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    Sexual Health
    1234 · 20 min read

    A Guide To Sexual Health Week 2023

    What is Sexual Health Week?

    Sexual Health Week is a yearly awareness week dedicated to promoting and highlighting the importance of sexual health. Sexual Health Week advocates for individuals to feel empowered to access contraception, testing, and treatment. Sexual Health Week offers a holistic perspective on sexual health, championing the importance of knowledge, resources, and support in helping individuals make informed decisions and stay safe.

    When is Sexual Health Week?

    Sexual Health Week 2023 takes place from the 11th of September until the 18th of September. 

    Who hosts Sexual Health Week?

    Sexual Health Week is a concept created by Brook, also known as Brook Young People. The week started in the early 2000s to raise awareness about various aspects of sexual health. 

    Who are Brook?

    Brook, also known as Brook Young People and previously The Family Planning Association is a UK-based charity focused on supporting individuals in the realm of sexual health and wellbeing. Brook is dedicated to aiding people with their sexual health and overall well-being. Their core purpose revolves around assisting individuals to lead healthier lives.

    Video: An overview of Brook

    Below is a video outlining who Brook are and what their mission is:

    What is the theme of Sexual Health Week 2023?

    Every year, Sexual Health Week takes on a different theme. Sexual Health Week 2023 is no different. The theme of Sexual Health Week 2023 is “Playing It Safe”. The official statement given by Brook about this theme is as follows:

    ‘Being safe means feeling empowered to access contraception, testing and treatment. It means understanding consent, healthy relationships, and pleasure. 

    It also means providing relationships and sex education (RSE) that gives young people the tools to navigate the world safely both online and offline; and delivering safe, accessible sexual health services wherever people need them.  

    That’s why for Sexual Health Week 2023 we’re playing it safe.

    Throughout the week we will be drawing on almost 60 years of safeguarding experience, demonstrating the links between mental health and sexual health and amplifying the voices of those who face health inequalities including neurodivergent people.

    We will shout louder than ever to evidence the positive impact of RSE, promote consent and pleasure as key components of safer sex and celebrate experts across the sector working tirelessly to keep people safe from harm.’

    How to get involved with Sexual Health Week 2023?

    Brook is actively calling for people to get involved with Sexual Health Week 2023. They are encouraging people to use #SHW23 on their social media posts, and are also looking for charities and businesses to become partners by getting in touch with them. Brook is also asking people to share their experiences with relationships and sex education and is hosting a number of different conferences throughout the week around the topic of safeguarding. 

    What was the theme of Sexual Health Week 2022?

    In 2022, the theme of Sexual Health Week was ‘Breaking Barriers’. During the week, Brook amplified the voices of those who face access barriers and shone a light on the important work that Brook, partners and sector experts are doing to address health inequalities. During the week, Brook conducted webinars and Q&A sessions and also released many resources to support young people who are survivors of sexual abuse, assault and trauma.

    Video: Sexual Health Week 2022 - Trauma-informed healthcare Q&A with The Survivors Trust & Brook

    Below is a question and answer session that Brook held in collaboration with The Survivors Trust for Sexual Health Week 2022 focused around their #CheckWithMeFirst campaign:

    What was the theme of Sexual Health Week 2021?

    The theme of Sexual Health Week 2021 was ‘Consent’. Throughout the week, Brook focused on “normalising conversations about consent and empowering people to talk about it positively and proactively.” They also launched their #StopCyberflashing campaign which called for the criminalisation of unsolicited nude photographs being sent, a campaign which was mentioned in parliament by Fay Jones MP

    Video: Sexual Health Week 2021 Expert Panel Discussion - Consent, Young Men & RSE

    Below is a video from Brook’s Sexual Health Week 2021 campaign with an expert panel discussing how to constructively engage boys and young men in conversations around consent for sexual activities:

    What is education on sexual health like in schools in the UK?

    In the UK, education on sexual health is an integral part of the curriculum and has seen evolutions over the years to become more comprehensive. In essence, the aim of sexual health education in UK schools is to provide students with accurate information, ensure they have the tools to make informed decisions and promote healthy, respectful relationships. Despite this, many young people will leave school with misconceptions about sex and relationships that can change how they see the world, which is why Sexual Health Week is so important.

    What stigma is there around sexual health in the UK?

    While the UK has made significant progress in normalising conversations around sexual health, certain stigmas still persist. Stigma surrounds topics such as STDs, LGBTQ+ issues, pregnancy and more. Many young people will also have some misconceptions about sex and sexual health as many sex education classes around the country only provide basic levels of information about certain topics.

    How to ensure that you are receiving accurate information about sexual health online?

    Ensuring that you receive accurate information about sexual health online is crucial for informed decision-making and maintaining good health. It is always a good idea to check the qualifications of the person who is providing the information, and you should always look for ulterior motives behind the information. Always check for references in the content you are reading. Avoid buying into miracle ‘cures’ and don’t be afraid to question their claims.

    What can enhance sexual pleasure?

    Sexual health encompasses much more than just STIs and fertility. Enhancing sexual pleasure can be multifaceted including physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions. Communication is key when it comes to sex. Having an open dialogue about desires, boundaries, and fantasies can foster trust and lead to a more fulfilling sexual experience with your partner. 

