The parties have started, the office is buzzing and Santa is on his way!
“Are you getting anything nice for Christmas?” – Jewellery? – New sneakers? – Chlamydia?
Seems a silly question right? However 1 in 10 people are set to get an STI this festive season! And low and behold most of them will come from your office Christmas bash!
Are you prepared for the office party like you should be?
While it’s nice to let your hair down over Christmas, it is important to think about any risky behaviour which may occur while knocking back the champagne, covering all eventualities by being well prepared before your big night out.
Year after year studies show a massive increase in STIs starting from the 1st of December. With the festive period now upon us, high alcohol consumption and plenty of parties to attend, it is incredibly important to practice safe sex.
Here are some handy Christmas tips which will save that hangover lasting longer than you expected.
Preparation is key
Even if you don’t fancy any of your co-workers, once the champagne fog descends, anything goes.
You may have zero intention of having sex, but carry protection. If you don’t use it, you may save a friend from a risky roll about in the staff room. Condoms are the ONLY form of protection you can use, to protect you from STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
Don’t assume a girl is on the pill, and girls don’t expect those boys to be thinking about protection when they are four sheets to the wind.
Pace yourself! It’s not a drinking competition. The likelihood is this night will last longer than your ability to stand upright. Drink slowly and occasionally get yourself a drink of water.
Look after your friends, if they are drinking too much then help them pace themselves. Also both men and women can swoon over someone who may be a little “free and easy” after a few drinks” keep an eye on your mates!
Be aware of unfamiliar drinks, if you don’t know the contents you really don’t know how you will react to it! Remember quality over quantity.
Drunken sex is not consensual sex – FACT: If a person is unconscious or incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, they are unable to give their consent to sex. This can be seen as sexual violence, and reported.
Be sure you are BOTH happy and right in mind,
to continue the fun
Eat! Make sure you have eaten something or plan to eat something substantial while you are out. It will help you absorb the alcohol and keep a steady mind.
Plan your journey home, who is going home with you? What time do you hope to arrive home for? If you and your friends agree what time you should be calling a taxi, the likelihood is you will be home at a reasonable time (rather than going to that last dank bar, for that last “quick” drink).
It may all sound a little “damp” but just consider the implications of your night out.
Crime rates over the christmas period are at an all time high. This includes rape, sexual assaults, violence, drink driving and domestic abuse. It is important to protect yours this Christmas, be safe and have fun!
When the party’s over
If you have already had your Christmas ding dong and been left with more than just a hangover to nurse, then contact your GP.
Gonorrhoea is being seen more and more in the London area, in fact London was revealed to hold the highest rates of all STIs in the UK.
Around half of women and one in ten men with genital gonorrhoea don’t have any signs or symptoms, making it tricky to self diagnose.
Having no symptoms does not mean you have not contracted something which can affect you in your later life and remember, some infections or treatments can cause you to have a late period or even skip one. It is also very important you do a pregnancy test to rule out any problems further down the line.
It is said for ALL STIs –
“if you’ve had unsafe sex, get checked”
That’s the bottom line.
Most testing is done 2 weeks after the event, so if your ready to get checked book in to your local clinic today and get reassurance.