Sex and Relationships

New relationships can make you feel happy, excited and safe. However, relationships can sometimes change and it can be hard to know when things are starting to go wrong. In a healthy relationship, someone shouldn’t try to control you.

You have the right to say how you feel and to be respected. Consent in relationships is about feeling in control and saying ‘yes’ or doing things because you choose to, not because someone is pressuring you to. If someone is pressuring you to have sex, do something sexual, dangerous or violent, this is wrong.

Sex can feel like an area where it’s embarrassing to ask for help and advice. However, there are plenty of great organisations that can really help you take control of your sexual health, enjoy healthy relationships and fully explore your identity.

Expand the boxes below for more information or try our Self-Help Tool for more specific and detailed help.

Sexual health advice from the NHS

Sexually transmitted infections are common and increasing. If you are having sex, either regularly or for the first time, the best way to avoid getting an infection is to use a condom. Whilst all contraceptives will help prevent pregnancies, only condoms can help prevent STIs. Most people who have a STI do not show symptoms and you can’t check by looking. Contraceptives, including condoms, are available free of charge through the NHS free of charge - you can get more information on the NHS website.

If you’ve had unprotected sex and you’re worried you may have picked up a sexually transmitted infection, there are plenty of place you can get tested. The NHS sexual health page can point you towards a local service or make an appointment with your GP. You can also talk confidentially to the charity, Brook.

Having a baby is a major life event and bringing up a child is a massive responsibility. If you’ve had unprotected sex, emergency contraception can be taken up 72 hours after to prevent you becoming pregnant. Pregnancy testing kits are available from a range of sources, some of which will supply them free of charge.

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