    Psychologically, sexual pleasure can be impacted by a number of factors including anxiety and stress. High-stress levels can impact libido and sexual function. Relaxation techniques, therapy, or lifestyle changes can help manage stress. Being present in the moment can also enhance the sensations and emotional connection during intimacy.

    You can also introduce different elements into the bedroom in order to spice up your sex life. At UK Meds, we have a wide variety of different sexual enhancement products that can enhance sexual pleasure. Our lubricants, which include big-name brands such as DurexKY Jelly and Skins, can not only boost pleasure levels but can also make sex a more comfortable experience for people that struggle with conditions such as vaginal dryness. 

    We also have a range of sex toys that are great for solo pleasure, as well as use by couples, throuples or even more partners. Our adult toy range includes vibratorsdildoscock ringsfleshlights and butt plugs, all of which are great for exploring your partners, or your own body.

    What erectile dysfunction treatments are available online?

    Erectile dysfunction treatments are widely available online from UK Meds. We provide a variety of different treatments that have a number of different features that could offer benefits for different people. Here is an overview of the erectile dysfunction medications you can purchase from UK Meds:

    What contraceptive treatments are available online?

    Contraceptive treatments and products are highly effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy and are used by a wide variety of different people. At UK Meds, you can purchase a number of different contraceptive products online, including:

    • Contraceptive Pills: The contraceptive pill, also known as the pill, is a form of contraceptive medication that is typically taken by females to prevent unwanted pregnancy. At UK Meds we have a number of different contraceptive pills, such as YasminMicrogynonCerazetteRigevidon and Cerelle.

    • Condoms: Condoms are barrier devices used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). At UK Meds we have a range of condoms from well-known brands including Durex and Skins.

    • Alternative Contraception: At UK Meds, we also provide a few alternative contraception products that are ideal for people who may not be able to use the more common options. Our alternative contraception methods include Evra Patches and a contraceptive ring called NuvaRing.

    What STI treatments are available online?

    STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are also sometimes known as STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). They are infections that are primarily transmitted through sexual contact. At UK Meds, we provide a range of products that can help to treat STIs, including:

    • Thrush: Thrush, medically known as candidiasis, is an infection caused by the yeast fungus Candida albicans. We have a number of thrush medications available at UK Meds including Fluconazole and Diflucan

    • Chlamydia: Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It's prevalent in the UK and worldwide, especially among young adults. At UK Meds we have effective chlamydia treatments available, including Azithromycin and Doxycycline.

    • Genital Warts: Genital warts are small, fleshy growths, bumps, or skin changes that appear on or around the genital or anal area. At UK Meds we have a variety of different genital wart treatments, such as WarticonCatephen OintmentCondyline and Aldara.

    • Genital Herpes: Genital herpes is a common STI caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV-1, which primarily causes oral herpes (cold sores around the mouth), and HSV-2, which mainly causes genital herpes. At UK Meds we have medications to treat herpes, including Aciclovir and Valtrex (Valaciclovir)

    • PrEP: PrEP, which stands for "pre-exposure prophylaxis," is a medication taken by people who do not have HIV to prevent them from contracting the virus. You can purchase PrEP online from UK Meds. 

    Figure 1. Number of new diagnoses of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital warts, genital herpes (primary y-axis), and syphilis (secondary y-axis) among England residents accessing sexual health services, 2013 to 2022

    Image Source: Gov.uk

    What fertility treatments are available online?

    Fertility refers to the natural capability of humans to produce offspring. Unfortunately, some people will struggle with their fertility and will need help with conceiving a child. At UK Meds, we provide a range of fertility products for both men and womenfertility supplements that can help boost fertility levels, as well as products such as pregnancy tests that can be used to check for pregnancy. 

    Are NHS sexual health clinics available in the UK?

    Yes, NHS sexual health clinics, often referred to as genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics or sexual health services, are available throughout the UK. These clinics offer a range of services related to sexual health. The NHS provides a service to search for a sexual health clinic near you, as well as advice on visiting a sexual health clinic.

    What sexual health-related treatments and products are available online at UK Meds?

    At UK Meds, we have a wide variety of products and treatments that you can purchase online that fall under the topic of sexual health. Our range contains products that can be purchased without the need for a prescription (over-the-counter), as well as prescription medications and treatments. Our sexual health products include:

    Men’s Health Products:

    Women’s Health Products:

    Products for STIs:

    Sexual Enhancement Products:

    Contraceptives:

    Family Planning and Fertility Products:

    Sources

    Brook - Sexual Health Week

    South Tyneside Sexual Health

    Awareness Days - Sexual Health Week 2023

    Public Health Network - Sexual Health Week

    NHS - Visiting an STI Clinic

    NHS - Find a Sexual Health Clinic

    Gov.uk - Health Protection Report

    Flo.health - Reproductive Health Report UK

    Brook Charity on YouTube

    Brook Charity on Instagram

    Brook Charity on Twitter

    Brook Charity on Facebook

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    Blog author

    Scott Weaver

    Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.

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