sexual health.
But how many of us can say that we really do think ahead when it comes to our sexual health? Like money a little forward thinking when it comes to sexual health can mean things being easier to handle when the unexpected happens.
Knowing how often is recommended for you to have a check up and deciding to plan sexual health testing around that means you can focus on the more exciting things in your life, like planning that summer holiday, rather than worrying about something you’ve already got covered.
So how often is often enough I hear you ask?
Like most things that are good for you, the more regularly you do it the better. If you're sexually active, especially if you're having sex with multiple partners, you should have regular check ups for STIs every 6 months or more often if you’ve been having sex without a condom.
Even if you have no symptoms you could still have an STI and the only way to know is to go for a check up. If you're in any type of new relationship, it's a good time for you and your partner to get a check-up as you or your partner may have picked up an STI from a previous partner. Regular testing is also recommended if you're having sex outside the relationship. It’s also recommended that all sexually active men who have sex with men test at least once a year.
Another benefit of testing regularly is the peace of mind that if you are diagnosed with an STI you’ll find out earlier than if you didn’t regularly test. The earlier an STI is diagnosed, generally, the better the outcome and you’ll be given any treatment and care you need straight away.
How easy is it to make an appointment ahead of time?
When you’re at a Steve Retson Project or other Sandyford clinic, you can make a return appointment as far in the future as you need. So, if you want to make sure you have that appointment sorted, you can book it at reception and pop it into your diary and save yourself the hassle of trying to remember when your last STI test was. You can also phone up and make an appointment at any time (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm,Tuesday and Wednesday until 8pm). So if you’re thinking about making an appointment today for a few months in the future you can do.
Knowing how often it is recommended to test, combined with regular testing, is an important part of good sexual health. It’s also something you can take control of by booking in your first routine appointment of 2017!
You can make an appointment for the Steve Retson Project by calling 0141 211 8130. For more information about the different services available have look at our SRP Services section.
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