By Naomi Mills
A LEADING private health clinic has warned the public to “have a good safe s-exmas.”
The Nuffield health clinic based in Glasgow’s West End has revealed that figures for sexual screening tests and pregnancy terminations peaked in their first three months of 2011, following the Christmas period.
Embrace Sexual Health, based at the centre has said that the number of these procedures carried out at their clinic in these months made up more than half of their yearly total.
Dr Rak Nandwani, a consultant physician in genitourinary medicine at Nuffield has put these figures down to festive behaviour: “We believe this might be because people are less inhibited at Christmas parties and perhaps having one drink too many over the festive season – and we’re not just talking about the under 25 age group – we’re talking people in their thirties, forties and older too.
“Sometimes people present because they develop symptoms they are concerned about. Others come to the clinic without symptoms but want reassurance that all is well, perhaps as part of a New Year’s resolution to have a complete health MOT.”
Nationally, the number of people diagnosed with an STI has been on the rise, with figures for the last reported year, 2008-2009, on the increase by 3 per cent, totalling 482,696 new cases.
Nuffield Health general manager David Snape said: “We are finding that people are getting complacent about sex and the number of sexual partners that they have.
“The truth is that there isn’t a pleasant sexually transmitted infection, and they all carry other associated long term and short term risks, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Dr Nanwandi added: “We wouldn’t want to quash the party spirit but would urge people to practise safer sex throughout the festive season.
“This either means thinking carefully before having sex with a new partner or perhaps even not having sex at all if you’re under the influence of anything that might impair your judgement.
“If you do have sex, make sure you use protection to prevent STI’s and unwanted pregnancy. If you don’t, you might get more than you bargained for this Christmas.”