It’s that time of year again, and as well as keeping wrapped up from the cold it’s clearly important to keep “it” wrapped up when things heat up too!

Year after year studies show a massive increase in STI’s starting from the 1st of December. With the festive period approaching, high alcohol consumption and plenty of parties to attend, it is incredibly important to practice safe sex.

It is also very important to remember those gifts that keep on giving such as silent infections like HPV and Chlamydia which can cause infertility and increase the chances of cancer.

We highly recommend you get checked out before the festive fun begins and when the New Year starts, practising safe sex can be easy when thought about in the cold light of day but after a few drinks at the Christmas party, rationality seems to leave you to it.

If you experience an unexpected discharge, bleeding during or after sex, pain, itching, burning, sores, spots or lumps you must get checked out immediately. Getting checked out in the New Year will catch any infections that have no symptoms as well.

Some infections or treatments can cause you to have a late period or even skip one, so it is also very important you do a pregnancy test to rule out any problems further down the line.

Don’t let a sexually transmitted infection be one of those unwanted gifts you can’t return.

Over the Christmas period we will also see a rise in sexual crime, hospital visits and suicides, all thought to be linked with a rise in alcohol consumption.

Keeping tabs on how much you have had to drink, carrying protection, staying with friends and arranging how you will get home will all aid towards a safe and enjoyable evening.

More importantly look after one another, that’s the only true spirit of Christmas and it won’t land you in trouble!