Welcome to sexual health Northern Ireland
This website, aimed at young people and adults, offers information and advice on how to look after your sexual health.
Your sexual health and wellbeing is important and looking after your sexual health can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. Being confident about your sexual health can also help in developing positive relationships.
Enjoying a sexual relationship can be very rewarding and satisfying when it is consensual. If either person is not comfortable or isn’t sure, there is nothing wrong with saying no.
Unprotected sex can put you at risk of getting and STI so if you are sexually active it is important to know how to protect yourself. This website has information about STIs and contraception and also highlights the services available where you can get more help and advice.
Worried that you might have an STI?
If you’re worried that you might have an STI, you can get tested at a local Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinic. Find contact details for your nearest clinic.
To find out what happens when you go for an appointment at a GUM clinic view the step by step video guide.
A sexual health campaign ‘Choose to protect yourself – always use a condom’ has been launched by the Public Health Agency. The campaign highlights the risks you could be taking if you don’t look after your sexual health. The campaign is aimed at older teenagers and adults. The TV advert below contains adult themes relating to sexual behaviour.
Looking after your sexual health
If you are sexually active, key ways to protect your sexual health include:
- always using a condom;
- using contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy;
- limiting your number of sexual partners;
- getting tested for sexually transmitted infections.
Find out more about how to look after your sexual health
Worried right now?
If you have had unprotected sex, you may be at risk of a sexually transmitted infection. For example, you may not have used a condom or it may have split or come off. If this has happened, there is help and support available throughout Northern Ireland including:
- emergency contraception (‘Morning after pill’);
- getting tested for an STI and HIV;
- post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV;
- talking to your doctor;
- organisations offering help and support;
- the Sexual Assault Referral Centre - www.therowan.net
What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that can be passed on when you have unprotected sex, or other close sexual contact with another person.
In Northern Ireland, rates of some STIs have increased over the last ten years. It is important to get tested if you think you have put yourself at risk. Most STIs can be treated easily. If left untreated, STIs can lead to health issues in the future.
Find out more about the signs and symptoms of STIs.
Find out more about how to get tested in Northern Ireland.