Protect your sexual health – and get tested

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DOCTOR CALLING: A weekly column by Dr Kevin Hill, chairman of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues

People in South Lincolnshire are being urged to think about their sexual health as figures reveal around one in 12 people who get tested find out that they have a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia.

Health leaders have been using a campaign to urge young people in particular to seek advice if they’ve had unprotected sex, because chlamydia may not even present obvious symptoms.

The national campaign began after the New Year as this was considered the time common STIs such as chlamydia can be tested for.

Dr Kevin Hill, GP Chair for South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We appreciate many people will find it difficult to face up to dealing with STIs but it is important to deal with any concerns.

“Common symptoms of chlamydia in women can be pain in the lower abdomen and bleeding between periods or after sex.

“For men it can include pain/burning sensation when urinating or painful swelling of the testicles if left untreated.”

However, infections such as chlamydia often present no obvious symptoms at all, so people affected might not even know they have an infection, which can worsen if untreated.

Wherever there is any doubt about sexual health following unprotected sex, we would encourage people to get tested in confidence at your local sexual health clinic.

Find out more by visiting www.nhs.uk