17:28 17 March 2010
Forget meeting friends and family, frank discussions about the importance of being tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as Chlamydia have come to define lasting love in the 21st century, a new survey reveals.
The poll revealed that 70% of young adults rank discussing STI testing with their partner as the biggest indicator that the relationship will last. This is more important than traditional milestones such as meeting the parents (66%) or friends (40%).
However, while people aspire to have open and honest conversations with new sexual partners, many get tongue-tied and 73% have never actually raised the subject with a new partner before having sex for the first time.
But how do you broach the topic with your partner without causing embarrassment, and why is this so important?
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI among under-25s, and if left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to serious health problems and may cause infertility in both men and women.
Worryingly, Chlamydia is often symptomless, and the only way you can find out if you have it is to say 'yes' to a free Chlamydia test when offered one by a GP, nurse or pharmacist.
That's why it's extremely important to feel comfortable discussing these subjects. Whether together a long time or in a new relationship, it's important to talk about sexual health and it doesn't need to be a daunting conversation.
In the following video, GP and relationship expert Dr Catherine Hood, runs through her tips for talking about STI testing and Chlamydia, as well as chatting to two young people about how easy they found the discussion and the test itself:
For straightforward information and advice about sex, relationships and contraception visit: www.nhs.uk/worthtalkingabout
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