Our Choices for Wellbeing series of blogs will look at advice and information to support employees in their daily life.
There are many ways that businesses can offer help when it comes to health & wellbeing in the workplace. In this edition, we’ll look at sexual health.
Sexual health means more than being free of sexually transmitted infections or avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
It also means someone respecting their partners and taking responsibility for their own sexual health.
Some people have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that cannot be cured (such as HIV, or herpes) or that they live with long-term (like hepatitis B or hepatitis C).
Individuals can still have healthy, happy sex lives and good sexual health if they are practising safe sex and ensuring that these infections have been diagnosed and are being treated.
Most forms of contraception are available for free on the NHS.
Each form of contraception will either try to keep the egg and sperm apart or stop the release of an egg (ovulation).
Which method works best will depend on a number of factors, including age, whether someone smokes, their medical and family history, and any medication they might be taking.
Here are some facts about the most popular forms of contraception.
The combined oral contraceptive pill is usually just called “the pill”. It contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries.
There are two types of condoms: male condoms, which are worn on the penis, and female condoms, which are worn inside the vagina.
If used correctly, male condoms are 98% effective and female condoms 95% effective.
The contraceptive implant is a small flexible tube about 40mm long that’s inserted under the skin of a lady’s upper arm. It’s inserted by a trained professional, such as a doctor, and lasts for three years.
Depending on the type, the injection can last for 8, 12 or 13 weeks. After the injection wears off, it can take up to a year for fertility to return to normal.
An IUS is a small, T-shaped plastic device that is inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
A long-acting reversible contraceptive method, it will work for three or five years, depending on the type.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections picked up and passed on during sex.
STIs can be caused by one of three things:
Infections caused by bacteria, such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis, are usually easily cured with antibiotics.
Viruses are harder to treat. With time, the body can get rid of some on its own.
Others can be vaccinated against, e.g. hepatitis A and B. However some, such as HIV, cannot be cured.
These cause two STIs: pubic lice and scabies.
Both can be caught without having sex; for example, from bedding and towels. But this isn’t common.
Some STIs can cause symptoms within a few days. Symptoms of others may not show for days, weeks or months.
Sometimes there are no obvious symptoms or they could be mistaken for something else.
Whether there are symptoms or not, a sexual health check-up will detect any infections.
To reduce the risk of STIs being passed on, people should:
While they don’t take away all the risk, as they may not cover the part of the body where the STI is, male and female condoms are the only type of contraception that offers any protection against STIs.
Also, some STIs are spread during types of sex where people are not likely to use condoms, e.g. oral sex.
Check-ups will make sure any STIs are quickly diagnosed and treated. Most people get checked at a sexual health clinic, which is usually part of a hospital and is a free, confidential service.
It’s important to ensure that the occupational health services you offer staff cover all aspects of their physical and mental health.
If you’d like advice on how you can support staff in any way, whether in relation to sexual health or other areas of wellbing, contact the team at Fusion today.
Posted by Clare Hurley on
11 December 2017 at 12:00 AM
Choices for WellbeingEmployeesHealth & WellbeingOccupational Health