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Stay safe this Christmas

Posted in Sexual Health 24 Dec, 2013

The Christmas season is upon us once more, which for many of us means parties, food, and presents. Unfortunately data released by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) also showed a significant rise in both unplanned pregnancy and STIs during this time. A recent report by the DailyMail showed that:

  • half of women risk unwanted pregnancy at Christmas
  • 1 in 6 women have forgotten to take the Pill because they were drunk
  • 1 in 7 have forgotten because they were distracted by the festivities
  • 1 in 6 have missed taking the Pill for a few days because they struggled to see a doctor to get a repeat prescription during the Christmas period
  • 28% have failed to take it because they forgot to pack it when on holiday

Such figures show why being prepared or at least having access to contraception during the festive period is essential. OnlineClinic shares top tips for safer sex during the Christmas and New Year period.

For women that rely on daily contraception like the pill, making sure your contraception supply is not running low during the festive season is vital. It is therefore recommended you check your pill pack stock. Whether it is the pill, injection, or any other contraceptive method, making sure you are organised or that your chosen contraceptive will last over the festive period is highly advised. If you are not currently taking a regular form of contraception like the injection, pill, or implant, considering taking one during the Christmas holidays can help you to avoid any accidents. With over a wide variety of contraceptives available, finding the contraception right for you has never been easier.

Although most contraceptives like the pill, patch, ring and injection can protect against pregnancy, they cannot protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Barrier contraceptives for both men and women in the form of male and female condoms can protect against both STIs and pregnancy. Barrier contraceptives are also useful to have if you forget to take your regular contraceptive, or if it runs out. Illness such as diarrhoea or vomiting and failing to take your pill on time can make contraceptives like the pill and the mini pill ineffective, increasing your chances of an unplanned pregnancy.

According to a recent survey 515 women forget to take their contraceptive pill, need emergency contraception or have an unplanned pregnancy because of alcohol. Let’s face it accidents can happen. If you have had unprotected sex or your contraceptive has failed, then emergency contraception can help to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Being prepared is more important than ever. The morning after pill can be taken up to three or five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. However it should not be taken if you believe you are already pregnant. If taken 24 hours after unprotected sex, the morning after pill is over 90% effective in preventing pregnancy. Although though emergency contraception can prevent conception, it should not be taken as a regular contraceptive. If you somehow find yourself in a situation where your regular method of contraception has failed or is not available, knowing where to get emergency contraception could make all the difference.

Christmas and the New Years should be a time to enjoy yourself and have fun. It’s important that during the party season your sexual health is not compromised and you do not find yourself with an STI or an accidental pregnancy. Knowing you are prepared with your method of contraception, or where to get contraception or advice from is critical for a safe sex Christmas.

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