Risky Holiday Sex Habits Uncovered by Medical Specialists® Pharmacy Survey
29th July 2015
womanDespite the fact that British weather is generally OK around June to August, this is still the peek time for holidaymakers to venture abroad and bask in the glorious sunshine in popular destinations such as Ibiza, Majorca, Benidorm and many more. Relaxing on the beach sipping sangria or beer and forgetting about worries at home can feel like heaven, but it can risk making people feel a little too relaxed. This carefree spirit that often goes hand-in-hand with holidays abroad can lead to a slightly reckless attitude in regards to safe sex and sexual health – especially when alcohol is involved. Booze can lead to a complete loss of inhibitions and then engaging in risky sexual liaisons with strangers…something perhaps people might have thought twice about back at home. Getting too drunk and ‘caught up in the moment’ is a worrying trend and this poor attitude is being shown by thousands – especially those in their late teens and early 20s – and is something Medical Specialists® Pharmacy wanted to learn more about. These attitudes were explored in the journal Tourism Management, and then discussed on 23rd July in the Daily Mail Online. Therefore, Medical Specialists® thought this would be the perfect time to discuss more findings on the subject matter, coming from a survey carried out at the beginning of the month to mark the start of summer. With an extensive sexual health product range like that spans from the Clamelle chlamydia testing kit, to antibiotics for chlamydia and gonorrhoea and female contraceptive pills, Medical Specialists® are strong advocates for the improving of sexual health and sexual health services…even giving away 1,000s of free condoms over the last few years during Sexual Health Week and for World AIDS Day. Therefore, with summer beginning at the start of July, Medical Specialists® decided to quiz patients about their attitudes to sex – in particularly looking at behaviours when overseas during a summer holiday. In total, 2,235 single people aged between 18 and 30 decided to take part in the survey, which provided some interesting, and perhaps worrying findings. Although more than 60% said they always carried condoms whilst on holiday, nearly 40% admitted to only occasionally packing condoms, or never bothering to at all. The survey found that 22% were too embarrassed to talk about contraception when having sex with a new partner. A staggering 78% said they had previously had sex with a fellow holidaymaker, with 40% of the respondents claiming they had even slept with a local. At the extreme end of the scale, 4% of those surveyed said that had more than 10 sexual partners on their last holiday. Shockingly, more than a third (34%) confessed they had cheated on a partner whilst on holiday, but just 5% of those had been found out by their partner. Questions were also asked about any possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) people may have brought back from holiday along with their luggage, tans and hangovers. A statistic that Medical Specialists® finds alarming, nearly half (47%) said they had never been tested for a sexually transmitted infection. Moreover, 20% of those surveyed said they had been diagnosed with an STI after returning from a holiday overseas, with chlamydia (46%) being by far the most commonly diagnosed infection, followed by genital warts(22%) and genital herpes rounding off the top three at 19%. It is vital to remember that within certain countries compared to the UK, STIs can be extremely common and obviously this places people at an even greater risk. In addition, with the most common STI (chlamydia), around seven in 10 women and half of men infected with chlamydia don’t show up with any signs or symptoms. However, symptoms of STIs can include:
  • Unusual discharge from your penis, vagina or anus.
  • Itching, blisters, sores or lumps on or around the genitals.
  • Pain or tenderness in the testicles.
  • Pain or a burning feeling when passing urine.
  • Darker urine.
  • For women, bleeding between periods and/or after sex.
For those that have engaged in unprotected sex (and not just whilst on holiday) or believe they may have contracted an STI, it is vital to see a GP or visit a sexual health clinic to get tested as soon as possible. If the infection isn’t treated, this could lead to more serious health problems such as infertility. Alternatively, Medically Specialists® Pharmacy offer the Clamelle chlamydia test kit for just £24.85 which can be used in the privacy and comfort of your own home to prevent an embarrassing visit to the GP or GUM clinic and there is no need to take any time off work