If you’re out for more than a peck under the mistletoe this Christmas, we’ve got tips to help you stay safe while you’re having fun.
Alcohol can lower your inhibitions, making you more likely to take risks.
You might not go out intending to put your sexual health at risk, but when the alcohol is flowing, things like wearing a condom can often go out the window.
Watching your alcohol intake and knowing your limits can help you protect your sexual health. Drink Aware has some helpful advice on staying safe while drinking.
Stock up on condoms
Condoms are your most important accessory this party season! As well as helping to prevent unplanned pregnancy they’re also the only method of contraception that’ll help protect you from STIs.
External (male) and internal (female) condoms are available from places like pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations and vending machines. You can also get them for free from contraception and sexual health clinics, young people’s services, some GP surgeries and some GUM clinics.
Stock up before Christmas, and carry some with you when you’re out, so you can enjoy yourself without any last minute dashes to the local shop.
Check you’ve got enough contraception
If you’re taking a regular form of contraception, make sure you’re covered for the whole Christmas period.
If you use the pill, patch or vaginal ring then check you have enough to last you until the holiday is over.
If you’re using a method of long-acting reversible contraception, make sure it’s not due to run out. If in doubt, use condoms for peace of mind.
Know where to go for help
Over the holidays many clinics will have reduced opening times, but there are places you can go and helplines you can call if you need help and advice. See Where to get sexual health help over the festive season for more.