Confined to basic living within our homes, lockdown has given most of us ample time to reinvent several aspects of life. Amongst other challenges, we have been forced to maintain relationships with anyone outside our immediate household from a distance. At the very least, lockdown has emphasised the importance of these relationships, and the value of our interactions with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers.
Whichever way you’re feeling is completely normal
Lockdown has provided us with time to pause and ponder on our lives, health, and wellbeing. Sexual health may or may not be a topic that creeps up in your mind, but it’s an important one. The last few months have affected sex lives across the nation.
Whilst some relationships have thrived due to time spent together in isolation, other couples have crumbled. For the singletons, whose social lives are down the drain, one-night stands may seem a thing of the past. Similarly, whilst some people may be feeling like their sex drive is through the roof, others may have an unusually low libido. Whichever way you’re feeling is completely normal.
When it comes to looking after your sexual health, an STI check-up is a good place to start.
With most aspects of life on the low, now is the perfect time to get tested. Yes, nobody really wants to send their urine in the post or have their private parts swabbed but taking responsibility for your sexual health is more important than you may first think.
Of course, safer sex prevents STIs, but the phrase “condoms ruin the mood” may be somewhat to blame for the fact that someone is diagnosed with an STI every 70 seconds in the UK. However, the higher the number of people who are tested and treated, the better our ability to tackle the UK’s poor sexual health.
If you’re not feeling up to a potentially awkward face-to-face conversation, a carefully crafted text message is just as effective
Like the coronavirus itself, most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are invisible to the eye. It is possible to live with an STI for many years and be completely unaware. During this time, it is also very easy to unknowingly pass the infection to another partner… the cycle repeats!
Open and honest conversations with partners can help to get to the nitty gritty. Fortunately, stigma around STIs is somewhat less prevalent nowadays, but if you’re not feeling up to a potentially awkward face-to-face conversation, a carefully crafted text message is just as effective in trying to find out if there are any risks in your relationship. Communication is the key, after all.
During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a clear message to take care of our overall wellbeing. Now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help eliminate STIs in the UK, so it’s important to do your bit. Testing is quick, easy and will leave you feeling able to confidently mingle once normality returns.
This contribution was written by Lara Whiteside, 23. visit her profile here to find out more about the voice behind the words. Lara writes for Better2Know, the leading provider of sexual health testing.