The importance of practicing safe sex for Chinese students in the UK

This article is sponsored by Superdrug 

In the pleasurable moment of sex, the worlds of the two lovers finally join as one. As their worlds merge, they are pretty much drowned in the sweat, warmth, sweetness, and the love they feel for each other. They hug, they kiss, they make love. What else matters?

Practicing safe sex is crucial in avoiding unwanted circumstances, such as having an unintended pregnancy and getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The most common method is to use contraceptive protections – Condoms. A condom is highly effective if used correctly. It offers more than 90% protection from STDs and allows you to enjoy sex to the fullest.

As you may already notice from healthcare stores – such as Superdrug – they offer a range of condom brands and each varies in materials, sizes, thicknesses, and flavours.

Against a backdrop of 66% of 18-24 year olds having sex without a condom at least some of the time* and the latest Public Health England (PHE) figures** showing the continuing high levels of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), an American condom brand called ONE® launches in the UK with a clear aim of reducing these alarming statistics.

One Condoms – Exclusively at Superdrug

Remember to store condoms in places that are not too hot nor too cold. Keep them away from sharp or rough surfaces in case it breaks the condom and makes it less effective! Do not forget that condoms do actually have a use-by date on the packaging too!

A lot of people may find that putting on a condom is an interruption during sex, then the female condom is just for you – You can insert the female condom up to eight hours before sex, which keeps actions with your lover hot and spontaneous (you can also make female condoms part of foreplay!). Female condoms are also called internal condoms, which can be used as an alternative to a regular male condom. It is just as effective, reliable, and convenient to use. Instead of going on the penis, the female condom is a soft plastic pouch, made from nitrile, that goes inside the vagina. But please DO NOT use a male condom together with a female condom! It will not give use extra protection when doubling up! You can buy female condoms at supermarkets, pharmacies, and some vending machines in public toilets.

Without a doubt, you will need to really talk with your partner over this to choose the best brand and types for both of you. Don’t be shy, talk through it to maximise the fantastic experience between you two!

After knowing more about condoms, you will need to gain a little fundamental understanding about the most common STDs, especially for those who are sexually active.

Chlamydia

– Bacterial STD

– Symptoms may begin to display only after a few weeks of being infected

– (Male) Symptoms include: pain when urinating, penile discharge, swollen testicle

– (Female) Symptoms include: usual vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, bleeding between periods, back pain, nausea, fever, pain during sex

Gonorrhoea

– Bacterial infection

– (Male) Symptoms include: pain when urinating, green, white, or yellow discharge from penis, swollen testicles

– (Female) Symptoms include: yellow/green vaginal discharge that may smell bad, pain when urinating, pain during sex, bleeding between periods

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

– A term used to refer to a group of viruses, which not all of them are harmful

– (Female and Male) Symptoms include: genital warts, warts in the mouth or throat

Syphilis

– Increase the risk of developing HIB when infected with this disease

– Has four different phases: primary, secondary, latent, tertiary

– (Female and Male) Early symptoms include: a sore on penis, anus, or lips, swollen lymph nodes in the area near the sore

– (Female and Male) Secondary phase symptoms include: a skin rash on any part of the body, tiredness, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph, hair loss, weight loss

HIV

– Can cause AIDS

– (Female and Male) Symptoms include weight loss, fever, night sweats, tiredness, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, dry cough, rash, swollen lymph nodes

– You may need to get test more often if you are sexually active (especially with having unprotected sex). More than half of the young people with HIV don’t know they have it!

If you think you may have contracted one of the STDs, please do seek advice from your local GP immediately. On the other hands, there are STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) treatments and test kits available from healthcare stores. In particular, Superdrug Online Sexual Health Services provide treatments and test kits for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, and HPV. They also do a test kit for HIV.

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According to Mintel’s Sexual Health UK report, December 2016

  1. 66% of 18-24 year olds have sex without a condom at least some of the time.
  2. Just 72% of 18-24 year olds and 67% of 18-24 year old men agree that it is important to have regular sexual health screening if having casual relationships.
  1. “It is easy for young adults to cloak themselves with an air of invincibility, but it is carefree attitudes and behaviours towards sexual health from this cohort that is contributing to soaring rates of STI/STDs across the UK.”
  2. Growth in diagnosis of syphilis and gonorrhoea are indicated disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men, with gonorrhoea rising by 21% among gay and bisexual people

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