WHEN it comes to talking about our health there are still some areas most of us will shy away from.
Carmel Thomason puts some of your more embarrassing questions to our panel of experts to find out how best to protect your sexual health.
The best way "Sexual health clinic manchester drop in pools" find out if you have any sexually transmitted infection STI is to go for a check up at your local sexual health clinic. They offer a free and confidential testing service.
Once you register at the clinic, a nurse or a doctor will ask you a few questions. Depending upon your needs they would do tests on you. Most common infections like Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are diagnosed by a simple urine test. Sometimes swabs may need to be taken from the genitals which are slightly uncomfortable.
A blood test is offered for syphilis and HIV. Test results are generally available in 1 to 2 weeks. Having a HIV test does not affect your insurance policy or mortgage provided it is negative.
Many sexually transmitted infections STIs do not cause symptoms. So, it is advisable to get tested even if Sexual health clinic manchester drop in pools don't have symptoms especially when you are starting a new relationship. In future, the best way to reduce the risk of infection is to always use a condom even during oral sex. Other non-barrier methods of contraception, like the oral contraceptive pill, do not give you any protection against these infections.
Do you have to have sex to get an STI? It is a myth that you can catch STIs from toilet seats and swimming pools, however, there are ways other that sex in which STIs can be contracted. Obviously sex is the most common way that these infections are passed from one person to another.
However, many STIs are transmitted by genital contact alone without full penetration and you can still catch an STI even if the man does not ejaculate. Some infections, like pubic lice, can be transmitted by skin to skin contact alone or by sharing towels.
Others infections like Chlamydia and HIV can be transmitted from mother to child during delivery. Is it true that STIs can cause infertility or cancer? Some infections like gonorrhoea and Chlamydia can cause complications which may lead to infertility.
However, participating in the National Cervical Screening Programme helps to detect precancerous changes due to these viruses at an early stage. HIV infection can lead to decrease in the immune system which puts these people at increased risk of developing cancers.
I was recently diagnosed to have HIV infection. How long will I live? Many experts consider HIV infection as a long term condition which can be kept under control for years if not decades. There have been great advances in the treatment of HIV infection over the last decade. The medicines for treating HIV have become easier to tolerate and have better success rates in controlling the infection.
As a result life expectancy has increased dramatically and mortality rates have plummeted. You will be looked after by a specialist in HIV infection who will recommend treatment if necessary. How long can I safely take the pill for and what other types of contraception are available? Last year there was a report published saying that the benefits of the pill definitely out way the risks.
The combined pill reduces your risk of ovarian, endometrial lining of the womb and colonic cancer and the effect continues "Sexual health clinic manchester drop in pools" 5 years after you stop taking it.
After 8 years of being on the pill you may have a slight increase in the risk of cervical cancer but as long as you attend for regular smears any problems sorted early. Good news is that it doesn't affect your risk of breast cancer. The only reason you may have to stop it is if you are 35 and smoking There are also lots of different types for you to try. If you chat with your nurse or doctor they will check out your medical and family history and suggest what might suit you best.
You could also choose the contraceptive injection or the intrauterine device IUD. All of these are really safe for you to use and can last from three months for the contraceptive injection to 10 years for the intrauterine device. If you prefer the pill there are now two different types. The combined pill which contains two hormones estrogen and progestogen tablets or patches Sexual health clinic manchester drop in pools, or the progestogen only pill which contains only one hormone.
There are condoms for men and women — these also help to protect you from infections like Chlamydia. For guys — scientists are working on the Male Pill but it's still not available in the UK yet For more details of all types and more see www.
You can get free emergency contraception if you have had unprotected sex or you are worried that your contraception may have failed. There are two types of emergency contraception - emergency contraceptive pill, which should be taken within 72 hours but works best if taken as soon as possible.
You can get it from your GP or sexual health clinic, plus some pharmacies and walk in centres, out of hours. Call NHS direct for info about your nearest service.
The second is the copper IUD which can fitted by a specially trained doctor or nurse within five days of unprotected sex. Remember to ask if you can be checked out for Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections STIs at the same time. What do I do if I miss a pill? If you are on the combined pill you can miss one or possible two depending which pill you are on and you will still be safe, as long as you have already taken 7 pills properly and take the next 7 on time.
If more pills are missed and you have sex you need to get the morning after pill emergency contraception. If you are on the progesterone-only pill and you are late taking it you need to restart as soon as possible.
You should also use condoms for the next two days — if you "Sexual health clinic manchester drop in pools" again you will need emergency contraception.