With Christmas and New Year festivities well and truly over, there’s no better time than now to make sexual health a part of your 2018 checklist. Many people begin the New Year with resolutions that involve detoxing, weight loss, giving up smoking and an overall plan for better self-care, so there’s no reason why looking after your sexual health shouldn’t be a part of these. According to the World Health Organisation, sexual health and well-being encompass physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. People who are happy with their sexual health tend to be happier people. So why not strive to be happier by making some sexual resolutions? Here at the Sexual Health Centre, our mantra is ‘Be Sexy Stay Healthy’. We celebrate the sexuality and sexual health of every individual and provide information, support and advice when you need it most.

STIs

Traditionally, the highest detection rate of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are in January and February after the party season. In some cases, the rate of STI detection and treatment is double in January to March for what it is for the rest of the year. Unfortunately Ireland has witnessed a surge in sexually transmitted diseases, with this peak transmission season still to report. The latest Health Protection Surveillance Centre data confirmed that rates of all major STIs have dramatically increased from 2012 to 2016. If you’ve engaged in high-risk sexual activity – either recently or not so recently – we would encourage you to drop in or give us a call to discuss STI screening. We offer free Rapid HIV testing with results in one minute. All it takes is a simple finger prick. People concerned about possible infections should get checked as soon as possible and should cease all sexual activity until they are tested. You might have nothing to worry about, so your mind will be put at ease. But remember too that early detection is the key to more effective treatment and the avoidance of potentially serious long-term health consequences.

Counselling services and more

If you’re worried about an unplanned pregnancy, we offer a free and confidential pregnancy testing service with fully trained friendly staff. No appointment is necessary – you can drop in anytime between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Our staff understand this may be a worrying time for you and do everything they can to put you at ease in a calm and friendly environment. We offer a non-judgmental service, so you can feel free to ask us whatever questions you may have. Whatever the outcome of the test, we can offer you support. If you are pregnant and not sure where to turn, we can make an appointment for you with our crisis pregnancy counsellor for free and confidential support. We also offer HIV and sexual issues counselling in a safe and support environment.

Free condoms

You can drop into the centre for free condoms. Just ring the bell and ask at reception.

Happy New Year to everyone and make 2018 the year you look after your sexual health by dropping in, calling our information line on 021 427 6676 or emailing us at info@sexualhealthcentre.com for a confidential, honest and helpful service.