Sexual health is all about enjoying the sexual activity you want without risking causing yourself or anyone else any suffering or harm.
It is also about using contraception and avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - which are on the rise.
Making positive choices about contraception and sexual health is important, not just for your physical health but also for your general wellbeing. Our sexual health affects our physical and psychological wellbeing and is central to some of the most important relationships in our lives.
In this section you can find out all you need to know about the symptoms of STIs, how to protect yourself and where to turn for help and other general advice issues such as pregnancy and contraception.
Safer sex means thinking about these issues, but most importantly doing something about them.
For relationship and sexual health advice for young people and their parents, visit the BeSavvy website or the Respect Yourself website
Sexual Health in Warwickshire - Sexual Health Warwickshire is a free, confidential and easily accessible NHS service. They provide a complete range of sexual health and wellbeing services, including access to contraception, family planning, pregnancy testing and full STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing, including for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis. Visit www.sexualhealthwarwickshire.nhs.uk for more information.
More information from NHS Choices
If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), go to your GP or local sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic.
If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), go to your GP or local sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. Most STIs can be successfully treated, but it’s important to get any symptoms checked as soon as possible.
Find your nearest GUM clinic and read about what happens at an STI clinic.
Sexually transmitted infections
STIs are infections that are passed on through unprotected sex (not using a condom) or genital contact. They include:
When should I go to the GUM clinic or sexual health clinic?
Go to a GUM or sexual health clinic if you have any of the following symptoms:
- discharge from your penis
- pain in your testicles
In women and men:
- pain when passing urine
- itching, burning or tingling around your genitals
- blisters, sores, spots or lumps around your genitals or anus
- black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear (this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice)
Some GP practices, contraception clinics, young people’s services and some pharmacies may also provide testing for some STIs.
Not everyone with an STI has symptoms. You should get checked if:
- you’ve had unprotected sex with a new partner
- you or your sexual partner have had sex with someone else without using a condom
- your sexual partner has any symptoms
- you’re planning to get pregnant and may have been at risk of infection
Read the answers to more questions about sexual health.