Your sexual health matters, at any age

More than half of sexually active adults get an STI at some point in their lifetime

11 to 17 September is Sexual Health Week and it's a good time to think about your sexual health, just as you would look after your emotional and physical health.

Many people aged 50 and over may be coming out of relationships and are newly single and sexually active in later life, and have little knowledge regarding HIV and STIs once they start dating again. There is also a misconception among women that once they go through the menopause, they do not need to use condoms.

Condoms aren't just about preventing unwanted pregnancy, they are the main defence against STIs. Many STIs including gonorrhoea and chlamydia can be diagnosed easily and treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, common STIs can lead to complications and long-term health problems.

If you have had condomless sex with a new or casual partner, it is even more important to get tested to detect any potential infections early and prevent passing them on to others.

STI testing is simple – you don't need to attend a sexual health clinic. You can order a test to your home. Samples are quick to take and sent off by post for analysis, making early detection accessible to everyone.

Visit the Sexual Health Hub to see the full list of local and national services including information on contraception, HIV services, and HIV PrEP. If you have young people in your family, empower them today and let them know how they can look after their sexual health.

More from health and wellbeing